I have to say that here we don't castrate our animals. However, my friend has said that an uncastrated goat will be horribly 'goaty' in taste if it's slaughtered, so she castrates all hers. Does anyone know if this is true or is it just like the 'boar taint' myth?
posted 7 years ago
Since there's a bit of goat interest just now, does anyone know the answer to the above?
I asked a friend of mine who has a *lot* of experience with goats and she had this to say...
"Depends on how old they are. The oldest entire goat we've eaten was 2 when we decided he couldn't do what we wanted from him, despite the pong! Unless they are very young, there'd be no point in castrating them anyway, but if they are really young - 2 weeks at the most, it's better to do them if they cohabit with females - they can do the job at 2 months old!"
We ate one of our uncastrated bucks at a year old... the meat was delicious.
Another buckling, however, we banded when he was little. Not big enough to eat yet, but when I do slaughter him, it will be interesting to see if the meat was even better than his deceased cousin's was.
The banding was more to prevent him from breeding his sister than anything else. According to my lovely wife Rachel - the goat expert - when they all run together, you can end up with some serious issues unless the males are made into eunuchs.
One hilarious side effect of the banding is that the buckling, though mostly grown, now has the most silly high-pitched little bleat... "mmmmaaaaaaaah!"
I would agree with the post above. The older a non-castrated buck gets, the greater the chance he will taste "goaty". I would follow the rule of thumb that is used with sheep: anything older than one year is mutton, and is expected to have a stronger flavor than lamb. Non castrated will certainly grow faster!
Animals of age greater that 2 typically aren't as yummy as younger ones, regardless of gender (or species). Don't expect a steak or chop or roast from an older animal to be as good as from a younger one. Turn the older ones into ground something and enjoy!
Last year we had to cull 3 goats - one 4+ year old doe that developed gangranous mastitis and lost half her udder, a yearling doe that had a sever dystocia and healed "closed" and a 5 month old castrated buckling. The young male was processed into steaks and chops, the does into salami and ground meat. That was the best decision!!! Everyone loves to goat steaks, and the salami is delicious! The ground meat is better than beef (IMHO) and i use it the same way.
If they aren't in rut and peeing on themselves, and if you are very clean with your butchering (I've heard that some people bathe their bucks before butchering), then it probably won't be too bad. We butchered a yearling buck because he broke his leg, and there was a little gaminess even though he was neither in rut or even completely mature. He went in curries so it was unnoticeable. I wouldn't eat my current buck unless I was really desperate, that's a horrible stench in breeding season, and even in summer he has a distinct presence. Also, they can, as someone else pointed out, breed very young and if you are not using them for breeding, there's no point to their their testicles. I wouldn't castrate a mature buck, but we band the little guys as early as we can get away with it. I like to leave them on their mothers until late fall when we butcher, and I don't want to take chances with their mothers or sisters getting bred.
Also, on a side note, it's not just the castrating that gives them a high voice. My tall and macho buck with a huge... beard, has the nicest soprano voice you could hope for.
Hi, it's actually a really good idea in general, to castrate the boys that you don't want to breed, for all the reasons already stated. Also, wethers are much more docile, and are better in pack or brush eating herds - and deal with the public much better - than bucks. And, frankly, IMHO, their meat marbles better, and tastes sweeter.
Here we band the big boys before butchering them and wait a couple of months for the hormones to get out of their systems At that point even a five year old breeding buck will taste like a wether. If your band castrater isn't big enough just use rubber tubing and pull it as tight as possible. As we don't care for the smell of rotting testes, we remove them after three days once they are dead but before they start stinking much and find that they don't bleed and the ex-buck doesn't seem to feel being removed. I learned that technique for the older bucks from my vet, btw.
In my opinion band castration is less painful than surgical castration. They hurt for a couple of hours but then the nerves die and they go back to completely normal behavior. With surgical castration they appear to be in pain for several days.
We always age any meat except hogs, under refrigeration, for up to a week and have found that that 'tenderizes' the older animals pretty well. I also tend to use the older ones for sausage, chili or curry, not for steaks,roasts or burgers
I saw Cody Holmes give a presentation last winter and he doesnt castrate any of his animals. Goats, sheep, hogs, and cattle. They grow faster and he claims he has no issues with boar taint or any other bad tastes. He says its because they are strictly pasture fed.
A short clip on a science program some time back said researchers had found a genetic link to "boar taint" but it's not in the animals, it's in the person.
Some people are simply more sensitive to some scents/tastes than others, similar to the "Supertaster" gene. If I remember right they found a set of seven distinct fragrances and/or tastes that some people taste strongly and others weakly.
So if you like your buck and your brother thinks his is utterly eww... It could be genes to blame.
Having grown up with kids and goats from age 7 and now in my 30's, we castrate anything not being kept as a breeder as a matter of course, that way there's only the need to lock a few bucks securely away to manage breeding to happen over a limited time frame for a milking season and the wethers smell so much sweeter.
Hunting wild feral bucks, anything already pissing itself goes to the dogs, anything young enough to be nice and sweet goes in the house freezer.
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