everyone seems to have their opinion, and i have seen valid arguments for either side of this.
so far, i have not castrated any of my sheep, i dont band tails either. this is because i do not give medication etc (to them or moms before birth), and at the time it seemed that with proper management practice there was really no reason to alter the animals.
However, i am rethinking my decision. it seems that the older boys (three together )would do a lot more eating and waste more of their energy wandering around baaing if i did not have them separate them from the ewes. i also wonder about fat and marbling in the meat. i have read that weathered animals will have much greater fat content, which i want. the churros i currently have grow slow enough intact i have to bring them through one winter. perhaps the gulf coast native / north country cheviot cross i am moving too will be different. in terms of fat these guys meat needs all the help it can get.
Do castrated ramlings have more fat content?
Do castrated ramlings have more fat marbling?
which method of castration is the most comfortable (or seemingly) for an older animal?
which method of castration is the most comfortable for a lamb?
which method of castration is safest in terms of infection if not medicated? burdizzo?
if anyone wants to know why churros did not work for me, i can elaborate.
We castrate our male lambs so that we don't have to keep them separate. We use the rubber bands which must by law in the UKL be applied before they are 7 days old.
I went to a really interesting talk the other week where a goat meat producer was giving a talk. She did an experiment with castrating some and not others to compare growth rates as lots of people claim that uncastrated males grow quicker. Her results showed that at slaughter the average kill out weight was only about .5 of a kilo different so not worth the hassle of keeping them separate.
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