Castration dilemma

If you keep other animals for productive purposes, whether for meat, wool or bi-products, here's the area to chat. I mean, you do realise chickens are the gateway drug to other animals, don't you?

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goatlady
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Castration dilemma

Post by goatlady » 26 Feb 2014, 17:27

I had twin goat kids born on Monday. One male, one female. They're the only pure Pyrenean kids I have, as the others are or will be Alpine/Pyrenean crosses. I think they're the nicest looking kids we've ever had here. My dilemma is this: should I castrate the little male, in which case his only value will be as a meat animal, or do I leave him as he is and hope to sell him as a breeding billy, with the possibility of not being able to sell him? Lovely as he is, I can't keep him for breeding purposes myself, and I already have a castrated male from last year that I got too fond of to send to the abattoir!

Castration has to be done in the first couple of weeks, so I haven't got long to make a decision.
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nigel
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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by nigel » 26 Feb 2014, 21:05

If he's a rare breed and there is a steady demand for them, I would leave him whole. If you have doubts about finding him a new home sad though it is do the deed and think of all the lovely things you can do with delicious kid meat.

Beautiful kids by the way. I really miss my goats.
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Henwife
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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by Henwife » 27 Feb 2014, 08:24

I'm with Nigel here, but is it worth advertising him before castration? He could either go immediately & be bottle reared. With such a small window, I suspect he'll be in the freezer, but worth a shot.
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goatlady
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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by goatlady » 27 Feb 2014, 08:54

Actually, I'm with both of you, too, but I have a sentimental side that results in my keeping more animals than I should. However, I really can't keep him, either castrated or uncastrated. I had already thought of advertising him straight away - even as being available when he is weaned, which would save someone the trouble and expense of bottle feeding him. He comes from a good line of milking stock, but lacks the real "pedigree" that would put him in sure demand and fetch a high price, although there is a small but steady demand for replacement Pyrenean billies. It's not strictly a rare breed: it almost disappeared towards the end of the 20th century, but efforts to revive it have been successful, and a breed association has been in place for about 10 years. I could advertise him on their site, as I am a member. There is some demand for meat from entire male goats from the North African community here, so that's another possibility. So I'm still dithering...

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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by Henwife » 27 Feb 2014, 10:42

In my goatkeeping days the only thing to do about surplus billy kids was to phone the Hunt kennels. There's something about kids that makes you want to keep them regardless of sex. Lambs never did it for me.
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goatlady
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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by goatlady » 27 Feb 2014, 11:33

In my opinion, there are very few animals as endearing as goat kids. Lambs don't do it for me, either - in fact, my foray into sheep-keeping only lasted a few months.

Still dithering...!

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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by Henwife » 27 Feb 2014, 19:51

Still Dithering sounds like one of those quaintly named English villages. Where shall we put it?
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goatlady
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Re: Castration dilemma

Post by goatlady » 28 Feb 2014, 08:57

Wiltshire, perhaps?

I spoke to a couple of farmers yesterday, who were both of the opinion that a decent Pyrenean male kid should sell. So I'm no longer dithering, and shall leave him whole. There's only so much kid meat you can eat. We still have quite a lot in the freezer from last year, and I already have one cross-breed kid, and one or more to come. I may live to regret this, but have decided to take the chance.

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