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Tim McKinney
4-H Extension Specialist

Buck kids that will not be used for breeding should be castrated. Castrated kids will not pass a "goaty" flavor to the meat and will not breed does accidentally. Kids should be castrated at less than fourteen days of age as castration becomes more traumatic with age. Two very efficient , and low cost methods are elastration and the knife.


Elastration involves the use of a special instrument called the elastrator, and a special rubber band sometimes referred to as a "donut". In elastration, the "donut" is placed over the prongs of the elastrator. When the handles of the elastrator are squeezed together, the "donut" is expanded.

The testicles of the kid are then placed through the expanded hole of the "donut". (Care must be taken to insure that both testicles are through the donut's hole.) When both testicles are through the hole, the elastrators can be released, and the donut slipped off the prongs. The "donut" will return to it's original shape cutting off the blood flow to the testicles. This will cause the testicles to dry up and fall off in 1 to 2 weeks. Check daily to be sure that the "donut" is still around the neck of the scrotum, (testicle sack), and for any signs of infection. This method causes some stress to the animal due to the pain and discomfort experienced by the constricting band on the scrotum.


Use of the knife to castrated buck kids is often referred to as "cutting". To cut a buck kid you will need a sharp knife, or a one sided razor blade, a bucket of warm water with 10% disinfectant added, and, (in warm weather) a fly control spray that is designed to be sprayed on open wounds. The kid should be held in an upright position in the lap of one person while another person does the cutting. Wash the scrotum thoroughly with water and disinfecting solution, and disinfect your hands. Push both testicles up into the belly cavity, and cut the lower 1/3 of the scrotum off. Manipulate each testes separately to the open end of the scrotum. It may be necessary to push on the abdomen if a testicle has been pulled into the abdomen. With the knife, scrape, not cut the spermatic cord until it is severed from the body of the kid. This causes a ragged cut that will stop bleeding faster than a clean cut. Repeat the above procedure for the other testicle. Some people prefer to slit the white membrane that covers the testicle. Then the testicle can be popped free from the membrane. This allows them to see the artery to be severed. When using this method the artery should be scraped not cleanly cut. Spray the wound with the fly control spray, (in warm weather). Do not pack the wound because proper drainage will help prevent infection. Inject the kid with tetanus antitoxin to provide the short term protection. If long term immunity against tetanus is desired, tetanus toxoid injections should be given at this time in addition to the tetanus antitoxin injection (always read the label and follow directions). Place the kid in a clean draft free pen. Check for excessive bleeding during the next 24 hours. Check daily for the next week for signs of infection or swelling. The wound should heal in one or two weeks.


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