Bucklings to Wethers

First of all, I'd like to announce that we finally named the other two goats. The doeling is named Pearl and her brother is Melvin. 

From left to right: Melvin, LaChonky and Pearl

From left to right: Melvin, LaChonky and Pearl

As I mentioned in a previous post, the bucklings needed to be castrated ASAP. LaChonky in particular was "bothering" Pearl. She had taken to jumping on top of the hay bale to get away from him. 

 
Chiminea fire pit base turned hay bale and goat perch holder.

Chiminea fire pit base turned hay bale and goat perch holder.

 

I did look into castrating them ourselves. There is a technique called "banding", which I won't go into in too much detail, but think of wrapping a rubber band tightly around your finger and waiting until it dies and falls off. The other do-it-yourself method I looked into was using a tool called an emasculatome to crush the cord and blood vessels leading to the testicles. Curtis even offered to cut the bucklings. "How difficult can it be? You cut and pull the balls out." Considering he has balls himself, his cavalier attitude surprised me. In the end, I decided to call a professional to do the cutting for us. 

I thought it would be easy to find a farm veterinarian in our area, but it took me a while to find one nearby. After an interenet search didn't turn up anything, a call to the friendly folks at the county extension office gave me the name of "the vet everyone around here uses for goat castrations". 

I woke up King and Mike early yesterday morning to "help me load the goats in the minivan". It was surprisingly easy to get them to jump in. The tricky part was to get them all in there at the same time. Pearl ended up coming along for the ride, as it was too difficult to remove her without the other two escaping, especially Melvin. Thankfully, once we got there we met a county sheriff animal control officer who helped us unload.

While the boys were away at castration camp, Pearl was left all alone. I don't think she had ever been alone in her life, not that goats are ever really happy without a herd. She was particularly distressed. She yelled for her herd-mates all day, until her little goat voice was hoarse. 

A very unhappy lonely screaming Pearl.

A very unhappy lonely screaming Pearl.

We picked up LaChonky and Melvin in the afternoon. (Would you believe the same animal control officer pulled in as we were arriving and helped us load them in the van again? For real.) The new wethers were a little groggy and wobbly, but otherwise in good shape and ball-less. It was just in the nick of time too, as both Curtis and I independently concluded that just today Pearl came into heat.


Resources:

For more information on different methods of castration click here.