One is their personality - too aggressive, not trainable, or other negative aspect. We had one such buck this year that wouldn't make a good pet, or a good breed buck. So we chose to cull him, even though his physical body is very good.
The second reason would be that they just aren't 'buck' material. Say they are too long in the body, skinnier than the does, too long in the neck or leg. Far too narrow in the chest (called 'brisket') What we look for is a block body, good solid legs and back. So, markings aren't everything, you can have a beautifully marked buck, but they are far to dairy or girlish. Never a good reason
to keep him as a potential breeding buck.
There is actually one more reason to wether a buck, and that is a physical defect, like double teats, split scrotum, or other trait that would require not allowing him to breed. Bucks can do far more damage to a line then a doe can. Consider that a buck can breed hundreds of does in his life time, while a doe is limited by her capacity to breed during her lifetime. One example came up in our chat group, someone had their kids born with split teats or multiple teats. The only thing in common was the buck used. So here they are with all these does that have to either be culled or spayed to prevent the deformity continuing. Here you see how one buck can cause so much damage to a line. The does however, only need to be bred to a different buck.
Now, let's talk about wethering....................
How do you wether a buck?
Cutting, or neutering, is actually cutting the scrotum and then
removing the testicles by cutting the spermatic cords. This method is preferred by vets as the only guaranteed method. However, the cost can be prohibitive if you don't do it yourself. This has risks, such as infection from the procedure. To us, it is a traumatic experience for our kids. Sedation is usually
required. After cutting the testicles, the spermatic cords should be 'tied off' to control blood loss. Goats do not handle sedation well,
usually a vet that sedates them must also use a 'reversal' drug.
We had one buck neutered by a vet, the recovery time was long, and we had to watch for infection for a number of days because the scrotum is not closed after the initial incision. Also the cost was very high, around $150. Not very profitable when you consider wethers sell for around $75-$100. This procedure can be
done at any time. However, with bucks the age should be prior to two years (our taste preference for the meat).
In banding, a buck is restrained and using an elastrator a very small rubber band is placed above the testicles (upper part of scrotum). The buck is then released. The testicles cut off from any blood flood slowly die. Eventually the dead tissue falls off after a length of time.
There is usually no sedation involved, nor is any pain reliever usually offered. Though this method has been used for years, we personally find this procedure cruel. While doing research into what method we would choose, we found studies of the bands breaking. Either causing unplanned kidding or blood in the cavity of the animals that were butchered for meat. We have not tried this method due to our personal feelings about banding. There are many people who use this method and are quite happy with it. This procedure can be used at quite a young age (as long as the testicles have dropped). Many do the banding at the same time as the de-budding.
procedure is very quick and bloodless. With the Burdizzo, the spermatic cords are crushed on both sides, with a second clamping on both spermatic cords, usually lower than the first. It is literally crushing the spermatic cords, or like crimping. The blood flow is prevented, causing the testicles to atrophy or die. This procedure is quite effective and less traumatic to the animal. You know the procedure was done correctly when the testicles shrink and become hard. No sedation is required with this bloodless castration, a local can be done, but understand the shot will hurt them as much as the clamp. This is our preferred method and one that we are actually happy with. This procedure can be done
between 2 months and older. One breeder has had great luck doing this between 2 months and 2 years of age. We, like Fiasco Farm, prefer doing this at 4 weeks of age. However we would definitely not try this with a buckling over 2 months old. Again, Fias Co Farm has a great step by step article on using this method at: http://fiascofarm.com/goats/buck-wether-info.htm#neutering.
There are two tools out there used for crushing the spermatic cord. The Burdizzo is what most research on the web will find. The 9" Burdizzo is what most would use for goats. You need to know that the Burdizzo is actually designed for cows and is somewhat cumbersome with goats. The Ritchey Nipper or 'Side' Crusher is designed for sheep and goats. The nice thing we found that it is far easier keeping the spermatic cords separate when using this tool.
difficult to see what we were doing. With the Side crusher, it was just that, we held the tool to the side of the scrotum. It was easier to see what we were doing and easier to keep the two cords separate, as the procedure calls for.
Because this was our first time to wether ourselves and we did not have a safe way to restrain the kids, we had a vet lightly sedate our bucks for this method. Our initial concern was being able to handle a fully awake thrashing buckling. Our vet showed us how to do a 'butt canon' restraint he developed. See the pictures below
The person with the Side Crusher, or Burdizzo, reaches the upper most portion of the scrotum, feeling for the cord. Tug/pull the spermatic cord down, making sure only one cord is being held. Place the cord in the opening of the crusher being used. Make sure that the crusher is towards the top as high as possible, and that no teats are affected. Lightly close the crusher, let the person who is restraining know that you are ready to close the instrument tightly. Take a DEEP BREATH and close the clamp down, it will be extremely tight, you will not only hear the little fella protest, but you will actually hear the cord crunch. Hold the clamp in place for 10-20 seconds. Open the crusher, give your male spouse or partner some time to recover as well ~WINK~ . Then holding the same cord, move the clamp down slightly but still above the actual testicle. Take a DEEP BREATH and repeat. This is to ensure that the cord is crushed and will remain that way. There is less discomfort for the buckling at this point. Repeat these same steps to the other cord. The buckling will have some discomfort no matter what you do, banding or crushing the cords. Watch for any swelling. If they act too uncomfortable, you can give them a baby aspirin or 81 mg aspirin that will help with the pain, but reduce swelling. We prefer using a mix of Arnica Montana 6X, Chamomilla 6X, and Bach's Rescue Remedy (full adult dose).
After a few days the boys should be back to their normal romping selves, albeit maybe a tad more docile then the other boys.
After two weeks, feel the testicles and spermatic cords, you should
still feel the point or crimp that the crusher made as well as the testicles getting smaller and more firm. By four weeks, you will know for sure whether the 'job is done'.
Not a pleasant procedure, but one that many of us will have to either do or have done if you plan on keeping goats. We aren't excited about this method, but we are more comfortable with
this than de-budding. We also would never use the Burdizzo now that we have gotten our Side Crusher. Far less chance of problems, unlike de-budding.
So, you decide whether to wether or not..........with Kinders, there
are always more goats than you need especially when your does bless you with quads and quints! It is usually far easier to sell a wether for meat or as a pet, than a fully intact buck.
From a somewhat subdued Romper Room.........sorry boys.