Friday, December 08, 2006

The Unkindest Cuts of All...

Being of the male persuasion, I have to confess that the topic of castration does not sit that well with me - although since it's not me being castrated it is something else that won't be sitting well for a short while.

But somethings just have to go & I have just arranged with our local shearer to pop around this weekend, shear a couple of ewes that need it, and dock & castrate the little rams that I inadvertently purchased from a farmer who advertised ewes & ewe lambs for sale, and who then sold me two rams without mentioning it. And it didn't occur to me to look. Anyway, I haven't complained becuse he DID sell me the two lambs for the price of one, and even having to pay the shearer guy will still see me come out ahead.

Docking, in case you're not a real kiwi, is where the tails are removed to prevent fly strike later in the sheep's life.

And these little fellas will be getting the deluxe treatment - tails & testicles.

There are various ways to affect these alterations in your livestock - I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect our guy will be using the little rubber bands that are stretched over the "bits", and which form a kind of tourniquet. In a day or two the offending "bits" drop off. Wilma won't be around to profit from the event, I'm assuming some local seagull will score bigtime over the next few days.

Doesn't the very thought make your eyes water? If not, I suggest you click on the link below & scroll down to the pictures of the medieval implements that are available for the task... and then tell me it didn't bring tears to the eyes. I'm not sure I ever want to own a tool that calls itself "The Emasculator"...

Anyway, I note in this page that it suggests the procedure take place in the first 7 days of the lamb's life - other sites I have looked at tell me it should be done before they're 6 weeks old - we will just scrape in this weekend within the 6 week deadline.

And I'm informed that the pain lasts for maybe 15-20 minutes max. I'm not looking forward to the noise they'll make in that 15-20 minutes...

Anyway, sometimes a man's just gotta do what a man's gotta do, or pay another man to do. I console myself that it must surely beat the meatworks.

Sheep 201 - Docking and Castrating