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Boshoff Beyers

Castrating bulls or bull calves

  • Is unsexing a male animal. It is not exactly as simple as most people may think. Nor is it exactly painless, as most animal rights activists may tell you. However, castrating is a practice that has been done on cattle for hundreds of years and is the oldest surgical operation known. The main significance of such a practice is for several reasons:
  • To eliminate the incidence of a poor- or inferior-quality bull from breeding superior females and producing less-than-ideal offspring,
  • To make males less dangerous and rowdy towards other cattle and humans when they are being raised for beef, and
  • To meet market demand as far as beef quality and sales are concerned.
  • Essentially, castrated (or neutered for some of you) bulls are primarily for beef production, and nothing else.There are three common ways that bulls and bull calves are castrated: banding, using the burdizzo, and cutting. Other lesser-known methods of castration include short-scrotum and chemical castration. This article will review all types of castration methods that can be used, as well as the best time and age that bulls or bull calves should be done.Note: Castrated bulls are called steers.Often cattlemen also use the term “steering” or “steered” when referring to a male bovine that has recently been castrated or describing the act of castrating cattle.
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