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Here's a good yearling castration methodHere's a good yearling castration method

Eight steps to this process can safely and effectively castrate bulls at 20 months.

R. P. 'Doc' Cooke

October 4, 2017

1 Min Read
Waiting until bulls are yearlings or older to castrate can bring problems, but the author says this method has worked well.auimeesri-iStock-Thinkstock

The largest bull calves can be safely castrated if done properly.

The program we’re now talking and using on several operations is to use most or all the yearling bulls on the heifers and cow herd. Afterwards the majority of these 20-month-old bulls will be castrated. At our place they weigh 700 to 950 pounds.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Use a good squeeze chute.

  2. Give a good 2-3cc epidural.

  3. Open the scrotum with a Newberry knife.

  4. Band the scrotum with a California or other heavy bander.

  5. Slash each testicle with a hook blade or remove the bottom 70% of each testicle.

  6. Administer tetanus toxoid and antitoxin (a requirement).

  7. Penicillin and Furosemide are a good idea but the tetanus antitoxin is a must.

  8. All injections are given subcutaneously (under the skin).

With this program we will have a pot load of 22-month-old steers averaging 1,000 pounds or more to sell out of a cow herd of 120 head. These steers are ready to leave in four to six weeks after processing and should bring a $100 to $200 premium over selling in smaller numbers. They should be bulletproof and would fit into a lot of grass-finishing or feeding programs.

Thinking a little outside of the box is not a bad thing.

About the Author(s)

R. P. 'Doc' Cooke


R. P. "Doc" Cooke, DVM, is a mostly retired veterinarian from Sparta, Tennessee. Doc has been in the cattle business since the late 1970s and figures he's driven 800,000 miles, mostly at night, while practicing food animal medicine and surgery in five counties in the Upper Cumberland area of middle Tennessee. He says all those miles schooled him well in "man-made mistakes" and that his age and experiences have allowed him to be mentored by the area’s most fruitful and unfruitful "old timers." Doc believes these relationships provided him unfair advantages in thought and the opportunity to steal others’ ideas and tweak them to fit his operations. Today most of his veterinary work is telephone consultation with graziers in five or six states. He also writes and hosts ranching schools. He is a big believer in having fun while ranching but is serious about business and other producers’ questions. Doc’s operation, 499 Cattle Company, now has an annual stocking rate of about 500 pounds beef per acre of pasture and he grazes 12 months each year with no hay or farm equipment and less than two pounds of daily supplement. You can reach him by cell phone at (931) 256-0928 or at [email protected].

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