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Lamb Docking & Castrating

Lamb Docking and Castrating

WHY DOCK?

Docking lambs tails reduces the  build up of faeces which helps to prevent fly strike (a disease caused by maggots which can cause death in sheep and lambs). Docked lambs are also easier to deal with at shearing time.

HOW?
Use an elastrator (seen in the picture) and rubber bands (new bands are needed each year as these perish with time). Apply the band to the tail and ensure that the portion of tail above the band is sufficient to cover the vulva of female lambs and a similar length in males. Once the ring has been applied the tail will fall off over the next couple of weeks.

WHEN?
Aim for within 6 weeks of birth. If the lamb is over 6 months it is illegal to perform the procedure without local anaesthesia from a veterinary surgeon. Therefore perform docking as early as possible!


WHY CASTRATE?

Lambs can mate with female paddock mates at as young as 4 months of age- this includes their sisters. Castrating lambs avoids the need for separating ram and ewe lambs. Castrated rams are also easier to handle as they get older.

HOW?
As with tail docking, use an elastrator and rubber rings. Apply one band at the base of the scrotum, closest to the body of the lamb. It is essential to feel the scrotum to ensure that both testicles are below the ring.

WHEN?
As with tail docking this should be performed as early as possible.

 

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