By Future Beef
Castration is ‘removal of the testicles’ in very young male cattle. However some of the techniques used to ‘castrate’ bull calves in Australia do not involve actual removal of the testicles.
Castration is carried out for the following reasons:
The disadvantages of castration are minor in comparison to the advantages gained. Removal of the testicles before puberty will reduce the growth rate of the calf. This is because the testicles produce hormones as well as spermatozoa. The major hormone produced by the testicles is testosterone, more commonly referred to as male hormone. Testosterone has an anabolic action – it promotes muscle growth.
Castration should be carried out on bull calves when they are very young, and certainly before six months of age. On larger properties with large numbers of breeding females this may be difficult to achieve, particularly if calves are born at the start of the wet season (as recommended) or just after the last muster the previous year. READ MORE