Yards for Calves to be Ringed

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3 months 1 week ago #557335 by Rocer
I have 2 X two month old Highland Bull Calves that I need to get ringed or sliced - I tried on the weekend in our race, however, it would seem they are not so keen on the idea. After plenty of noise, kicks, and head-buts, I thought I would ask if anyone knew if there were any places in Rodney District/Warkworth/Wellsford that hired out proper yards with a crush?
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3 months 1 week ago #557340 by LongRidge
Legally at 2 months old you need a vet to give them pain relief. Also, is your ringer able to be opened wide enough to get both testicles in ? They will also need to be de-horned by a vet if they are ever to go alive on a truck when the horns are wider than the ears. Personally I would get a vet to do both jobs at the same time, as soon as possible.

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3 months 1 week ago #557341 by Carnie
Legally you don’t need a vet to do it until they’re 6 months.
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3 months 1 week ago #557343 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Yards for Calves to be Ringed
That's right Carnie - I've copied in the regulation below:

Rocer, even if you did get a vet they wouldn't be happy castrating animals who aren't properly confined. Is there any way you can improve your race by making a makeshift crush with gates? Or borrowing/leasing a portable crush/headbale? The problem is with m.bovis, BVD etc, people don't hire out yards as happily as they did in the past. Maybe ask your vet for advice - they will know all the tricks.

Castrating cattle beasts and sheep

(1) A person must not castrate a cattle beast or a sheep that is over 6 months of age unless throughout the procedure the animal is under the influence of pain relief that is authorised by a veterinarian for the purpose of the procedure.

(2) A person must not castrate a cattle beast or a sheep (of any age) using a high tension band unless throughout the procedure the animal is under the influence of pain relief that is authorised by a veterinarian for the purpose of the procedure.

(3) A person who castrates a cattle beast or a sheep must—
(a)be experienced with, or have received training in, the correct use of the method being used; and
(b)be able to recognise early signs of significant distress, injury, or ill-health so that the person can take prompt remedial action or seek advice.

(4) The owner of, and every person in charge of, a cattle beast or a sheep that is to be castrated must ensure that the health and welfare needs of the animal are met during the procedure and recovery, by ensuring that at all times a person is available who—
(a) has suitable equipment; and
(b) has the relevant knowledge, has received relevant training, or is under appropriate supervision.

(5) A person who fails to comply with subclause (1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a)in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $3,000; or
(b)in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $15,000.


Web Goddess

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3 months 6 days ago - 3 months 6 days ago #557348 by Jaybee
Could you put a gate lengthways in the race, tied at one end, then pull it across to confine them?

As others have said, it's difficult to get calves that size ringed because the testicles have grown too large. If you only manage to get one trapped in the ring you end up with a rig, you definitely don't want that. I believe the animal welfare regulations say they should be ringed at less than one week of age also.

Edit to add - at this stage I think it's a vet job, they can sedate them if the yards aren't up to scratch.
Last edit: 3 months 6 days ago by Jaybee.
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3 months 6 days ago #557349 by Stikkibeek
Age for ringing can be variable. I wouldn't attempt to do a calf at 1 week. Many of them are very able at pulling one or both testicles back into the abdomen at that age, and this is highly likely to miss one and end up with a rig. I have done calves as late as 4 months with no issue, but you need the other sort of bands for them. (Those thick straight sided type. ) They are gentle compared to the thin bands, and all calves I have left that long, had no issues with pain and went about their day with no signs of stress. The important thing is to take your time and make sure both testicles are caught, and that the band is above both, but not too high up either. If you can contain a calf in a pen that is able to be tightened against them and can hold a britchin' rail behind them, there will be a lot less risk of being kicked.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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3 months 6 days ago #557351 by Rocer
Replied by Rocer on topic Yards for Calves to be Ringed
they are highland cattle and do not need to be de horned - also i do not believe they are required to be ringed before 6 months before a vet is included... but thanks

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3 months 6 days ago #557352 by Rocer
Replied by Rocer on topic Yards for Calves to be Ringed
they are highland cattle and do not need to be de horned - also i do not believe they are required to be ringed before 6 months before a vet is included... but thanks

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3 months 6 days ago #557353 by Rocer
Replied by Rocer on topic Yards for Calves to be Ringed
thanks Kate - i think you are right as it seems it is difficult to rent/acquire yards that have such facilities... i tried a makeshift structure, however i just wanted to know if there was something available locally more structured that would be friendlier for the two calves... i will obviously get a vet once i find a suitable structure to be involved

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3 months 6 days ago #557354 by Rocer
Replied by Rocer on topic Yards for Calves to be Ringed
thanks - helpful

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3 months 6 days ago #557355 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Yards for Calves to be Ringed
How wide is your race? We just stand two calves side by side in the race and I hold the tail up while partner puts the ring on. I suppose if you're not accustomed to doing the actual ring placing, it might be a bit trickier. Sometimes I've got in and provided a bit more wedging to keep a calf standing where we want it. It all depends how big the testes are and in my experience, not too big by that age, generally speaking.

I had a cryptorchid calf done by a vet a few years ago, knocked him down with some sedative, did the job lying on the ground. Otherwise they've all been done standing in the race. Just be careful not to get a kick to the head if you give one of them a fright.

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3 months 5 days ago #557356 by LongRidge
Please yourself with the dehorning but I very, very, very strongly recommend it. Cattle play games with their heads. They push and bash each other, and other species, even if they do not have horns. I have a couple of breeding cows that push me out of the way when I am feeding out. They sneak up behind me and push me out of their way. If they had horns they would have impaled me by now, but fortunately have only bruised me a bit so far. We once had Highlands which learnt that fences are where they are to be jumped over. The neighbours got upset about our escaping cattle. Fortunately they could go on their overseas experience immediately because they had no horns that needed to be removed before they could go. It would have been extremely difficult to fit 2 steers into our freezers at the same time. It is absolutely illegal to sell dead cattle privately.

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3 months 5 days ago #557357 by Jaybee
Yes, I was mistaken. It is in the UK that it's illegal to put a band on calves over 1 week of age... the farmers there were using that example to show our animal welfare standards are not as good as theirs.

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3 months 3 days ago #557360 by jeannielea
Longridge my experience of Highlanders are that they do not use their horns aggressively unless they feel threatened. Many times we have watched them and they will push with the horns sideways but using the points is very unlikely. They need to know who is boss but that's their normal cattle behaviour anyway. So if they are treated well and know you are in charge they are very docile. They also know if you are scared of them and again will seek to try and be boss. Jumping fences is also unusual because they are very adept at opening gates so they don't need to jump - though I guess most bulls will jump if they are desperate for female company! Its recommended to put 6inch nails above gate hinges but some learn to use their tongues to lift the ring on the latch so tying it (the gate not the beast!)to the post has to be done. We sometimes had to stop truck drivers using a prod and found the cattle will move up a race once they have figured out how not to get their horns caught in the rails. We also had other experiences which taught us about how they act and react and they are too intelligent just to crash and bash people at will.

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3 months 3 days ago #557361 by Jaybee
The problem with horns is that the works won't accept them unless the end tip of the horn doesn't extend outside the width of the ears. The other problem is that they can't be transported if the horns could be a danger to other stock on the truck, which normally means paying extra to have them ride alone in a compartment.
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