sheep

Tail-Docking and Castration

Lambs should be tail-docked and castrated at about 7 to 10 days of age. There is less bleeding and lambs heal more quickly when these operations are done at an early age. Elastrator rings may be used, but they are painful and there is a greater likelihood of tetanus. A pocket knife, emasculator, or burdizzo is very effective.

Cut off tails about 1 inch from the body. A good place is at the end of the caudal folds on the underside of the tail. Push the skin on the tail toward the body before cutting to allow enough loose skin to cover the end of the stub. If tetanus is a problem, vaccinate the lambs for this disease. (Your county Extension agent has more detailed instructions for these operations.)