Castration of beef calves
The purpose of castrating calves is to reduce the production of male hormones so that males become calmer. The implications of castrating calves for meat production are biological, managerial, veterinary and impact the quantity and quality of meat. Thus, sperm production stops in males, there is no risk of fertilization, males can be kept on pasture or in the stable with cows, which greatly reduces housing costs and worker safety is much higher. Also, males are less aggressive, all the energy accumulated through food is used for meat production. Due to the lack of testosterone, the meat is more tender, the animals do not move much and the muscle fiber is not very strong, which is appreciated by consumers.
The most effective method of castration is the non-surgical one by using the elastrator, a special tool that has the role of applying a rubber ring over the upper part of the testicles (~ 0.5 cm), not at the base of the scrotum. By this method, castration is done in the first weeks of life (maximum 3 weeks) to avoid complications. As the animal gets older, there is a risk that the method will not be effective and that complications will occur. If the elastic band is not applied properly, there is a risk of infections. This method has the advantage that there are no open wounds exposed to the septic environment, which require the consumption of antibiotics.