UGVS Newsletter – April 2023

April 14, 2023

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Lamb and Kid Processing

By: Dr. Megan Jamieson

Spring is finally upon us, and our small ruminant producers have welcomed many new lambs and kids into the world! As babies continue to be born, we thought it would be a great time to review some concepts regarding lamb and kid processing.

Tail Docking Lambs:

  • Lamb and Kid ProcessingIf lambs are being tail docked, we highly recommend doing this before 1 week of age.
  • If banding tails with a rubber ring, appropriate pain control should be used – injectable Metacam or oral meloxicam are good options.
  • It is currently recommended to dock tails no shorter than the distal end of the caudal fold or so that the tail covers the vulva and the equivalent length for rams.
  • Rubber rings should not be used for tail docking lambs older than 6 weeks of age.
    • Older lambs can have their tails surgically docked by a veterinarian.


  • Castration can be done via rubber rings, Burdizzo clamp, or surgical.
  • Castration with rubber rings is highly recommended to be done before 1 week of age.
  • Appropriate pain control should be used (injectable Metacam or oral meloxicam).
    • Local anesthetic can also be administered into the testicles and spermatic cord for additional pain control.
  • It is highly recommended to administer tasvax at the time of banding to protect against tetanus.
  • Surgical castration by a veterinarian is recommended for lambs and kids older than 12 weeks of age.

Disbudding Goat Kids:

  • Hot iron disbudding is the only acceptable method of disbudding goats.
  • Disbudding should be performed no later than 21 days of age (horn bud attachment to the skull can occur anywhere from 7-21 days of age).
  • Appropriate pain control should be used (injectable Metacam or oral meloxicam).
    • Sedation +/- diluted local anesthesia is highly recommended for additional pain control.
  • Goat kids have very thin skulls. The iron must not be held on the head for longer than 10 seconds at a time. If needing additional burning time, wait for the area to cool or use icepacks on the area before attempting to burn again.

Please Join Us in Welcoming Two New Client Care Representatives!

This year has been a busy one already and our UGVS Team is growing again! Primarily in our Arthur location we are welcoming Teresa and Rachelle to our Administration Team. We are very excited to have Rachelle and Teresa joining our team and we can’t wait for you to meet them!

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7707 Mill Rd., Guelph ON N1H 6J1
7643 ON-6, Arthur, ON N0G 1A0
1139 Settlers Rd., Sheffield ON L0R 1Z0

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