There was surprisingly little reaction from the calves when the bands were applied. None of them kicked or even flinched that much or vocalized at all. In fact, the calves tended to react more to the two injections that they received than the application of the bands. After they were released from the squeeze, they showed pretty much normal behaviors. A few of them switched their tails a bit more than normal, and one or two laid down which would indicate some discomfort, but the rest acted very normal — grazing, doing some head butting, etc. After they were returned to pasture, again they acted completely normal and spent time grazing, drinking, etc. One or two were seen to lay down for a 15 or 20 minutes, but were soon up on their feet and following the rest of the herd. This may or may not be an indicator of pain or discomfort, since they will frequently lay down during the day under normal circumstances.

I would say that this procedure was remarkably calm and low stress, both for the calves and the operators. You can see in the pictures that the person applying the band was in the squeeze behind the calves and afterwards, he remarked that he did not feel threatened or in any danger whatsoever. I have personally castrated hundreds of young bulls by knife method and can confidently say that applying the bands was markedly less painful based on their behaviors. When doing knife or open castration, you would expect them to flinch and jump and kick quite often and vocalize frequently. This is stressful for both the bull and the operator, and I have been kicked more times than I want to recall doing knife castrations. Of course, there is no bleeding with the bander system and greatly reduced risk of infections and fly strike problems.

Terry Church, DVM

Canada

If you’ve got animals with good carcass traits, leave them intact as long as possible to take advantage of performance.

Dale ZoBell

Utah State Extension Beef Specialist

On delayed castration: “You pick up the extra weight, and you have a more muscular, slimmer calf that isn’t carrying a lot of extra flesh at weaning. When I background them, they just keep growing. A bull calf will be in a body condition that is more advantageous for weight gain than a steer. In my program, I go to rye pasture with them, and you can just about see them grow. I’ve had two or three neighbors tell me they thought their calves stayed healthier and more athletic. They swear they don’t have fall pneumonia in their bull calves like they used to, thanks to delayed castration.”

Tom Hendrix, Colorado

The Callicrate Banding system is a great asset to our operation! The Callicrate cutter is great for removing old ear tags, in addition to cutting the loops. 

Gary, Marion, Virginia

Dear Rachel:

I wanted to report back to you the awesome experience we have had using the Callicrate Bander on our Meat Goat Farm. Your devise has allowed us to extend the growth time of our Bucks before banding, thereby increasing our overall yield. We weigh every 30 days and found a remarkable ADG from our previous year, same genetics, so we knew it had to be credited to delayed banding.

We have found the instructions easy to follow and the instrument extremely user friendly! We have recommended it to all of our Goat Friends. We strongly recommend the Callicrate Bander over all other products we have used.

Thank you for making our job easier and more profitable! The tool has paid for itself!!

Sincerely,

Billy’s Boer Meat Goat Farm, LLC, South Carolina

_____________________________

Billy’s Boer Meat Goat Farm Testimonial …

We have experimented with different ages and stages of goat (meat) and, I can say for certain that if folks are given “Bucky” meat, they will not ever want to eat goat again. We went to 3 farmer’s markets a week all last season, giving out cooked samples, recipe books and selling our USDA processed meat and I could write a whole article on what we learned during those months. If producers want to appeal to the main stream health conscientious Americans, they must offer them a mild and tender product.

The milder more tender meat is from the “wethered” goats, and by being able to wait until they are around 5 months of age to band them, we get a better growth rate without the bad smell and sour taste. Then, they can continue to graze with the rest of the Doe herd through the months until they reach the optimum size for processing, which is for us at 100 to 130 lbs. and they can reach this by 1 year or less depending on when they are banded along with genetic composition, and feed.

Folks want ~~

Local – Natural – Hormone Free – Grass Fed – Humanely Raised

Billy’s Boer Meat Goat Farm, LLC

We like it a lot because it has a low complication rate, and that’s a real plus. We can teach people to use it very effectively and feel comfortable about it. It’s a great tool. It’s just a little easier and quicker to use than any other banding tools on the market, which is important, especially when you are doing a large number of animals. It works on any size of animal and anybody can use it. That’s the bottom line. The company also has a very good service program. If there’s something wrong, you can send it back, and they will fix it up for you.

Lynn Locatelli, DVM

We usually try to get the calves started on feed and then I band them and it doesn’t slow them up a bit. I band some pretty big bulls, too, and they never miss a feeding. I do everything myself, and it’s nice to be able to run them through the chute. I don’t have to wrangle them at the stage when they are hard to wrangle. I leave my own bull calves intact to about 600 pounds, which means they stay healthier and perform better.

Dan Fields, Kansas

Placing a high-tension band on the scrotum appears to generate a more localized immune response than surgical castration. And, if done properly, (banding) doesn’t result in any apparent depression of the animal’s appetite or rate of gain. At weaning, banded calves are typically 20 lbs. heavier than those that are surgically castrated. The surgically castrated calves will catch up, but they need more days on feed to do it.”

On elastrator rings put on at birth: “I think it affects the animal’s growth. Testosterone is a muscle builder, so when you take that away, it could limit performance.”

“The bottom line is that high-tension banding is faster, easier and less traumatic for the animal than surgical castration. Even if it didn’t return an extra 10-20 lbs at weaning, it would still be a great benefit to animal managers.

Matt Sween, University of California

Davis Animal Science Department

The bands do a great job removing even big old three inch diameter horns on 10 year old cows. It will take two months, but there will be no hole in their sinus and other than the tender horns the last month, no discomfort or pain for the cow. I’m real happy with the results.

I was skeptical about late castration not interrupting rate of gain on the calves.  Since I weigh my animals every time they go through the chute, I checked that out – the gains continued in the month following banding right on track.  You can’t do that with surgical castration.

Tom Reese, California

On utilizing banding for castrating older bulls: “Banding has proven to be an outstanding alternative in that situation to knife castration. With surgical castration we had a rate of 8-9 percent complications with 1-2 percent of those being severe. With banding, we have few problems.

Dee Griffin, DVM

University of Nebraska Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center

For purebred producers, leaving bulls intact to heavier weights creates an opportunity to select bulls that may make good commercial cleanup bulls.”

“Anyone we have ever started banding their calves has liked it.

Ralph Miller, DVM, Montana

………… obtained a great deal of positive feedback from the many happy users who dropped in for a chat at the ProBeef booth.

John Griffin, Australia

I have had a Callicrate Bander for about four years. It has never failed me, and never failed to do its job on all size cattle I have used it on. It has been the best piece of equipment on my farm. I have yet to even change a pull string.

Kenneth Newton, Collins, Missouri

We started using the bander in September of 2004, and I was a little leary. Well, 5,000 head later, NOT ONE PROBLEM!

My 82 yr old dad told me to switch from “sharp pocket knife and count to two”. I was skeptical – had used rubber rings and had a train wreck. The Callicrate Bander was phenomenal. 102 – 112 heat index and no problem. We use it on our cattle and on customer cattle. You can castrate from 200-1200 lbs., but we normally castrate at 575-675 lbs. A good option if raising ‘natural’ beef. Five or six of our customers have started using it. Thanks, Cheers!

George Chambers, Carrollton, Georgia

I bought a small group of five Jersey steers about six weeks ago. Three of them were banded with the normal green bands. I just lost one of the steers to an infection caused by the band. The green bands are all the same tightness and obviously the band was not tight enough and I lost a $500 steer. This has never happened to me with the Callicrate Bander because the tightness is always perfect. The risk of infection with the Callicrate bander is negligible because blood supply is completely cut off.

The Callicrate bander is the cat’s meow when it comes to fixing prolapses on sheep. My vet used your bander yesterday to fix an anal prolapse on a lamb. It worked great!!!! Fixing a prolapse now becomes about the 65th thing your invention can do. I saved two lambs this year because of the bander. Thanks for making such a quality product. 

Jeffrey Goldwasser, Boscobel, Wisconsin

I love your banding system; there is no stress and they (cattle) don’t go off feed. At least, that has been how it has been when they are calves on the cows. This is my first experience banding older ones.

I was one of the first ones in this area to use the Callicrate bander and even introduced my vet to it. We used it for prolapses way before the big bands came out. Worked like a charm and my vet bought one of her own after borrowing mine. We have also used it for horn removal on older cattle. The horn usually falls off in about 3 weeks; bloodless!!

Robyn, Great Falls, Montana

We have the Callicrate Bander and love using it on our cattle. I can’t believe how easy it is and the cattle don’t seem to mind it at all. I am a firm believer. I’m still singing praises regarding the Callicrate Bander.

Peggy, Grants Pass, Oregon

Talked to you a while back about your bander being used on yearling ram lambs. You told me it would work and boy did it. Twenty eight days and they fell off.

Patrick, Lake Elsinore, California

Always happy to see how the calves handle the band so much easier than a knife cut.  Once turned out they don’t kick, don’t stop eating, and don’t seem to hardly notice at all.

Blair Hunewill, California

Allows our bull calves the opportunity to grow larger, increasing our bottom line!

Gary Roberts, Virginia

Love the banding system and the way cattle respond to it.  Did a lot by knife and won’t again unless asked for by the client. Your system allows a more rapid gain after castration and no complications from what I’ve seen. I have done about 100 or so by knife and about 200 by Callicrate and you guy’s rock out bar none.

From a 2011 email

I have a Callicrate Bander that I have used very frequently and for numerous procedures throughout the past 7 years or so.  It is a great tool and it has served me well.

Minnesota veterinarian

Thank you very much for your help and prompt replies.  You have a great product and even better customer service.  Keep up the good work!

Email from a veterinarian

We cut 8-10 month old calves for three years.  They would always lay around for a full day and a half looking not comfortable.  We have used the Callicrate Bander for 16 years now on 24 to 30 head each year.  They lay down in the corral waiting for the others to be done, but the minute they are let out on pasture they go to grazing as if nothing had happened.

Ireland Grass Fed rancher

For the past 25 years we have always cut, but the older we get the harder and stressful I find it to be.  The old banding practice had its faults, but I had been hearing about the Callicrate Bander and a fellow rancher used it on 200+ steers and loved it.  After watching videos and researching, we decided to try it.  The entire time my husband was using it, he kept saying ‘this is not going to work, it is way too easy”.  It is a bit pricy, but after this year’s try out, I can say it was definitely worth the money.  Everyone got a custom fit and not one calf seemed to notice it on.

Janet – Ireland

Thanks for your prompt service.  Don’t remember your service tech’s name, but he was great help.  I love the bander.  Thank you.

Gerry

Thank you so much for your generous sponsorship and donation.  We used our new Callicrate Bander the first time 2 weeks ago.  I can tell you, if they continue to do as good as they have so far, I will be your biggest fan!  I watched the video and practiced a time or two – and then went to work.  I kept thinking I was doing something wrong – it couldn’t be this fast and easy!  But it was!  Bulls were 300-850 lbs.  Thank you so much for your friendship and partnership with us in ministry.

Glenn, Cattle for Christ International

The bander is one of the best investments we ever made.  Much safer for the guy doing the castrating.  A neighbor borrowed it and was so pleased that he got one of his own.

Nancy Richey, South Dakota

I don’t mind a bit if you want to tell people what I think.  I do it all the time. My husband (the bander) is the one that brings up the safety issue.  It usually is followed with a story about one of the guys (and there have been quite a few) who has been slashed at a branding.  By working the bulls when they are bigger, the chute does the holding.  They can’t kick and you are not dependent on someone else being able to keep the animal under control.

Nancy Richey (tail controller and cutting tool holder)

Still love the bander.  We often talk about the safety factor of using the bands on yearling bulls.  No sharp blades, no kicking, no injuries (yet), no blood from either the bull or the man doing the job.  With both of us on the top end of middle age, it is by far the best way for us to get the bulls worked.

Nancy Richey, South Dakota

I talked with someone this weekend who brought the Callicrate up out of the blue giving it rave reviews….. I am becoming more and more convinced it is the right solution.  Thank you for all your help.  Ordering one today.

Tom Reese, Washington, is now our rep for Washington and Oregon!

Saturday, Dad and I were looking at our cattle and he said, “buying that bander was the best investment we’ve made in a long time.” Keep in mind Dad is 78 and the idea of being able to castrate large animals with that much ease is hard for him to comprehend. My brother and I work full time jobs and come back to the farm on weekends or days off and the Callicrate Bander is a tool that allows us to manage our farm more efficiently. Now, we can allow our bull calves the opportunity to grow larger and then castrate them, thus increasing our bottom line. Thanks for your speedy delivery of the items that I requested. I have used the Callicrate Bander and it does what your video and advertisements claim.

Gary, Marion, Virginia