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Livestock Castrations / Desexing
by Xenia Stavrinides

Livestock castrations are a regular practice among industrialized agricultural operations and this practice is also followed by most small family farms across America. Rainbow Ranch Farms is Castrate-Free.


There are several problems associated with livestock castrations, depending on which method is used; including altering the natural course of hormonal balance, maggot infestations, pain, atrophy, infections, blood loss and even death. The meat derived from castrated animals is not considered holistic or nutrient dense.


About 2-weeks prior to castrations male livestock are administered a Tetanus Toxoid shot and at the time of castration a Tetanus Antitoxin is administered along with a broad spectrum antibiotic and species-recommeneded full vaccine profile. Some producers castrate without ever administering a Tetanus shot (depending on age of animal)  and claim to never have health related issues with herds after castrations. This is a common practice used by Certified Organic farmers/ranchers too, as it is permitted by the National Organic Program (castration, vaccines, antibiotics).


There are several castration methods 

1. Banding

2. Surgical/Cutting

3. Chemical

4. Scrotum-Chord Pinching/Crushing


Livestock castrations are performed for a variety of reasons. From medical necessity to, market production/meat bulking. how to perform castrations


  • To remove a male from a breeding program due to poor or inferior production.

  • To meet the demand of more tender meat sales.

  • To stop the production of male hormones, which puts on more fat, faster.

  • Medical necessity


Some of the most unsubstantiated claims I have ever heard is that it makes the males less dangerous, easier to handle and castration prevents the meat from getting "TAINT". 

To improve animal welfare, in 2009 the Dutch pig sector agreed with the Declaration of Noordwijk on the ambition to ban castration of male piglets from 2015 onwards.

On EU-level the European Declaration on alternatives to surgical castration of male pigs of June 2010 proposes ending surgical castration of male piglets from 2018 onwards.

REF(1)Science Direct


Dr Darryl D’Souza of GM Research & Innovation at Australian Pork Limited explains Boar-Taint:

"Boar taint is a perspiration/urine and facecal like odour/flavour in pork from entire male pigs. The major compounds responsible for boar tainted pork are androstenone and skatole, and both compounds are accumulated in fat". 

Androstenone (5α-androst-16-en-3-one) is a steroidal pheromone naturally found found in boar's saliva. This is how these beautiful animals are born. This is how nature designed them and there is nothing wrong with them. In Fact, androstenone is found in the short chain fatty acids which are produced by the friendly gut bacteria. These short chain fatty acids may also play an important role in health and disease, as they may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other conditions. So you may not want to eat castrated hogs. 

Skatole  occurs naturally in feces (it is produced from tryptophan in the mammalian digestive tract). It is produced during the anoxic (oxygen deficiency) metabolism of L-tryptophan in the mammalian digestive tract. 


Farms with appropriate management, feeding and housing conditions have reduced levels of mounting and aggressive behaviour.NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences Volume 76, March 2016, Pages 29-41

Skatole is used by the U.S. military in its non-lethal weaponry; specifically, malodorants.

Skatole is also widely used in food, such as Vanilla Ice Cream, strawberry Ice Cream for flavor and fragrance agents in cosmetics perfumes, and cigarettes.


REF(2)Animal Sciences



Low testosterone and diminished sex drive is not always caused by aging!

Men are developing more and more health related issues which can be a result from testosterone loss and hormone imbalance.

Men with testosterone depleted diets sometimes force the body to produce higher amounts of testosterone and other male hormones to make-up for loss, develop stores and to help prevent future starvation.


About 95% of testosterone produced by men is produced by the testicles,  and the rest by the adrenal glands.  The body has a unique way of protecting itself from starvation (to a certain degree), by creating an emergency storage bank when it fears possible starvation. Testosterone imbalance manifests in the form of inflamed prostate, infertility, low sperm count, depression, high PSA readings, lack of interest, slow swimmers and this can lead to prostate cancer. 


"Zinc inhibits the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, so zinc deficiency increases DHT levels. Selenium protects the prostate from damage, while essential fatty acids decrease inflammation and swelling of the prostate". Reference



Infertility and early onset menopause is not always caused by aging!

Women are becoming more infertile than ever before, they are entering early menapause and what we are not told is that women require some amounts of testosterone too.

Testosterone mixed with other important hormones is also responsible for balancing moods, energy levels, libido, sex drive, and also helps regulate normal and healthy bodily functions.


Testosterone is part of the androgen hormone class and originates in your ovaries, the placenta (during pregnancy) and by the adrenal glands (smaller amounts). During puberty testosterone levels are very high, normally reaching a peak in the early to mid 20's. 


Infertility and early menopause are sometimes associated with a testosterone deficiency. When testosterone levels drop in women, they drop far more than the estrogen levels, which can manifest in general health problems, mood swings, lack of energy, depression and infertility.

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