Chen, Y.-A., Chen, J.-Y., Chen, W.-Q. et al. 2022. Effects of castration age on the growth performance of Nubian crossbred male goats. Animals 12(24), 3516.

To determine the optimal timing for performing castration on goats, eighteen male Nubian crossbred goats were randomly assigned to two groups and castrated at 3 months and 6 months of age, respectively. Daily dry matter intake, biweekly body weights, and ultrasonic measurements of longissimus dorsi muscle growth were recorded. Results indicated that there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the blood parameter analysis (except testosterone, 0.36 ± 0.26 vs. 3.61 ± 0.27 ng/mL at 25 weeks old), economic analysis, and growth performance, including final body weight, total weight gain, average daily gain, total dry-matter intake, and feed conversion ratio (p > 0.05). However, the longissimus dorsi muscle depth of goats castrated at 6 months of age was significantly higher than that of goats castrated at 3 months of age. In conclusion, castration timing does not have a significant effect on the growth performance of goats; therefore, castrating goats at 3 months of age may be the best practice considering animal welfare and possible risks associated with late castration.

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