TOOL

The Burdizzo® Emasculatone 9

Price: $45.95

FEATURES:

  • Comes in a variety of handy sizes
  • Non-slip molded plastic handles
  • Wide opening clamp

The Burdizzo Emasculatone is an elegant little tool especially suited to crushing the spermatic cords of a variety of male mammals. It really helps to make a neat job of what would otherwise be an unpleasantly messy endeavor, and the Burdizzo achieves the goal of bloodless castration admirably.

When you need to castrate an animal, you have many options. You can use a small, sharp knife, for example, and have a friend hold the animal so that its testicles are exposed and you can be sure that it won’t move around too much. Then you can use your knife to make an incision through which the testicles, separated from the spermatic cords, can be removed.

There is also something called an elastrator, a tool that positions a rubber band tightly around the scrotum of the animal. Not long after the band is applied, the testicles will dry up and you are all set.

Yes, there are other tools, but by the far the best one is the Burdizzo Emasculatone. It is relatively painless and it lessens the possibility of infection since there is no open wound for parasites to move into. In fact, the Burdizzo never even breaks the skin.

To use, you need one animal (preferably young) and a Burdizzo of the rightsize. While the 9” and 12” models are good for rabbits, goats and sheep, for cattle and horses you’re going to want the bigger sizes.

Make sure that the Burdizzo is working properly before you begin. A “sprung Burdizzo” (one that does not close completely) will not successfully neuter your animal.

Have a friend restrain the animal and find the spermatic cords. They will be about the thickness of a pencil and there will be one leading to each testicle. Choose a side and position the Burdizzo so that it completely covers one side of the upper scrotum and one of the spermatic cords. Clamp down and count to ten or twenty. Then repeat with the other side. You should pay careful attention to the site for the next few days to make sure the castration has been successful. If your animal is successfully neutered, the testicles will be reabsorbed into the body, and along with them the animal’s chances of procreating or creating awkward and embarrassing situations in the barnyard.

You must be very careful to keep everything clean and, if you are using the surgical castration method, to perform the job outside of fly season. Remember: “Sloppy castration means lower profits.” (North Carolina Cooperative Extension.)

We know that the Burdizzo is excellent at the task for which it was designed, but it has a surprising variety of other uses around the home. It is quite easily adapted to making ravioli, for example, and produces a lovely crimp at the edge of the pasta. The 9” Burdizzo is perhaps the most efficient at this job, though for making outsized ravioli the 12” or even the 14” Emasculatone would do nicely. The Burdizzo is also about right for cracking either lobster shells or nuts. (N.B.: Great care was taken to avoid this particular reference, however, it really is quite skilled at breaking open all variety of tree nuts, including pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts.) People who find the pseudo-military dress, too-toothy grin, and balletic implications of the traditional holiday nutcracker man disturbing may want to replace him with a Burdizzo.

One of the beautiful things about the Burdizzo is the way in which it crushes without cutting. Just think of all the things around the house that you might like to crush. For example, we are told that it is best to crush the stems of many varieties of cut flowers before putting them in water. This is supposed to make our flower arrangements last longer. The Burdizzo makes this an easy task.

—Sarah Stewart Taylor

Sarah Stewart Taylor is a freelance journalist in Vermont. Her first novel, a mystery about an art historian who studies gravestones, will be published in June by St. Martin’s Press.

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