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Castration facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Castration is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which a male loses the functions of the testes or a female loses the functions of the ovaries.

Castration in veterinary practice

Castration is commonly performed on domestic animals not intended for breeding. Domestic animals are usually castrated in order to avoid unwanted or uncontrolled reproduction; to reduce or prevent other ways of sexual behaviour such as territorial behaviour or aggression (like fighting between groups of uncastrated males of a species); or to reduce other consequences of sexual behaviour that may make animal husbandry more difficult, such as fence destruction when animals try to get to nearby females of the species.

Male horses are usually castrated, because stallions are rather aggressive. The same applies to male mules, although they are sterile. Male cattle are castrated to improve docility for use as oxen.

A specialized vocabulary has arisen for neutered animals of given species:

  • Barrow (pig)
  • Capon (chicken)
  • Dinmont (sheep, goat)
  • Gelding (horse)
  • Gib (cat, ferret)
  • Havier (deer)
  • Lapin (rabbit)
  • Steer (cattle)
  • Wether (sheep, goat)
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Castration Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.