We use the heated cauterizing "plyer types"; they are umbilical cord piglet cutters. This year for the first year we had a significant joint ill problem, Our lambs are generally born outside in April (sometimes can be sloppy), brought in for a day to bond, hardening pen for 1 or 2 days and back outside.
The tails are done between 12 and 48 hours old depending on the business of life...We rarely have any bleeding, have never had fly strike, the babies are up and drinking immediately after docking.
Downsides, definately 2 person job, cut too fast, bleeding, cut too slow, lamb bbq smell (maybe not a downside
But this year, we probably had about 25 out of 175 RideauXDorset or RideauXIll d'france lambs with joint ill; Not a single hair sheep out of about 50 (DorpX Croix) has had a problem. all ewes were vacinated 2-4 weeks before with Tasvax 8
My scottish neighbour with about 400 ewes uses both the bradizzo (sp?) or banding. None are castrated. They had had joint ill issues using the bradizzo/knife in muddy lambing times. Our vet thinks it was a combination of the wet weather these lambs were born in and potentially the use of the heated cutter. My experience...any comments??