Ever had a goat get it's horn knocked loose?? - Homesteading Today
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Old 03/10/08, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 641
Ever had a goat get it's horn knocked loose??

I have a doe, waiting to kid, out in the barn. I noticed she didn't go to the feed a week or so ago. I went over and grabbed her by the horn like I normally would. She screamed and ran away frantically. OK, that isn't like her. I hurt her somehow. So, husband and I examine her and realize that her horn is loose from her head and is oozing. Yuck!! I can't believe I grabbed it!! Poor girl. No wonder she screamed!! My husband about died....he doesn't have a strong stomach. I have no idea if she got stuck in the fence, was fighting or what. Regardless of what caused it, she now has a loose horn that is pushed into an abnormal position. I had to give her Probios and Banamine for a few days plus removed her from the other goats to prevent any head butting. My question to you is this.....Have you ever had this happen to one of your goats? Do you think she'll lose the horn eventually? It looks kind of floppy but is still well attached to her head. She's ready to kid now and could be kidding as we speak. Poor thing. I hate that she has to go through that on top of having babies.
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Old 03/10/08, 01:48 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hill Country, Texas
Posts: 4,649
Vet removed it for me. It may abscess if you don't have it worked on.
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Old 03/10/08, 07:00 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 186
broken horn

wrap it with some soft cloth put a small amount of bleach not enough for it to go inside her brain , let it get soft for a day to two then with the both of you working CUT the rest of the horn off PACK the hole with something to keep dirt and BUG out it will BNY itself close up and just be fine
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Old 03/10/08, 07:02 AM
Rockytopsis's Avatar
A & N Lazy Pond Farm
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: East Tennessee
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In her condition I think I would contact a Vet.
A small Goat farm in East Tennessee
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Old 03/10/08, 09:33 AM
BethW's Avatar
My kids have hooves
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Virginia
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Originally Posted by Rockytopsis View Post
In her condition I think I would contact a Vet.
Agreed. She also needs a tetanus shot.
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Old 03/12/08, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 641
She is on the verge of kidding. I can't do alot in the way of stressing her more right now. I should wait until she kids I think.
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Old 03/12/08, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 46
I have dehorned goats using the rubber band method and I know that loosing a horn can be VERY stress full on a goat and the goat can lose a lot of blood and it can be very hard to stop the bleeding. If your goat is very close to kidding, I would recommend you wait until after she kids before you remove her horn.

Just my two cents.
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Old 03/12/08, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,107
I would recommend maybe apply vet wrap around it to stabilize it until after she kids. Once she has kidded and the kids get their colostrum, then either remove it yourself or have it removed by the vet. If you do it yourself remember you have to cauterize it as you remove it, or immediately following removal.

After it is removed, here is what I do..I take some ace bandage or vet wrap and make a thick bandage to fit over the horn (I always have both removed so it goes across the top of the head) then I use super glue and put it on the outside edges of the bandage..careful NOT to get it where it will come in contact with the open wound. Once that is in place I then take the vet wrap and wrap it around the goats head (like you see on tv when someone has a tooth ache) and then I super glue that in place. Now I don't use a lot of super glue, just enough to hold it. (Vet showed me how to do this). Then, when the bandages fall it, it has been on long enough that the wound has healed sufficiently they can go with out it. Usually about 3 weeks. This keeps it cushioned so when the head butt and they will..it doesn't hurt as much and keeps bugs out as the horn cavitiy goes to the sinus cavity and that stays clean. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03/12/08, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,107
Oh yeah, I forgot...the vet always puts a piece of duct tape over the holes (especially if the sinus cavity is open) before putting the bandages on.

If the disbudding doesn't take on some of our bucks, I always have them dehorned by the vet. I've had to do this 3 times.
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Old 03/12/08, 03:25 PM
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mostly LaManchas
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oregon
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Some goats have a HUGE horn base and some very small. I would expect larger horns to have a larger opening into the skull. I would contact vet now, just to get their perspective and perhaps make an appointment for after kidding. Poor thing. I know some people really believe in not dis-budding, but I am never sorry that I do. I hope it goes well for you and her. (hugs, and poor dh, lol.)
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Old 03/12/08, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: northern Idaho
Posts: 118
We once bought a Saanen buck that had been disbudded improperly so that the horns grew curled instead of curved straight back. The first time he got a horn stuck around a wire fence and pulled the horn off it was no big deal. The top of the horn just fell off and grew back. Not long afterwards though he pulled off his other horn the same way. I walked into our barn to see blood everywhere, all other the stall walls and his face. We wrapped a cloth around him and when the bleeding didn't stop took him to the vet. She cleaned it up and burned the horn bud that was left. It grew back a little, but is just a hard bump.

If I were you I'd take her to a vet. That way you will know for sure that she won't have any more problems or loose too much fluids/blood.
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Old 03/12/08, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 2,174
We had a market buck whose horn was loose when I grabbed it. This is why I don't consider horns handles....because of that experience with that buckling.
I think we may have squirted his horn with mastitis tube....he ended up going for slaughter in the Fall anyways.
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Old 03/12/08, 08:05 PM
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Location: NC
Posts: 735
Ever had a goat get it's horn knocked loose?? - Goats

The horn is formed over the cornual process, a bony core that projects from the fronta bone of the skull. The corium of the horn completely envelops the cornual process and blends wit it's periosteum. The horn iself consists of dense keratin much like the hoof wall and elongates from the base.

When dehorning the an adult animal the entire corium and cornual process must be removed along with the horn epidermis and a small amount of adjacent skin to ennsure complete dehorning.

Image from and text copied from this web site.

When a goat breaks a horn off ,some or all of the corium and cornual process remain and the horn will regrow. It will be painful with these areas exposed.

If a goat breaks off a horn it is not the same as being dehorned. I had a buck break a horn off. There is a soild inner core with a spongy pink covering to the horn. The exposed tissues were painful I guess it would be like having the nerve of you tooth being exposed. The horn did regrow.
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Old 03/13/08, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central Indiana
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TwoAcresAndAGoat - Did you cover the inner horn tissue with something while it was growing back or just put him alone while he recovered?

We are trying to decide on dehorning our kids this year. My husband likes the look of the Boer goat WITH horns and I agree there. However, we have a goat that was getting over a worm load and doing pretty well until she got stuck in the fence this winter and was sitting there for possibly 1 1/2-2 days before I found her (she was stuck in the round bale cattle panels so I didn't think anything of it at first...thought she was eating). Well, she got in really bad shape from that from the stress probably. Then she got stuck again and trying to hang herself. I have been treating her with B Vitamins, Probios and Red Cell for a while now. She is hanging around but looks terrible. So, horns are, in my opinion, a hinderance for fenced goats. If all our patures were fenced with the small holed fencing, it would be nice. However, you have to use cattle panels, around a round bale, that they can fit their heads through. I'm trying to decide. I need to decide soon as we now have 5 kids on the ground and more coming!! I'll most likely call the vet. This is one of our better goats and I don't feel to comfortable trying to pull the horn myself. I guess I'll just eat a vet bill. Thanks guys....for your help.
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Old 03/13/08, 09:56 AM
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mostly LaManchas
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,004
When thinking of wether or not to disbud, I always think of what will happen to them when I sell them. If someone else doesn't want horns, then they may try to de-horn. I have never seen a de-horning go well at all. That is my opinion for sure, I know some people think that banding to de-horn works, but I saw it go so nasty and painful. I just feel better for the health and safety of the goat, from fences, injury and people, to just dis-bud as babies. It hardly phases them when they are kids.
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Old 03/14/08, 09:58 AM
TwoAcresAndAGoat's Avatar  
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Location: NC
Posts: 735
"TwoAcresAndAGoat - Did you cover the inner horn tissue with something while it was growing back or just put him alone while he recovered?"

I just left him by himself in a 10 x 10 stall. It took a while for it to grow back I can't remember exactly how long but it was months. I don't own him any longer sold him to a friend as a brush goat. His breeding wasn't very good.
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Old 03/14/08, 01:45 PM
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Cashmere goats
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Location: CO
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I had a goat get her horn knocked just like you are saying. I would wait until she has kidded, then I would take her tot he Vet. It is a very nasty thing and it would be by far better for the vet to do it. When we did the goat was pretty young, and he took the horn "shell off", and wrapped it really good. He told me to leave it until it falls off on its own.
Good Luck
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Old 06/19/08, 02:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 5
When the vet takes the horns off do they have alot of pain? My baby is screaming and crying. Her nose is bleeding a little too. I don't think I could do this again. The crying wears me out. I am the only mommy she has ever known. When my husband gave her to me she still had her umbillical cord attached. Now she is so tired from crying she is just kind of wimpering.
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Old 06/19/08, 03:00 PM
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Location: In the Exodus
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I had one of my goats pull her horn shell loose. She bled a little but oozed for about a week. I didn't do anything about it but watch and she healed just fine in about 2-3 weeks on her own.

Goats in the wild lose horns pretty regularly. Goats wouldn't make it as a species if they didn't have a certain resistance to problems caused by break/losing a horn.
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Old 06/19/08, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Greensburg, Pennsylvania
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I would call the vet. When my vet disbudded my buckling he said he wanted to know right away if there was any bleeding from the mouth, nose or ears.
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