Disbudding/Dehorning 'cruel' - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 07/12/09, 03:14 AM
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Disbudding/Dehorning 'cruel'

So I found this article online when I was searching for a disbudder. I thought it was pretty ridicolous I mean there was some validation to the dehorning, but telling me to not disbud my goat because of the "High risk of infection" I've never had a goat get an infection from a proper disbudding... in fact I have never even heard of one!

They said kids should "learn to respect the horn" what if it is one of the kids friends who hasn't been around goats before? What if he gets his eye poked out? What happens when I get sued because of it?

I'm ok with people saying dehorning is moderately "cruel" (although I am still going to do it, cuz it needs to be done) but come on! Disbudding too! I a mean even Fiasco agrees on this....

What do you think?

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  #2  
Old 07/12/09, 05:28 AM
 
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Many people with meat goat herds do not bother to disbud because the kids are "terminal" anyway. Most people with dairy goats do disbud because of possible injury to udders etc.
I think there is a lot more risk of infection etc. when an adult goat is de-horned (via banding, or however). We learned to disbud our kids this year and I am glad we did. Although we did get some scurs, next year will be better.
I also think that the disbudding preference varies country to country.

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  #3  
Old 07/12/09, 07:44 AM
 
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Just one more crackpot opinion. Soooo, disbudding is cruel, but killing a goat and eating it ISN'T?? What hooey! As for goats needing their horns for defense, not sure whether that's blatant ignorance or abject stupidity. Horns get caught in fences, injure other goats, injure people, but are absolutely no defence against dog packs or any large predator.

Madfarmer

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  #4  
Old 07/12/09, 07:54 AM
 
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I understand both sides of the fence here but..after having "been owed" by goats for over 30 years now..disbudding I think is necessary. Not only because of the injury we can received from the goats usually not intended, but with goats getting their heads and horns caught in fences etc. If done properly and with tetnaus given at the time of disbudding..the goats should be fine. Defending themselves against animals attacking them ?? I guess when you take an animal in to care for, that becomes your basic responsibility to make sure they are safely contained against wild animals. I understand the exceptions are out there also..but mostly we can prevent most animal injuries from wandering neighbors dogs and things like that. It is an endless discussion for both sides and you must figure out what is best for your animals and your homestead.

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  #5  
Old 07/12/09, 08:18 AM
 
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Personally, I think disbudding is the most traumatic, painful thing human beings can do to a goat. Now, having said that, there are many circumstances where you can make a very strong case for disbudding. I have a mostly meat herd, so I don't disubud, but every time I go to milk one of my wide-horned does, it's a pain in the butt to get her into the milk stand's stanchon. Just recently, someone posted a picture on another forum of a pygmy buck with horns that looked like foot long knives sticking straight up out of his head. Want that around a child? Want to trip on a kid/stump/frozen manure pile/etc. and fall on him?

"Cruel" is a loaded, judgemental term. Is disbudding painful? Yup. Is it traumatic for the kid? Yup? Is it necessary? Yup, sometimes it is. They do get over the pain and trauma remarkably quickly and if it's done properly, infection shouldn't be an issue.

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  #6  
Old 07/12/09, 09:07 AM
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I suppse that critters can learn to "respect the horn".

The part that would worry me is when goats get their horns caught in the fences. That can be a slow and ugly death.

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  #7  
Old 07/12/09, 09:24 AM
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there will always be people who think that any pain inflicted on an animal can't be justified. disbudding, castrating and even corrective hoof trimming etc.....can be or is painful. yet we do these things for our own safety as well as the animals and yes we do them out of convenience for us often and that is ok too. cruelty in my opinion is inflicting pain, terror or neglect on an animal for no reason other than laziness or perverted sense of entertainment. it is certainly not cruel to purposely and professionaly conduct a procedure that has clear benefits for both the animal and people involved even if it happens to be painful.

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  #8  
Old 07/12/09, 10:14 AM
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Well......all I have to do is know who wrote it. That woman and I went round and round for years when I used to be a member of her yahoo group. She has a few valid points.......but mostly, hooey!

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  #9  
Old 07/12/09, 06:12 PM
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OK so I had to go look of the definition of cruel

1. willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.
YES for this one in others can mean nonhumans. I do not doubt that the kids are in pain during disbudding and that I am the cuase of it. Of course right after I turn them loose with their mothers or the other bottle babies they seem to have forgotten about it.

2. enjoying the pain or distress of others: the cruel spectators of the gladiatorial contests.
NO - I do not enjoy disbudding but it needs to be done.

3. causing or marked by great pain or distress: a cruel remark; a cruel affliction.
NO I am pretty sure the goats don't mind it when I call them names like hornless wonder.

4. rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.
YES - if you are not rigid, stern, strict and unrelentingly severe with goats they can walk all over you and push your around.

So its 2 to 2.

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  #10  
Old 07/12/09, 06:22 PM
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pah! disbudding is necessary! for the safety of themselves, herd mates and myself! some people.......
thats also why I bottle feed, is because i dont test enough to ensure that moms milk is safe for kid to drink unpasteurized. many people think its cruel until i explain its about safety...

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  #11  
Old 07/12/09, 06:40 PM
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i like their horns.
maybe a little dangerous
but so is a dog-
no one has their dog's teeth pulled.

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  #12  
Old 07/12/09, 06:44 PM
 
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We had some 2mo old Boers dehorned for FFA customers. (had we known when kids were born they would have been disbudded)
It was ugly but the 4 legged kids did fine. I didnt fair so well during the procedure & Im not weak stomached.
Disbudding as said earlier professionally, by that I mean someone who knows how to.
Oh gee you'd think they were dying when I have to vac. Guess Im cruel.

I saw that pic of horns sticking straight up. I wouldnt want that around here but thats my preference.
It is also my preference to leave horns on. Boers have horns that gently curve backwards & they are quite dignified.
As for children, my grandson was in the pen with me when I noticed one doe moving her head slightly in a menacing manner when he got a little too close for her comfort. Told GS to stay clear of her.
She had done that once before when an older human kid was in the pen with me.
I have a law around here. No one goes in the goat pen without me.

You have to have the fencing for it & you have to know the temperment of the breed and that one individual.
The disbud or not to disbud issue has been around for awhile but its not cruel its either common sense and/or rountinely done mostly within the dairy industry.

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  #13  
Old 07/12/09, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillly View Post
i like their horns.
maybe a little dangerous
but so is a dog-
no one has their dog's teeth pulled.
Well dogs don't usually accidentally bite people, or get their teeth stuck in fences either...
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  #14  
Old 07/13/09, 11:54 AM
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dogs kill more people, esp. children, than goats do.

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  #15  
Old 07/13/09, 12:10 PM
 
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Disbudding, if done correctly, cauterizes the area, which minimizes chance of infection.

I have seen two infected horn buds but both happened well after the disbudding, right before or after the healing scab cap fell off. One was on a kid I purchased, another was on a kid born here at my place this spring. Probably this was caused by the kid scratching the cap (either with a dirty hoof or rubbing on a dirty wall). One was easy to clear up with topical applications. The other one was very persistent! In addition to scrubbing and using topical treatments, I put the kid on 10 days of PenG and still didn't see a whole lot of improvement. Finally I left it alone and it seems better. She never developed a fever or seemed off in any way but every time I checked it, you could squish a good bit of pus out from under the scab. Ewwww!

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  #16  
Old 07/13/09, 01:28 PM
 
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WOW...I don't believe most of you read the article at all...almost seems like a game a telephone.

She said........... "De-horning goats is just plain cruel. De-horning describes the process of cutting off horns that have already grown to significant size. Horns have an extensive blood supply running through them. Below the horns, in the skull, are large sinus cavities. Removing horns down to their base exposes the inside of the goat's head to serious infection. The very best one can hope for in such a procedure is that the goat is going to have a king-sized headache for many hours. When goats are dehorned, death from shock or infection is a definite possibility.

She gave reasons for disbudding...which seem valid.

Disbudding is not de-horning

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  #17  
Old 07/13/09, 01:46 PM
 
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Smile

I believe thats the reason we were discussing both, to differentiate between the two for anyone not familier.
And there are folks that think even disbudding is cruel.

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  #18  
Old 07/13/09, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mylala View Post
WOW...I don't believe most of you read the article at all...almost seems like a game a telephone.

She said........... "De-horning goats is just plain cruel. De-horning describes the process of cutting off horns that have already grown to significant size. Horns have an extensive blood supply running through them. Below the horns, in the skull, are large sinus cavities. Removing horns down to their base exposes the inside of the goat's head to serious infection. The very best one can hope for in such a procedure is that the goat is going to have a king-sized headache for many hours. When goats are dehorned, death from shock or infection is a definite possibility.

She gave reasons for disbudding...which seem valid.

Disbudding is not de-horning

Bravo. I read the article and the author agrees that:
1) dairy goats in milkstands
2) goats in close quarters
are both valid reasons to disbud. I do not see where she was writing anything crazy. I think the risks of disbudding she listed were very valid. Goats do die from the shock of the procedure. It happens. I'm not attacking anyone here but perhaps everyone should read the article for themselves before they discredit what her for what some else interperts as her points on a topic. For the record, I have dairy goats that are all disbudded.
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  #19  
Old 07/13/09, 02:20 PM
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Well I read the article, and I have mixed opinions about it. The first two paragraphs I agree with, because the statements were true. Disbudding is a risk, but there are good reasons to do it, like she said. If you do it correctly the risks of brain damage, infection, and tetanus are greatly reduced.

The third paragraph is where I start to disagree. No matter how careful you are, and especially no matter how careful kids are, horns still pose a risk to people. Accidents do happen, no matter how much you try to respect the horns or prevent them; that's why they're called accidents. Also, I have seen goats who belonged to friends who had horns attacked and killed by dogs. I've also known someone who's goat was caught in fence due to horns and killed by dogs. Horns are not an effective protection against predators, imo.

As for de-horning, I do not like it. I will not say it is cruel, because as someone else pointed out, cruel means that you enjoy seeing the animal in pain. But it's not something I would do.

I do not agree with the last paragraph at all, because the author says "treat your goat humanely. Do not disbud or de-horn..." I believe that it is more humane to disbud them than to put them at risk of injuring each other, getting caught in a fence, or injuring a human. Yes, disbudding is painful, but so are so many other things that you have to do to goats. It's kind of like giving human kids stitches or something. Yeah they hate it and it hurts, but it's necessary.

That's just my opinion.

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  #20  
Old 07/13/09, 02:30 PM
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I did not read the article.
I DO believe in Dis-Budding.
I do not believe in De-Horning. (and all the more reason to dis-bud! =D)

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