Dehorning goats with bands - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 09/14/10, 11:32 PM
 
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Dehorning goats with bands

Goats are so different than sheep! My stockdog trainer raises Barbados blackbelly sheep, and she castrates the rams older to allow the horns to grow some. Then, after castration she puts castrating bands around the base of the horns. After about a month, the bands constrict the horns off to the point that they drop off. She then uses the horns for the tops of herding crooks.

My friend bought wethered kid goats that I guess were Alpine crosses, and they grew full sized horns, although not as thick as the intact bucks' horns. So, even after castration, goats grow horns?

Has anyone tried to remove horns from goats with bands? Would they just grow back on wethers? Sheep horns pretty much stop growing at the point of castration.

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Old 09/15/10, 04:08 AM
 
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Castrating and dehorning are 2 seperate and unrelated procedures.

Bands on the scrotum will castrate a male.

Bands on the horns will de-horn the goat.

I suspect the reason for banding the horns later is to get the horn size large enough to use for the shepard's hooks.

Delayed castration allows the urinary tract the grow larger in expectations urinary calculi will not develop later in the life of the wether, or possibly to grow the animal out *better* for meat purposes.

Once banded & the horn falls off, yes there is a possibility the horn can grow back, as a scur (deformed horn). It will never grow back in it's original shape or length. The gender is irrelevant.

Once banded the scrotum will not grow back, although if not done correctly the buckling can still breed if a portion is left above the band but away from the body for the proper temperature for the sperm to remain viable.

We've banded horns on 6 month old goats. The trick to success is placement and holding the band in place for the duration.

These basic principles can be applied to both sheep and goats.

HF

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  #3  
Old 09/15/10, 07:17 AM
KimM's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StockDogLovr View Post
Goats are so different than sheep! My stockdog trainer raises Barbados blackbelly sheep, and she castrates the rams older to allow the horns to grow some. Then, after castration she puts castrating bands around the base of the horns. After about a month, the bands constrict the horns off to the point that they drop off. She then uses the horns for the tops of herding crooks.

My friend bought wethered kid goats that I guess were Alpine crosses, and they grew full sized horns, although not as thick as the intact bucks' horns. So, even after castration, goats grow horns?

Has anyone tried to remove horns from goats with bands? Would they just grow back on wethers? Sheep horns pretty much stop growing at the point of castration.
Castration doesn't have anything to do with horn growth with the exception that intact males will grow larger and thicker horns than wethered males, and female goats (does) grow horns too. So yes, they will grow horns after castration unless they've been properly disbudded shortly after birth.
I have never banded horns on goats but others here have.
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Last edited by KimM; 09/15/10 at 07:20 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09/15/10, 08:13 AM
 
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I have dehorned several goats with bands. As stated before, placement is important. You need to shave the base of the horn and place the band down as low as possible around the base of the horn. If it's not low enough, the band will either roll off or scurs will develop. I don't do this anymore on my own goats as I now use a disbudding iron on the young kids, and won't buy goats with horns. My parents have asked me to come band a few adult Nubian does they have, so I'll do theirs, but will be disbudding any kids they have.

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Old 09/15/10, 08:54 AM
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I have a doe with a scur on one side. It curls, so I trim it to keep it from growing into her head. Could I put a castrating band on this and remove it? Would the correct procedure be to 'notch' the horn just above the skull so that the band stays in place? I'm thinking a rasp would do a nice job of creating a place for the band to sit.

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  #6  
Old 09/15/10, 09:51 AM
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You actually need the groove for the band below the junction of skin and horn.

http://www.barnonemeatgoats.com/bandinghorns.html

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Last edited by Alice In TX/MO; 09/15/10 at 09:53 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09/15/10, 12:20 PM
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Yes, I have done this. Yes, sometimes the horns grow back. Often the horns break off before they are fully dead and cause a lot of pain and bleed like spigots. And when the horn gets to the painful, dangling stage, the animals get really head shy, are afraid to stick their heads into feeders and stanchions, etc.

I had far better, more humane results using an electric Saws-All tool to saw off the horn. It only takes seconds, and then you burn the stub with a red hot dehorning iron to cauterize it and it's all done, as opposed to weeks of discomfort, fear, and trauma. It takes nerves of steel and a couple of strong people to help, but IMHO, sawing and burning is the best way to get rid of large horns, and does not leave the crater in their head like a vet will.

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  #8  
Old 09/15/10, 02:07 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Thanks for all the input everyone! I have dehorned some Barbados sheep with medium horn growth with bands, and had no trouble with it until the day the horns dropped off and the bleeding erupts! But I usually arrived to find a bloody-faced wether with the bleeding already stopped, and then the next day all the blood is mysteriously gone and the animal is all clean again! Maybe it's the lanolin in their hair that makes the coagulated blood just "fall off" or whatever it does! So, it seems that the vessels constrict and staunch blood flow on their own without intervention. Now, with Alpine horns sticking so far up and out, I can see where banging into things might be more of a problem and become painful in the process.

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