anecdotes of horned goats injuring one another

Discussion in 'Goats' started by outofmire, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I'm still trying to decide about this horn thing...whether to disbud or not.
    I'd like to take your experience into consideration. Have any of you actually had horned goats injur other horned goats?

    Why do goats do this? Do they sense a weakness? Is it just the stronger goats fighting the timid and weak or what?
     
  2. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have any personal experience with horned injuries as I get all of mine disbudded when a few days old....but the reason us Aussie Dairy goaters get it done is so the horns cannot injure the udders causing irrepairable damage to a milker. I even know of Dairy goaters that disbud their wethers they raise for meat so to avoid injury.
    Many years ago I bred Colored Angoras and didnt disbud them as their horn curls back over their ears and cannot be used as daggers for fighting....and were great for hanging on when catching them :)
    So if it is fleece goats you are talking about then I probably wouldnt disbud but if it is Dairy goats, with a lot more to injure, then I would disbud. My Does have fights all the time, head bashing eachother...making sure the pecking order is still in place...and could cause a lot of damage if any of them still had their horns.
     

  3. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK....have just done some reading and found that this has been a long time discussion and all of the things I wrote have already been said. But I will say the only Goats here that get disbudded are the Dairy goats...we dont disbud Boer goats or fleece goats, being Cashmere and Angora's. The only Dairy goats we have here are Saanen, Toggenburg, Anglo Nubian and British Alpines (experimental breed... Melanns which are solid colors of these).
     
  4. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our first goats were horned, just because I didn't think to ask before I made the long trip down. Beautiful big horns, but troublesome. I was very careful with them after the first time I caught one ramming little daughterchild up against the barn wall. But they always had to eat in separate pens from the others, and slept separately from the others, for that matter. First time we had to move, I sold them, because I knew they could not be on the little trailer with the unhorned animals.

    Because we did our first disbudding on the late side, one of those does also had horns (and was later sold). When the horns got a couple of inches long, she delighted in butting the other does in the belly with them. Ouch! She also had to be separated.

    Having done it both ways, I would never want another horned goat. The polled and otherwise hornless ones are just so much easier to deal with.
    I know it seems like a big decision, but the disbudding, if done early, is not difficult to do, and does not seem to cause them a lot of pain. They might scream when you do it, but sit them down and they are bouncing around like nothing happened. Definitely worth the few minutes it takes to get it done, imo.

    mary
     
  5. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

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    Depends on the goat and your preference. We have boer. They all have their horns. Before I mention the one problem we did have, I will say that all the girls are well natured to us but of course they have their pecking order. Since they do, they all need their horns to defend themselves. You just have to be careful when feeding or handling because they will fling their heads and hit you with the horns on accident. Now the one problem we did have... we had two intact billies in a field together. One was approx 3 years old the other was approx 1 year old. The heirachy was established and they did pretty well together...ate together, slept together. Then one morning, we didn't see the younger one. I called him and he came limping out of the barn. Yep, you guessed it, his front leg was broken. we suspect they were playing around and his leg got caught in the big boys horns (they curve back and under) and the leg broke before he could get it out. No girls in the vicinity so they were not fighting over a female. We got the leg set and he was good as new. Yep, you guessed it, we were out there one day with them and they were playing around and his leg got caught again (other front leg). We dislodged it and he was OK, but if we hadn't been there, he would have broke that one. Needless to say, we got rid of the smaller buck and now have a wether in there for company.
     
  6. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    Having dairy goats, I've always had mine disbudded. But this year I decided not to bother with the wethers because they will be going to market at Easter time. BIG mistake.

    They do use those horns to their full advantage. So far, none of my goats have been injured and I do wonder how it is they haven't put anybody eye out!!

    My big concern is when I am feeding them. Trying to pour feed into the feed trough with goats all around you is one thing. Being bent over pouring the feed in and noticing a horned goat is right below your face, and all they would have to do is raise their head for some reason and my face is going to have horns in it. NEVER AGAIN!

    Next year, EVERYBODY gets disbudded!!!
     
  7. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    That's what happened to me - bending over to feed one of the Nigerians. Fortunately she caught me on the eye socket, not right in the eye! :eek:
     
  8. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    It's not that I'm worried about causing pain by disbudding.
     
  9. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    All I have to say is that horns make great handles, and that i see NO harm what so ever with them, ALL of our goats are either friendly or skittish, either way they NEVER try to hurt us.
     
  10. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Break-away collars also make good handles.
    mary
     
  11. billygoatridge

    billygoatridge Well-Known Member

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    We had horns on our goats for years until a neighbor wanted to take some in 4-h. Then we started disbudding. Never again would I go back to horned goats. Not only have we had broken limbs and ribs, but they also continuesly get their heads caught in the fence with horns. We had one hang herself.
    Disbudding also causes less bruises on the owner. Mine never intentionally used their horns on me (except a billy that left a permanent dent in my leg) but they do get in the way when they are rushing the feed bucket.
     
  12. Home~Maker

    Home~Maker Urban Homesteader =0)

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    So... If I kept (disbudded) does for milking and for selling as milkers, and intended to eat or sell the bucks for meat and kept them separate from the does, would I have to disbud the bucks? Even if they're just kept until they're a couple of months old?

    I'm just saying there's a difference between this
    http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_SM/0072-0508-1123-4956_SM.jpg

    and this
    http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_SM/0018-0501-1309-3909_SM.jpg

    And I just added these because they're cute :p
    http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_SM/0018-0403-2912-1229_SM.jpg
    http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_SM/0001-0209-2221-1516_SM.jpg
    http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_SM/0028-0407-1205-3248_SM.jpg

    What about castrating bucks, would that still be necessary, if they don't get very old? At what age does it become a problem if they aren't? :shrug:
     
  13. Home~Maker

    Home~Maker Urban Homesteader =0)

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    Well, after reading the stuff at this site http://www.goatwisdom.com/ch1baby_care/dehorning.html (click on the blue word "here" above the first pic for horror stories), I'm looking at this site http://www.caprinesupply.com/shop/kid_raising7.html for pricing disbudding equipment. If/when I actually get the opportunity to raise goats, I'm thinking of keeping all the does disbudded and separated from any male kids, which... erm... will not be kept long enough to get stinky or hurt each other. You can't survive on chicken alone, right? :shrug: