banding horns?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by longhorngal, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. longhorngal

    longhorngal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What do you all think of banding goat horns to remove them? Is this kind to the animal? How long does it take for them to fall off? I'm looking at a few Saneen bucklings but they have big ol' horns them at 5 month old. The owner said she would band them.
    Thanks,
    Cara
     
  2. Eveningstar

    Eveningstar Active Member

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    In my experiences with horned goats, I have banded horns with no luck. If the horn is not too thick and the bands are strong you first cut a groove in the horn as close to the skull as possible. You give a shot of tetanus antitoxin and apply the bands making sure they stay in the grooves. It takes about a month or so for the horns to atrophy and fall off, provided the bands stay on. The problem with this is the goat can get the horns caught in a feeder or get into headbutting with another goat and the horn can break off when it is not yet ready to. This causes extreme bleeding and if it should happen when you are not there, the goat can bleed to death. The other problem is the horn can grow back as the root is not killed. They grow back in the most unusual ways, often curling around back into the head or into an eye. These are called scurs and are more likely to get broken off again often causing bleeding. Although it seems like a humane way of dehorning, it really is not.
    The second method is to have a vet scoop them out for you. Local anesthetic is applied, the horn is cut off to a stub and then the vet "scoops" the horn out with a special tool. This also involves a great deal of blood but the vet can normally control it. Bandages are applied and left on for about a week. The goat obviously has to be contained away from other goats. Although this is the lesser of the two evils, there aren't many vets who will perform this procedure. I have had this done with good results and the horns do not grow back. If you feel you must have the goats, I would recommend this approach.
    By far the best way is to buy goats that are disbudded. A buck with horns could be disasterous. They fight with them causing a bloody mess, they get them caught in feeders, tear your clothes with them, and if they happen to have a mean streak, they will try to use them on you. I wouldn't buy horned goats unless they were to be used as meat or if they are to be castrated and used as pack goats (which is the only case you would want the horns left on).
    Elizabeth
     

  3. longhorngal

    longhorngal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi,
    Thanks for the reply. No, banding sounds like it's not worth it if that's the case. I know I don't want horned goats either. I have noticed pictures of pack goats with horns left on. Why would you want to leave the horns on them?
    Cara
     
  4. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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    Pure speculation on my part, but if I had to venture a "guess", I'd say that they leave them on to give them some degree of protection from varmits. In the areas that packing goats are used, there seems to be a greater number of coyotes, cougars, etc. Those who actually have pack goats can either confirm or deny this theory. :shrug:
     
  5. Eveningstar

    Eveningstar Active Member

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    The horns are left on pack goats because it serves as a "coolant system" so to speak. They are less likely to become fatigued from heat during a long hike. In rabbits, their ears serve as the same. The horn has a good blood flow which helps dissipate heat. Good thought too on the protection part.

    Elizabeth
     
  6. maryanne

    maryanne Well-Known Member

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    I was told that there is a paste that you apply as soon as the knot starts on a baby. I dont know if southern states is world wide but here in NC you can get this paste from them.well thats what a breeder told me..
     
  7. GrannieD

    GrannieD Well-Known Member

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    You can find complete info on banding to remove horns in the archives..there are sites with photos & complete instructions....IT WORKS GREAT when done properly....which is to put the band below the base of the horn..it will hold on the soft tissue & in 2-4 weeks you will have a smooth headed happy goat..grooving the horn doesn't go below the growth base of the horn therefore does not give a clean removal of the horn problem..The goat is uncomfortable the 1st few hours & you may choose to not put them through this.........but compared to injuries, vet expence, & hooked in the fence goats this is a dream....As far as a goat needing horns to be cooll that sounds silly considering the skin area is far more able to allow cooling...goats that have horns use them!!! GrannieD
     
  8. wwoodacres

    wwoodacres Active Member

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    do you know where the sites are located or how to find them i got lost
     
  9. redcedarfarm

    redcedarfarm Active Member

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    I would be extremely cautious when using the paste to remove horns. If it can burn through horns imagine what it can do to your skin or theirs.
    DAWN
     
  10. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    www.greatgoats.com is the site for banding the horns.My parents used this method.when I was growing up.
     
  11. wwoodacres

    wwoodacres Active Member

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    thank you i have a female pygmy she has beautiful triplets every birth but is extremely brutal to the rest of my herd i keep her seperate now i tried banding but probably didnt do it properly