Cutting goats horns...

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Muscovyluv2005, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Muscovyluv2005

    Muscovyluv2005 Well-Known Member

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    Ok...I have 3 goats 2 females and a male and the male has long horns that curve outward and he always gets his head stuck in the fence! I have had to cut the fence at least 20 times and im getting tired of doing it.
    Do you have to take your goat to the vet to let let cut off some of the horns or what are my options here? thanks!
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    You can have adult goats "dehorned" this is where they remove part of the skull to remove the horns. Don't do this during the fly season. Maggots will infest the wounds. Also, the procedure is largely painful and In my opinion, inhumane. You can put your buck on a tie out or fix the fence. You can fix the fence by either getting actual goat fence that your buck cannot fit his head through. This is not the small cheap fence, as they will break it, but is the expensive, heavy duty fencing that has squares that are about 4"x4". Or, if money is an issue, get 3' snow fence and cover the areas where he can stick his head through and get stuck. Do the WHOLE fence, not just the parts where he has gotten stuck before. This is cheaper than getting new fence but you will probably spend a bunch of money this way as well.
     

  3. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    I've also heard you can BAND the base of the horn using the elastrator tool that one uses to band bucklings. I just bought a doe kid whom I'm considering dehorning this way. I am going to research and have the vet give me advice first. I'd love to know if anyone out there has experience with this method...none of my other goats are horned and I think the disparity in rank would be too great.
     
  4. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    if the horns are not too thick at the base you can roll one of the castrating rubber rings down tight against the animals head and in a week or two they horn will come off, the outer shell will even come off of the inner part and you can use it for what ever you want,
    BUT if the only reason you want his horns off is because of him getting into the fence there is an easyer alternitive, attach a broomstick or pice of PVC pipe to his horns that are wider than his horns and the holes in the fence that way he cant get through the fence and get stuck and after a while he will learn not to even try and you can take it off, if he trys it again later put the poll back on.
    it may look a little funny but alot safer and less work
     
  5. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Dehorning is pretty horrible. A lot of vets who have done it once won't ever do it again. I would look at other options first. The PVC pipe recommendation is a great one. Try that first, please!
     
  6. Delinda

    Delinda Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would never, ever dehorn an adult goat. It is very hard on them, if you have ever seen on done you would never put them through it. The PVC pipe idea is a great way to stop him. I have done it on one of my does and after a while they will quit and you can remove it.
     
  7. Sherrynboo

    Sherrynboo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What a wonderful idea! I have a three does and one, the same one over and over and over........ gets her head stuck in the 4x4 openings in the fence. She even has gotten it through 3x4 openings. We have to unstick that goat at least three times a day. She just will not learn. The other two have never done it. I had told my husband that we either needed to find her a new home or install chicken wire around the whole pen. I see the pvc idea as a nice, painless way to get her to stop doing that!

    Sherry in GA
     
  8. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    How do you attach the pvc pipe or broomstick to the horns?
     
  9. Delinda

    Delinda Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used Ducktape-worked great!
     
  10. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I've sawn horns off of goats. I didn't remove any part of the skull- just the horns. You use a Saws-All to cut, and at least two (three is better) strong people- two to hold the goat, and one with steady hands to wield the saw. OB wire is a nightmare and much harder on the goat. I have had bad experiences with bands. Sawing them off is bloody and traumatic to the people, but I think it's easier in the long run for the goat and that they recover faster.

    I also don't recommend having the vet dehorn if they're going to use the "scoops". Scoops dig into the animal's head rather than cutting the horns off flush with the head, and they take off a lot of skin. By the time it was all over, the ones I had done were missing ALL the skin from the tops of their heads where the horns would be. There was a space about the size of an index card or larger, with no skin!! (These weren't full grown bucks, either!). As the wound healed, it shrunk together (apparently because there was no skin) and streched their facial skin so tight that they could hardly see out of their eyelids...they really looked ghastly.... :eek:
     
  11. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't that very bloody?

    Just reading the description is making my toes curl up in my slippers...
     
  12. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

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    The PVC pipe idea sounds like a great solution......the most humane, and not at all traumatic for the goat. Plus no danger of banded/dehorned/sawed off horns becoming infected.
     
  13. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was. That's why I had the dehorniong iron preheated to red hot and cauterized the wound just as soon as the saw was out of the way! It isn't pleasant, but they recover much faster than one would think, and it sure beats having a child's eye accidentally put out by a horn.

    Bands can be bloody, too...and when I saw them off, I am right there to control the bleeding, unlike the banded horns getting caught in a feeder or fence or hooked on something and breaking off prematurely and gushing all over the place.....

    I have tried all sorts of things..tennis balls, duct tape, bands, and IMHO, disbudding at an early age is the best. With horns that are already there, cutting them off and then burning has been the most humane and effective.
     
  14. Starsmom

    Starsmom Well-Known Member

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    I have had 2 bucks dehorned by the vet. It really wasn't that bad an experience. The buck recovered very quickly and within minutes was up and fine. He did have a bit of a head ache for a while, but quickly learned not to head butt for a while. My vet cauterized and even glued a covering over the holes. By the time the covering fell off, the holes were healed (about 2-3 weeks). IMHO it was less stressful that disbudding a kid. It costs me about $35 to have it done by the vet. I guess alot depends on the vet and how they do it and if they like goats or not. Some vets that don't really care about goats might not be so gentle with them.
     
  15. Sherrynboo

    Sherrynboo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My husband put the pvc on Delilah's rack and used duct tape to hold it. It has been three days and it is still holding and no getting stuck in the fence!!!!! Whoever thought of this needs a medal! I had considered the banding and am so glad I didn't go that route. When we have babies, we will have a disbudding iron on hand. When I got these three they were two months old and I had no clue about what to do with horns.

    I love this board! I am always learning something new!

    Sherry in GA