Complete dehorning, as in removing the horn button manually by cutting or by burning, needs to be done when the calf is fairly young. A couple of days old isn't too young. Six months may be.
If it is weaned, you may have to settle for cutting them. When they are still small, say 2" or less, I have trimmed them with a PVC pipe cutter. Just trim as close to the head as you can and be prepared for blood squirts. If older, I put them in a headgate and use a sawzall. I've had to cut back the horns of one of my cows three times now. They curve back towards her ears and when they get too long they rub on the ears.
We had the best luck burning them when they were young, usually 4-6 weeks old. You can burn them as soon as you can feel the buds. We had fewer problems with infection burning them young rather than burning or gouging when they were older, especially during fly season. We used a Portasol butane burner, the Buddex works well too.
you can dehorn at any age, we have done some a year old.we use scoops to cut them ,then pull the main arteries, apply a cotton patch then we spinkle blood stop powder on the cotton.black pepper also works. follow the moon phases that really helps with the bleeding. it's best to do them when they are younger because it is easier on the farmer and animal.
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