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gracie88
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a good way to de-horn a 2-month-old dexter calf?
 

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Udderly Happy!
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I've used an electric branding iron to burn the "buds" off in the past. There's also some paste that can be put on but I've never used it so I can't offer any insight on success or application.
 

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2 month old is probably too old for an dehorning iron. The pastes are dangerous to you and the animal. At this point you are stuck with either letting them grow or using a dehorning tube or gouge; It works by quickly cutting away the skin that produces the horn. You will need a dehorning gouge and clotting powder to stop the bleeding as well as a spray antiseptic. Its messy, but effective......you may want to have a vet do it if you cant stomach blood.
 

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I would get the vet to do it. There is often a LOT of blood, and it does upset the other animals in the yard. But I would rather do anything else besides help w/ dehorning older cattle. *shivers*. Disbudding calves is so much easier.
 

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I have very successfully disbudded 2 month old Jersey heifers. Hot iron and do it right and no scurring. How long are the horns?? Do you have a pic?? If they are still small enough to burn, it sure is easier on everybody than the scoop method.
I hate paste. Seen too many bad jobs with paste to ever want to use it myself. A disbudding iron is so quick and easy.
 

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gracie88
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, they are just poking out of his hair...


The base at his skull feels about 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. Problem is, I would like to keep him as a bull, at least for one season. He is not registered, but neither is my cow and his father and brother are beautiful.

Sugarbush, that link did not work for me, can you check it? I'd really like to see it.
 

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He looks like he could very easily be disbudded still. Disbudding doesn't *have* to be done so young in cattle as it does in goats......if he was a buck, no way could you disbudd him past a month with *any* chance of success. That said, if you have never disbudded with an iron before, it might not be best to start on him. But if he was mine, I'd disbudd him still.
 

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http://bellefourchedexters.tripod.com/Articles/dehorning.htm
Try that one...... I say have a vet do it..... I wouldn't even risk a bad dehorning job on a bull..... I have seen alot of what looked like good jobs by experience people go bad and dexters are supposed to be harder than other breeds. He is advocating the use of paste, but says to use it no later than 3.5 weeks on a bull.
 

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gracie88 said:
The base at his skull feels about 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. Problem is, I would like to keep him as a bull, at least for one season.
Why don't you look into AI? Its safer than keeping a bull around and you may be able to get polled dexter gene which could eliminate your need for dehorning. Its also alot cheaper than feeding an extra animal.
 

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gracie88
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I love this forum, I get to post pic of my cute critters and I get free advice :) Here's where I am, I am going to call around to other vets about dehorning and AI, my current one does mainly horses and pets. Sugarbush,you are right about AI, I hesitate to keep large males around (besides my husband :D ) it's just that when my father and I started adding up cows, his, mine, and my cousins, a bull started sounding reasonable.
 

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I used to do cattle, goats, and sheep,...... there is no demand for it in this area mostly because the beef farmers are not close enough to their herds to tell when they are open and ready to be bred. I don't mind wild bulls.....we always had one or two on the farm, but I don't trust hand raised bulls......AI is a great way to get some really good stock cheaply...... if you cant find anybody in your area to do it buy the equipment yourself and learn..... then you can do it for your friends and neighbors and maybe even pay for doing it yourself.
 

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We burn them off at two to three months. Some of them have horns bigger than your calf's. You just have to make sure you hold it on long enough. If you don't have the equipment or know how I would check with a vet and see what they would charge to come out. Or call around to your neighbors and see who dehorns and they could probably help you out.
 
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