dehorning

Discussion in 'Goats' started by wwoodacres, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. wwoodacres

    wwoodacres Active Member

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    i recently was given 2 pygmys they were both alredy dehorned. i liked them so much i purchased an 8 week old minature she has not been dehorned everything i read says use a dehorning iron. i did not want to purchase one for one goat. can there horns be cut like cattle ?? if so how short is safe with out risk of to much bleeding
     
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you considered taking her to the vet's and having them dehorn her?
     

  3. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    Everything I have read so far indicates that you shouldn't dehorn goats like cattle. For just one kid I'd go to a vet who does large animal practice.
     
  4. wwoodacres

    wwoodacres Active Member

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    thanks for the info i have my vet coming in april to give horses there shots i guess i need to find out if thats to long to wait
     
  5. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    How old is your kid? I think they need to be disbudded when they are just a couple of weeks old before the horn really grows much at all. From what I've read the little horn bud should feel like a big pimple under your finger and no bigger. What I worry about with dehorning, and the main reason I don't dehorn is that you can cook the poor kids brain if you have that iron on for too long at a time. I'd probably end up doing that. I have too many dumb animals around here already. (cattle) Goats are smart animals. I caught one of them "using a tool" this afternoon. Don't believe it? A little chunk was broken off the salt block and one of the does wanted to eat it, but it was too large. She picked up the chunk and smashed it on the concrete pad we have the salt block on. She did this several times, and she scraped the concrete with it. She finally got it broken and worn down, then she ate the piece she wanted. I think goats are smarter than some dogs.
     
  6. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    If you have a pet carrier (like for a dog) you can take your kid to the vet. I have one I can fit in the car. I also have a little wooden "crate" thing built sturdily of lumber, that fits in the back of my small pickup truck. You can put a tarp over it in bad weather. several kids, one or two does, or one buck can fit in the crate. I have a friend that told us how to make a larger one that fits in the back of the 3/4 ton pickup.
     
  7. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    wwoodacres,

    About dehorning an 8 week old goat kid, I've never taken a goat to a vet for dehorning. We "disbud" with a dehorner (at that "pimple" stage mentioned above) when our goat kids are less than a week old. Don't know why those gadgets are named dehorners except that they do stop the horn from growing past the pimple stage if done properly. I've heard of many horror stories of dehorning larger goat horns in a vet's office. You will need to find a vet experienced in caring for goats. After dehorning, the goat has a hole in its skull. You will need to protect this area from debris getting into it and keep her quiet and away from other animals. Personally, I prefer the banding procedure as it is cleaner with less stress for the goat and owner.

    Nappy
     
  8. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    It's probably like dehorning cattle after the horn has gotten too large. It leaves a hole in the head that goes into the sinus. Now and then we've had to deal with this. We have to cauterize it and fill the hole with sterile packing and spray it with a disinfectant/sealer. It's a mess, but sometimes needs to be done. I don't want any horned steers around here. They can kill you without horns, but why give them another tool? I hear it's even worse on goats. To my way of thinking, a definite no, no. I would disbud or leave the horns on. Truly, we never have a problem with the horns personally. The only problem is that they use the horns on each other sometimes. They all just need more space.
     
  9. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My guess is that pygmy horns (especailly on a doe) do not grow as quickly as a larger breeds would. The horn buds may still be small enough to burn. I would not wait though. The sooner you take her in the better. We had a couple of older kids dehorned and they ended up "sawing" the horns off close to the base. No holes in that case as they were still short and immature enough but it was a very traumatic exprience for the kids and something we do not plan on repeating.
    When they saw them off they use a wire and the friction of the wire being rubbed back and forth cauturizes the cut fairly well.

    We have never banded horns and I suppose you can wait until she is fully mature and then band it.
    If you don't want horns on a goat it is best to get them in the first week of life. Less traumatic on everyone involved.
     
  10. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of banding horns. How is that done?

    I've heard of using a caustic on the horn buds, but I think that is a really bad idea. There's no way to stop it from getting all over the place.
     
  11. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

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    When we got our Pygmies a few years ago they were about that age and horned. I did some calling around and found a goat dairy close by and she did it for $5 bucks each. I wouldn't wait too long though as they don't take a rest at growing and if they get too big they wont be able to burn them. I have also heard of many horror stories from people that have taken their goats to the vet to have this done, check to make sure your vet has done this many times or just do like I did. One thing for sure, you'll be happy once you get them done....a dehorned goat is a safer and happier goat!

    Jeannine