Horns-again

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Ellie5, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I bought 2 three month old breeder does I want to dehorn with the elastrator band. I've read many posts on how to do it. But I have a couple of questions.

    Has anyone had any bad experiences with using the elastrator band, and if so were you able to fix it? Has anyone had the horns grow back?

    Being these 2 goats will be my breeders, I don't want them with botched horns. Is there anything I should be looking for while the bands are on so they come off correctly? I know they should have a CD/T shot, should I give them anything else?

    Thanks for any insight on this. Calling a vet in is my last choice, and we don't have many goat breeders in my area.

    Ellie5
     
  2. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    check the bands daily, sometimes they will break , and fall off ,

    if the does play and fight , after the bands have been on for a month or so , they can literally break the horns off, it causes some bleeding,
    make sure you have soem type of blood stop powder on hand
    the horns might come back , but only if you dont band them low enough make sure you cut the hair around the banding area to make good contact and ensure youre getting under that growth ring
    ive banded a LOT of goats, and seen others banding jobs, those are the most common mistakes,
    1. not trimming the hair
    2 not getting the band low enough
    3 not checking the bands regulalry
    4 band slippage ( but this only will happen if the band isnt low enough)


    personally for the first week or two i put tape around the horns to keep the bands kind of protected
    my experience, the younger the goat, the sooner the bands work , and the more effective, older than say 3 the bands can take up to 3 months to work , so since we are entering spring and summer, i would get the bands on NOW, or WAIT till november
     

  3. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Bethlaf. Your response is exactly what I was looking for. I'm assuming I could band again if the horn grows back? What about a disbudding iron after the horn fall off-just to be sure? I DO NOT want the horns to come back - can ya tell?
    I'm going out now to see what you mean by the growth ring. I want to do it this weekend as fly season is fast approaching.

    Thanks again.


     
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Ellie, for the question, and Bethlaf for the reply. I have a non-electric disbudding iron, which my husband used to heat for me with a propane torch. I no longer have husband or torch, and since we don't have a wood stove we don't have any firewood either, so I've been stewing a little about what to do with my 3/4 Boer doe kid that I would normally have disbudded. (Her sister is going in the freezer, so horns aren't a problem.) I don't know anyone close here who has an electric iron, and thought I might have to just leave the horns on Ruby. However, I do have an elastrator and bands, so will try that as soon as her horns get big enough to put a band on them.

    Kathleen
     
  5. sbox

    sbox Member

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    Just joined forum tonight since we just bought two pygmy goats today.

    The goats are two years and 8 months old. Mother and daughter..

    I want to dehorn them and don't have any idea how to do it. So after reading these notes, I thought maybe one of you could point me in the right direction for information. Thanks..
     
  6. dale anne

    dale anne Well-Known Member

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    Howdy sbox......the above post does not mention making sure the goast have had tetnus shots before doing this cause I believe that these folks assume the others already know this and are goat raisers,farmers...I just wanted to let you know that your goats will at least need the tetnus shots before dehorning in any way....a good book for someone starting to raise goats can be bought at caprinesupply.com for about $15.00 called goatkeeping 101....will explain everything you will need to know plus some for just starting out...assuming you have never had goats before.......Dale Anne...P.S. this book does not include banding...but does include other ways to de horn
     
  7. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Dehorning equipment can be purchased at hoeggers supply-do a google search. I've found they are very helpful, also. I'm trying ot be extra careful as the final "look" of my does is very important to me.

    Sooo, Just a few more questions, please? I put the bands on one of my doelings. They went down as far as I could get them. But, they didn't appear to be below the hairline. She was bawling, kind of.

    My question-is the hairline where the hair all comes out, or like the fuzzy-like part? I got the bands on the fuzzy-like part. Is this where they belong? This does horns go back more than upward, so the back of the band was at her head, and the front was kinda diagnal-but in the fuzzy part.
    Also, do they feel the band for a minute or two? is that why she was bawling? She was fighting us & I wasn't sure if we had hurt her or if the bawling was normal & would stop within a few minutes. We took the bands off until I could clarify this information.

    Thanks you for any replies-this is my first time banding horns & just want to make sure I do it right.
     
  8. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    Awww, goats are just big babies when they are being held for any reason, especially since you didn't raise these girls.

    I just read this post or I would have suggested that some people file a groove in the horn for the band to sit in. If the filing doesn't hurt, just the band being on won't.

    Also, consider that they wack each other in the head for fun :rolleyes: And you won't believe what they will rub those horns on to get them nice and shiny.
     
  9. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I'm betting that if the band is far enough up that you can file a groove, it's too far up to do a complete job of removing the horn. There was an excellent picture on a website that showed band positioning. Let me see if I can find it.

    Here's the link: http://www.greatgoats.com/articles/dehorning.html .

    Good luck!
     
  10. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    We had a little alpine buckling we wanted to hang onto...
    we were new to disbudding and kept putting it off.
    Then we read about banding the horns and decided
    to give it a try...it <sounded> so simple. It nearly drove
    him crazy...and we did it as was clearly explained.
    He sat in the barn looking pathetic, like he had a migraine,
    and it went on for weeks.

    When the horns finally fell off it looked like his head had
    round openings where his brains might come out.
    Generally, it was a bad experience, especially for him.
    We disbud within a week to 10 days of birth now.
    The kids get over the procedure amazingly fast and
    are back to being lovable the next day usually.

    I don't know if that little buck is still around, but he
    never seemed as trusting of humans for the time we
    kept him. That may not be the normal experience,
    there are many more that may have a better outcome,
    but we prefer NOT to band horns.

    Better luck, Ellie5!
     
  11. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Okay. I got the bands on again. Filing a groove hurt them so I didn't do that. But, I did place duct tape over the bands to keep them in place.

    I went to that website-great pictures!! I don't think I have the band down quite that far, but it is much farther than the picture that showed a "bad" banding.....These girls horns are much smaller than the picture.

    So, I read on another posting somewhere that after a day or two, I could place another band behind the original (which would have started to dig in already) and the original band would hold the 2nd band in place. I'm going to try that. I think the second band will be in the proper position at that point. The 1st band just wont go down far enough AND stay. It seems to be too much of an angle.

    I've read some horror stories about after the horn fell off-but I've read far more success stories. I hope that won't happen to my girls and I guess I'm going to take the chance. We just love them to death-and that is our problem. I can't take the chance of a horn taking out my kids' eyes or something-they are like lap goats. I guess I could have bought dehorned goats or polled goats-but these two were perfect-except for the horns.

    Thank you all for replying. I'll let you know how it turns out!

    Ellie
     
  12. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    dale anne, thanks for pointing out i didnt mention the tetanus shot, youre right i kind of assumed on that one ,
    yesi have heard of the filing too , but i dont cause it just seems to be more of a hassle,

    yes some goats act like youre killing them when you put the bands on , but while the inital sting is there, it doesnt hurt afterwards, as evidenced by my meaner doe, that we have since gotten rid of, we banded her horns and the first thing she did when she got back in the barn was crack heads repeatedly with another goat, soooo.......
    they are whiney buts !!!
    :D LOL
    Beth
     
  13. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I just wanted to share my experience of dehorning the two girls.

    The 1st doeling was very sensitive around her horns for the last two weeks or so before her horns fell off. she'd cry out every time they were touched/hit etc. Her horns fell off naturally, no blood, however one of the horns I noticed blood was visible where the horn was separated, (not dripping), so I put some blood stop on it just in case, and spraying Furall 2x a day. The other horn seemed to have closed up as it came loose. She is doing wonderfully & we are working on getting her tame as neither were really handled prior to our buying them.

    The 2nd doeling was not the least bit sensitive until about 3 days ago. She showed no signs of discomfort. Three days ago, doeling 1 hit doeling 2 on a horn, and it partially broke off. Her eyes rolled into her head & she cried out. I felt terrible-but only for a minute as the blood started dripping down her head & I ran for the blood stop powder. I don't think her horn was quite ready to come off. As hubby held her I was trying to pour the powder on, and she moved her head & hit my hand. That finished taking her horn off. I felt terrible, queesy, and still hadn't gotten the powder on the horn. We ended up using a rolled up paper plate like a funnel & got the powder on & the blood to stop. This doeling's other horn is now laying down the back of her head, ready to fall off by itself. I havn't checked this morning yet but I bet it's off now. Other than that, she was/is acting normal & appeared to be in no pain.

    I'm glad this dehorning thing is all over. It appears that I placed the band in the correct place, but I guess time will tell. One looks like it might give me a problem because it left a little horn(maybe it moved?), but the other 3 horn bands seem to have been applied correctly. I would suggest to any newbie dehorning 2 goats at a time, to keep them separated no matter how much they cry for each other. I didn't do this & caused doeling 2 some unnecessary pain.

    As for me, I don't think Ill be dehorning any more goats in the future. Polled or disbudded will be my choice when purchasing new goats. I felt so bad for doeling #2. Though I think I would not have had that experience if I had separated them from the gitgo. Also, I'm glad I did it when I did, because the fly's are just starting to appear around the farm & I won't have to deal with them & the problems they can pose.

    Thank you all for your suggestions on how to perform this procedure. You helped a lot & I kinda knew what to expect instead of going in blind. I'm glad it's over for me but hope someone can learn from my experience.
     
  14. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Well, this isn't dehorning by banding, but I did have occasion to repeat disbudding on three bucklings that had scurs. I'll never do it again.

    All seemed to go well until about three weeks afterward. I noticed some drainage around the outside of the burned area on one of the goats. Very shortly thereafter, his skull covering the burned area came loose and came off, revealing the infection underneath. I spent over 30 minutes each night cleaning the open sinus and rebandaging, plus I put him on a course of antibiotics. The infection cleared up, but the hole, which started out as an oblong about 2-1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide, took FOREVER to close. Meanwhile, about a week after the first sign of trouble, another buckling had the same problem. Now I was spending over an hour each night on these guys.

    I could not get bandages to stay on their heads for more than a few hours at a time, so the first 10 to 20 minutes of each goat's session would be spent cleaning out the mucus from the irritation, and poking around in their sinuses picking out the scraps of hay and hair that had gotten in there. Really unpleasant for all concerned. The boys were amazingly patient, but I usually came in stressed out and nauseated, and I'm not a pansy. Maybe there's just something about fishing around in bloody, kitty snot, I don't know. Anyway, after a month or so of this, I just gave up trying to keep it covered and let the junk collect over the top of the open wounds (which were quite a bit smaller by now). Eventually, and I mean several months later, they healed up. But guess what? They have scurs. So as I said, I'll NEVER reburn a goat again.

    Incidentally, the third buckling had the problem too, so that makes three out of three. I had sold him before I knew about it. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but his new owners kind of casually mentioned, "Oh yeah, and his burned spots came off and left open holes in his head, but he's all right now." I've never heard of anyone having as much trouble as I had, and I can't imagine why. Oh well.

    Anyway, given my experience with the incredibly slow healing process to cover open sinuses, I can't see myself banding horns either, for fear of winding up with the open sinuses again. What a nightmare!