jersey cow horns

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Hi, I have been lurking for about 3 months and I love this forum. I am crazy about jersey cows and was blessed to get one for my birthday last October.
    Isabella is two years old and will have her first calf in May.
    My question is about the horns. We have banded them faithfully since October and see little progress in them falling off. Has anyone ever done this? How long does it take? I work with her every day to get her used to me and the place where I will milk her, but more than once I get wacked by those horns. She isn't being mean, she is just getting trying to get used to her new surroundings.
    Any thoughts?
    And, many thanks. If you haven't figured it out yet, I am pretty green about these things.
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I haven't seen anyone remove horns with bands. I can't tell you it can't be done however.. A vet can remove her horns completely, but that is a pretty grusome.. To make them a little safer to be around, they can have the tips cut off without any blood or pain to the cow. That way they are less likely to punch a hole in anything. (Like your ribs)
    Can you lead her with a rope? Do you tie her to her feed manger? When you learn her to milk, you will want her tied where she can't move much. Building a head gate (stanchion) that she must reach trough to eat is the easy way to learn her to be tied up. While she has her head in the head gate, you simply close it so she can't pull her head back out until you release her.
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I've seen the bands used but have never seen them used effectively. Often they leave scurs and they can cause problems. I'd be inclined to teach Isabella some manners, she knows where her horns are and what they can do for her. We have coyote and dog problems so I look upon my Jersey's horns as a tool to protect herself is she needs to. uncle Will is very right, if you intend to have them removed surgically (which would be the next logical step) please call a vet. It's a messy proceedure and if done incorrectly, can cause them to bleed to death.
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    have a vet take them off, he'll use a shot of local anaesthetic at the base of each horn, cut 'em off close to the head with great long handled shears, then grasp the arteries with forceps and pull which stems the bleeding. She'll be fine.

    BTW, work safely! A securely fastened head gate is nice or several strong friends and a good stout rope. No place for squeamish city slickers, no yelling, no dropping the rope, no debate about the ethics of horn removal. Anyone who arrives in a Volvo and wearing a corduroy jacket must be sent home immediately. <smile>
     
  5. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    I have dehorned two Jersey cows. It's been 3 or 4 years ago and I can't remember exactly how long it took, it seems like it was 4-5 weeks, could have been longer. You have to get the bands down below the base of the horn and onto the skin. I put two bands on each horn.

    I don't know that I would do it that way again. I was lucky that a horn on one cow came off in the milking parlor. An intact blood vessel spurted a fine stream of blood 3-4 feet. I got her into the squeeze chute and cauterized it with a dehorning iron. Lots of blood to clean up in the parlor and on me. I don't know if it would have sealed up on its own or not.

    These cows were sweet hearts and I didn't mind the horns myself, but they gave them an unfair advantage with the other cows and they weren't afraid to use them. They would clear out 100' of feedbunk, even Holsteins that weighed half again as much got out of their way!
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I don't have jerseys but when the vet dehorn any, they just whack the horns off and let the blood fly.

    I still have spatters on my shed that look like someone got knifed!

    Jena
     
  7. jim/se kansas

    jim/se kansas Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, I'm Jim and my experience with dehorning older cows have been with my vet. He gives them a shot or two to deaden the pain and with a back saw cuts them off. He then pulls two bleeders and with older cows the sinus cavity is exposed. so with gauze and blood stopping powder covers the hole. You have to watch for sinus infection which will ouzz(how ever you spell ouzz) out, then give them a shot. It looks worse than it is, although I am not the one getting cut on. Hair will cover eventually. My Jersey was 4 years old when I had her dehorned. Get it done before warm weather so the flys bouther her.
    Blessings, Jim
     
  8. I can't thank you enough for your replies about removing her horns. My 14 year old son and I are laughing so hard at the replies of you guys. Guess you got me pegged pretty good.
    I don't know anyone who has a volvo but I will be sure to let experienced people in on the fun. You would probably enjoy the fact that my cow advisor is the neighbor's barber, and he has never had a jersey.
    I hoped to not have to need a stancion but will certainly try to get one now. And, next week, I will call the vet and let him have all the fun with Isabella's horns.
    Isabella runs with 12 cross angus and limosine cows and a limosine bull. My husband and our neighbor raise them together. She comes to the fence when I call, and I let her in the back yard to feed her, lead her with a rope, brush her and let her get used to us.
    We think the horns need to go so she won't hurt the other cows, she certainly knows how to use her horns with them.
    I have had my laugh for the day.
    Thank you very much.

    Katherine (in beautiful Arkansas)
     
  9. earthnectar

    earthnectar Member

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    I have been told that at 2 years of age onwards, the girls and boys are too old to de-horned. It is dangerous to their health. Is this correct? Can someone shed some light on this issue for me please?
     
  10. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    earthnectar, I don't like doing them when they're older, it's messy, there's a lot of blood and it's not something to take lightly. There are risks involved and if not done properly, the animal can bleed to death and there is a certain amount of stress factor. I'm certainly not saying it should never be done, I just feel it's something that should be done with all the facts. Some vets have become so negative about the proceedure that they've started charging incredible rates for the proceedure, if it's deemed to be for cosmetic reasons only. I might not even be the best person to comment on this matter because I'm a longhorn breeder and we tend to leave our cattle as they are.
     
  11. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Ijust had 2 700+lbers done and the charge was $6.50 each.In 5-6 hours the blood was dry and they never missed a meal :) The headgate was harder on them than the dehorning.The main thing to remember is do it before the flies are out or you have to watch them like a hawk for fly eggs.A good vet is a must when you have things like this done, they have to pull and suture the blood vesels and do a clean job so there are no scurs.
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  12. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Holy crap Mike, vets up here won't even fill out a prescription for that kinda money :eek: I'm deadly serious, you can't get it done here for less than $50/animal if you bring it into the clinic. On site, you can add mileage and a base rate of $50 and double that if they think it's cosmetic or an emergency. It's the suturing that I feel is so important. I was called over to a neighbors to try and fix a 3 yr old bull they had done and the poor guy had almost bled to death. After I had them cauterize, it took ages for him to gain lost ground.
     
  13. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    WR
    The vet thread that I started says it all.I h
    ad complete vet work worm,vacinate,ect+2dehorned and my 900# baby bull cut for a total of $123 and change. Do you not have any good cattle vets or is it a problem with the laws? Agood vet would do a neat job, suture as matter of course and observe to monitor the job. If your vet will not do these things the bill can not be cheap enough!!
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  14. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We have a severe shortage of large animal vets. There's no real problem finding cat and dog vets but nobody wants to venture into foaling/calving season anymore when they can keep regular hours. My horse vet is over 60 years old and last year, he fractured his arm bad enough that he needed surgery. Unable to find a replacement for the recovery period, he had it casted and continues to suffer. There's a vet clinic not too far from and the 70 year old vet would like to retire. He'd would have been happy to give the practice away but found no takers and I hear he's not having any better luck with the $100,000 takeover incentive. It's become so severe that very few vets are actually able to make on site visits because they are simply overworked. The average age of a large animal vet, in Alberta is somewhere in their mid 60's and the average age of a cat & dog vet is in their 40's. I feel the whole mess is causing a lot of complications, too many over the phone diagnosis that might not be accurate. A couple of years ago, anthrax reared it's ugly head in my area. The rancher called his vet and mentioned he had cows going down. Since it was a hot dusty year, it was suggested that it was dust pneumonia or nitrate poisoning and a treatment was ordered over the phone. Day 3, the treatment wasn't working and more cows were dying so another call was made to the vet and arrangements were made for him to make visit as quickly as he could. Day 5, the vet was able to show up and tests were done but as soon as he saw the cattle, he was quite sure it was anthrax and he started a herd health program. Between the initial phone call and the day the vet could finally free up some time, 25 animals were dead and 10 more were critical.
     
  15. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    We still have a fair no. of large animal vets but the majority work with horses!The horses fall under the ''pet'' catagory so money is no object.You can't really blame the vets because the money is a lot better and the working conditions are better. The best thing we can do is patronize our good vets so they can make a living and make it as easy on the old vets as we can! I haul calves to the local vet so that it is easier on him and he has everything he needs at hand.When he can no longer work I will sell the problem cases and dig a hole for the worst :( It is going to make it hard to stop chronic problems if people shoot and bury the sick ones but we can't make new vets enter the field :no:
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  16. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I do agree with you. If I had shelled out the amount a vet does on an education, I'd probably be inclined to get into an area where I could get my loans paid off as quick as possible with the least negative impact on my personal life. I treat my dear old vets like royalty, their skill and knowledge are invaluable.
     
  17. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't do a full horn removal on a cow over a few months old. We had an Ayrshire/Guernsey heifer we didn't dehorn. Sold her to an organic dairy farmer. Her horns got to be a problem, she was a big cow and a bully to boot. He sawed them off with an OB saw, which is a wire saw used to cut up dead calves in utero. It seals the arteries as it cuts them, minimizes bleeding. He took the horns off at the base. A lot less trauma then having the horns removed from the skull and less chance of infection.

    Claire
     
  18. Thought I would give a not very interesting update on Isabella's horns.
    I called the vet and they said to bring her in and they would remove them for $22.00. The cost of office visit. I told them they were full grown and she didn't seem to think it would matter.
    He wants us to take her in because he has all the equipment there.
    I had plannned to do this this past week but my family has been sick. I will attempt it next week.
    Thanks for the good advice. If the cost is only $22.00 I will think that it is a good deal.
    Arkansas Transplant