Pro and cons of disbudding

Discussion in 'Goats' started by tioga12, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. tioga12

    tioga12 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    mountains of northcentral PA
    I see that today disbudding equipment is being discussed and would like to be more educated about it as we are getting started with goats and will face this issue next spring. Other than getting pushy or caught in fencing, etc., why do so many people disbud? What about show goats-is there a preference that way? We are leaning toward leaving the horns grow, but don't have enough information to make an informed decision yet. Could anyone pass along some helpful reasons in favor of or against disbudding goats? (I am talking dairy goats here.) Thanks!
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    If you want to show, or to sell kids to 4-H members, you MUST disbud. Otherwise, it's personal preference. Horns DO get stuck in fences, which can be a major nuisance. Horns can also be a danger to humans, even if the goat never deliberately threatens anyone. If the points are left sharp, just an accidental swipe of the head could put someone's eye out. Twice I've had sheep gored by a horned goat.

    If you decide to leave the horns on your goats, make sure ALL your goats have horns. If you decide to disbud, they ALL need to be disbudded. If there is only one in the herd with horns, she'll bully everyone else. Some people do leave the horns on their goats, and are happy with it, but most people who try it end up going back to disbudding, however reluctantly.

    Kathleen

    ETA: It's harder to build mangers and milking stands for horned goats, too.
     

  3. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    You just told yourself!

    I rather band horns. Easier on me and the goats I think. I don't think I'd have a horned goat here. Too dangerous and an accident waiitng to happen.
     
  4. tioga12

    tioga12 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    mountains of northcentral PA
    OK, so what is the recommended age for disbudding? If I get newly weaned kids, will they be fairly easy to disbud?
     
  5. mamakl

    mamakl Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    I'm new to this message board, and have been wondering about this exact thing. I'm new to owning goats and would love a little advice from all of you...

    We got our first goat, a three month nubian doe (disbuded) a couple of weeks ago. She is an absolute sweetie and my kids love her a lot. I knew she would need a goat friend though, so as soon as she was settled in I started looking around for a friend for her. I had a very hard time finding goats of the right age for sale in my area. Finally a found a little nubian/alpine doe (4 months old, with horns) for sale. I bought her, and she's working out well.. except for the horns. She is smaller than Betty (the pure bred nubian) but bullies her with her horns. My daughter (9 years old) and I share the care of the goats, and I worry that Rosie (the doe with horns) might accidently hurt my daughter or Betty some day. I think the breeder I got her from would let me trade her for an older nubian doe (without horns) that he has, but my kids are giving me a hard time about it.

    What do you all think? Should I trade her now, before the kids have really gotten attached to her? (but then I'll end up with an older doe, not a kid) Should I try to use the bands to dehorn her? Should I leave well enough alone and hope she'll be less feisty as she gets older?

    Sorry this got so long... I really appreciate any insights you all have about this. (I am planning on breeding and milking at least one of these does, once they are old enough...)

    thanks!
     
  6. tulsamal

    tulsamal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    As far as dairy breeds go, we have Toggs, Saanens, and one Nubian. All were disbudded with the electrical heat thing when they were kids. They wouldn't be able to put their heads in my milking stanchion if they had big long horns.

    But we have mostly Boers. Those we leave alone. They also aren't as tame as the dairy goats. And they don't wear collars like the dairy girls. The horns provide a good place to grab and pull when you need to put one in a place where she doesn't want to go!

    But yes, the Boers do get their horns stuck in the fencing at times. I've even lost one nice buckling that way. But it is mainly a growing up issue. The full sized Boers generally can't get their head and horns through my cattle fence. When they are half grown though, they stick the head in (with effort) and then it springs back and they are caught. I usually mutter something about idiots as I fight with them. Especially if it is a repeat offender! If you got your head stuck in a fence about half a dozen times in a month and sometimes spent 12 hours stuck in that one spot, would YOU go back and stick your head in there again?! But I have young Boers that have done it. Especially young bucks. Idiots.

    Gregg
     
  7. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    Verndale MN
     
  8. brierpatch1974

    brierpatch1974 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    I have never competed in any shows but I think boers must have their horns in order to compete. Correct me if I am wrong. disbud all my Sanaan/boer crosses unless I get a buyer who wants them left on a buck. I will not leave them on does.

    BP
     
  9. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,629
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    No. Goats need to be disbudded within the first week or two of kidding. At weaning, it's too late.

    mary