pro or con for horns

Discussion in 'Goats' started by diane in fl, May 9, 2005.

  1. diane in fl

    diane in fl Active Member

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    Hi My Name Is Diane And We Are Getting 2 Baby Goats In 2 Wks. One Boer And A La Mancha Boer Mix, Both Females! How Do Most Feel About Keeping The Horns? Also They Will Be Just Weaned. What Do I Need To Do To Make The Move Easier, And What Problems Do I Need To Look For? I Have Read All The Books But They Dont Give Much Info On New Babies. Thank You Diane
     
  2. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    My goats have horns (most of them do). I like them, makes it easier to catch... Mine are not pets, though a couple think they are :) . I am raising mostly for meat, Boers which are a little calmer breed. I have gotten caught a few times and the does do know how to use them on each other. But they use them to scratch themselves, protection and I believe they are important for cooling system in the hot weather. If you will be working with them a lot, like milking, hornless would be the way to go, plus my dairy girl (Olberhasli) is one of the more aggressive ones with her horns. Another thing to think about is if you are going to sell any or do 4-H, I believe you need hornless ones but don't quote me, as some buyers will only consider the hornless ones.

    Now is the time to decide, because after this you will need to be consistent as the hornless ones are no match to ones with horns.
     

  3. TabletopHomestead

    TabletopHomestead Well-Known Member

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    I have some of each, both naturally polled and horned. I never disbud. There are people who are going to tell you that's it's imperative to disbud, that you're morally obligated to do so, etc., etc., but that just hasn't held water for me. The biggest problem I've had with horned goats is 1) if they're penned in field wire and can get their heads through the holes, they make a mess of the fence getting it back out, and 2) if penned in panels and they can get their heads through, sometimes they get stuck. My 1/2 boer buck has such a set that he can't get his head through anything, and as big as he his if he were to decide to hurt someone he'd do it horns or not.

     
  4. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy

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    I prefer mine dehorned, Mainly due to them being able to get their heads stuck in some pretty stupid places... they are easy enough to catch without horns, and I dont much care for being smacked in the head when you are carrying one along and it tosses its head back .. main reason is the fencing though. I find its easier to sell goats that dont have horns because then other people dont have to worry about the horns tearing up their fences either..
     
  5. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    I vote in on the side of horns, even though I had to run a low hotwire on the inside of the field fence , to keep the one silly wether from getting his head caught 3X times a day, but the wire worked and he quit doing it.

    Horns do work to release heat and since you live in Florida, you ought to consider the pros and cons carfully about horns. I like them, I don't have any problems with anyone with horns however I only have 7 goats , they are all very tame and easily handlable and they are only for field maintenance and the pleasure I drive from their company.

    My guys horns also all curve back, no straight up jobs , and I am sure that makes a difference
     
  6. diane in fl

    diane in fl Active Member

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    I Feel The Same Way About Horns. I Guess I Feel Sorry About Hurting Them When God Must Have Had A Reason For Them! We Will Just Have To Be Carful With Them With The Kids As We Do With All Animals. Also, I Think They Have Ticks. With Them Being So Young, How Do I Get Rid Of Them? We Have Had No Problems With Our Other Animals So Far And I Want To Keep It That Way! Thanks So Much
     
  7. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    You do have a moral obligation.............:) Brother!

    What are you going to do with your goats? Pets? Brush eaters? Because most folks don't deal with their horned goats daily, everyday, twice a day, for 10 months, milking them like dairy goat folks do. I wouldn't have a horned goat on my place, for good reason, I have grandchildren who play with my babies, their eyes are at horn level. You also can't show goats with horns. And don't take the getting their heads stuck in fences lightly. It's all the time, the same goat. Over and over. Read the old posts, they put twox4's duct taped to them, now that's attractive :) And in your heat you go away for the day and have a goat with it's head stuck in the fence, it's either going to scream and heat stress and die in your heat, or get killed by a neighbor dog. Goat on a fence is a dog favorite. Boer horns go back alright, but they also go OUT at the tip as they age. Which means they poke you in the thigh as they walk next to you. A tame goat doesn't have to be 'caught' and that is the biggest consideration you should have, that an health (read the CAE and CL threads) of the goats you are purchasing. Plus if you are going to even think about milking, make sure they only have 2 teats. So as you can see, it's way beyond just horns or not. Vicki
     
  8. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    i have meat goats and love the horns. We hate our couple of hornless. They make it much easier to catch and handle. Just like handlebars on a bike, where the head goes the body will follow. The only time I have gotten caught has been on accident ( i bumped into them while it was acratching, and I only got a good bruise. No goat has tried to "gore" anyone of us. we have made our buck mad enough to pen my FIL. George could have and did do that w/o horns. he never tried to butt him, just leaned on him hard. We all got the message.

    Electric fencing is the best for any fence system used. It keeps the goats from testing the fence. That saves on the tanglement issue.


    When we work with the goats we use a head gate and have at least 2 if not 3 of us working, gabbing and laughing at us while working the goats. our catch pen is not as efficient as it could be :no: :haha: , but it is better than in the begining. the head gate is not very efficient w/ the hornless. We have to stradle them instead.

    I also have two small children. i got into goats because they were smaller than say cattle.Our goats happily tolerate humans and some even enjoy our treats but most are not true pets. They are livestock. i would not put my kids in danger. They are taught though that any animal is wild and should be treated w/ respect. Disrespecting a animal is what will get you hurt.

    Hornless only seems to be a strict standard practice in the dairy world. I can see how horns would not be a good thing. When I first started out w/ goats I bought dairy wethers. I am glad they don't have horns as I can only imagine 11 goats trying to be petted. the were true pets and raised as bottlebabies. Horns would have been very painful and dangerous w/ small kids around. As it was the goats would sometimes bump into one of the kids and knock him over on accident trying to be petted. There were only hurt feelings. In that case pet goats w/ horns are much more dangerous than nonpets w/ horns. My observations only. Katharine
     
  9. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

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    I have a Heinz 57 variety doe(If you speak Pittsburgheze yunz know what what I mean!)She was the runt and at the bottom of the totum pole.So feeling sorry for her left her horns grow.She is now the terror of the flock(I have 28)
    She destroys pens and barn doors by continually butting untill she goes thru.
    She tried them on me only one time while milking.She survived :rolleyes:
    I lost (aborted) some babies last year from her attacking does that crossed her path.I separated her but she splintered her pen and got in with the herd!
    On the other hand my Boer buck (horned and only coming on two is no problem)
    And she gets caught in every thing she can get her head into.When she gets exhausted I help her out (easier on my fingers)
    I'll disbud every time because you never know what they will be like!
    Chas
     
  10. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    Count me with the folks who leave the goats' horns alone. Of course, I have pygmy goats, so it's not like they can do much with their horns except beat each other up. I haven't had them do any damage to the fences or get stuck. They can find other ways to escape!

    Diane, about the ticks. I just had a doe who had a tough time kidding and needed a Caesarian, so she and both of her kids were struggling for awhile and wound up with a lice problem. My vet told me to buy a flea/tick shampoo that was approved for dogs and puppies and give everyone a bath. The kids are now seven weeks old, and she thought they could handle it. So we did that this weekend, and you must have heard the goat screams from where you live. But everyone is extra-clean, soft and fluffy now, and no one suffered any trauma except getting wet. So this is what I would recommend for you, but you'll need someone good to help you. And maybe some ear plugs!
     
  11. IMContrary

    IMContrary Well-Known Member

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    Why worry about the ticks, God created them and they are just doing what He told them to do. He must have had a reason for doing so.
     
  12. diane in fl

    diane in fl Active Member

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    Im New To Computers So I Couldnt Find Out How To Reply To The One About 2 Teats! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!! I Went To Check Today And The Boer Has Spring Teats ( Or So I Figure, Somethings Wrong Down There!) I Just Thought They Were So Cute And I ( Trusted) The Man Who Was Selling! Wont Happen Again! Thank You Again. Diane
     
  13. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    under your message on the right side is a reply field. if you go with your curser (mouse ) and klick you can post an answer to this special person :)
    susanne
     
  14. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    No horns for me, thankyou. I can't stand pulling goats out of fences. It is horrible wondering how long they have baked in the sun before I have found them stuck like that. I have only two horned goats. One doe that someone gave me horned, I nearly lose an eye every feeding time from her, and one soon to be regestered fullblood Boer buck that is supposed to have horns for the breed standard so I'm told. Other than that, in my 25 years of owning goats, I definately prefer no horns. I disbud all does, Boer or Lamancha, and leave the horns on all wethers as they will meet their fate soon enough anyway and don't need the extra job of disbudding. By the way, within minutes of disbudding, kids are jumping and playing and don't even show signs of a headach. They are hardheaded little things....Diane
     
  15. MoBarger

    MoBarger Goat's Milk soap for sale

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    I have a doe with a hernia due to a run in with a pair of horns. I am hoping she wil be able to carry kids next year.
    Percentage boers must retain their horns. You can remove horns from those who are not registered.
    In NY and some other states here in the East we are now allowed to show registered boers with horns.
    Diane in FL -- what are "spring teats?"
     
  16. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I first got interested in packing, I ended up with two wethers with horns. Never again.

    They're hard on the fence, hard on each other, horrible to the dehorned goats, and I've gotten quite a few interesting bruises from accidental whacks from the horns. Loading them in my pickup bed is an exercise in caution, as their horns are at my face level as they're hopping in. I've been whacked a few times. I don't physically have the muscle to wrestle around a 200 pound wether by the horns (they will always fight if you grab the horns) and the horns get in the way of buckling a collar on, leading to more bruises to my wrists if the goat decides throw his head around.

    I also don't let the neighbor kids in the big-goat pen because the goat horns are at eye level. I'm wary of letting "city" type friends in there for the same reason. People who know livestock know instinctively to watch the horns; "city" people tend to trust the goat not to hit THEM, which is a bad idea, as the goat doesn't give a care where your face is ... "Ooh, cootchie-coo, what a cute goat!" *WHACK* the glasses ...

    Polled is definitely the way to go if you're going to work with large goats in close proximity -- milking, working goats, etc.

    As far as heat dispersal -- I'd like to see a study on this. My dehorned goats do just fine carrying packs on hot days.

    Catching goats is easy. All mine come when called because I usually have treats when I call them. :) They get another treat after I get the collar on ... ginger snaps are popular with my herd, and easy to carry in the pockets.

    Leva
     
  17. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    Ticks are known to carry and spread livestock diseases. Why would you risk your animals when you have the option to get rid of the ticks? Livestock provide income and/or food for families, not the ticks. Cest la vie, ticks! (SP?)
     
  18. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm surprised so many vote for horns. My first two does were horned because the guy I bought them from didn't believe in disbudding, and it didn't even occur to me to ask until we had driven quite a distance to see them. :rolleyes:

    They were beautiful, good goats, and I might still have them if it weren't for those horns. They are potentially quite dangerous to children in the barn as well as to the goats themselves. But my biggest issue turned out to be how mean they were to the polled and disbudded goats. When I had to move, it was not even a consideration to put those gals on a trailer with the others, so they had to go.

    I would never again buy goats with horns, and have turned down the chance to buy little bucks that weren't already disbudded in what would seem to me to be a timely fashion. Disbudding is easy, and if done early, you can do a good job, put them down, and they'll be back to bouncing and playing in a matter of minutes.

    mary
     
  19. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    But the horns are just so gorgeous! (ok, ok, bad reason, I know)
     
  20. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just want to say I have boers, with horns and they have been perfect angels. We also have had a few fainters with horns and only one has been very naughty and would use her horns on the other goaties. With that girl, I also had to remove her from the fence one once a week too. We got fed up and banded her horns this winter.

    I've heard from a lot of breeders that horns on boers and fainters are okay, as they don't tend to use them, where dairy breeds can be quite destructive or defensive with horns. It's almost impossible to find a breeder in boers or fainters that will disbud kids, even if you reserve them. I finally had to give in and have horned ones. Oh, well.