Pros and Cons of de-horning

Discussion in 'Goats' started by DragonFeathers, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. DragonFeathers

    DragonFeathers Active Member

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    Hi. I recently aquired two 3-month old pygmy goats (first time I've owned goats), both female, and I was wondering whether to take off the horns or not. They will be around other animals such as chickens, ducks, mini horses, and dogs. I would like your oppions and experiences with keeping or not keeping them horned. Thanks! :baby04:
     
  2. Key

    Key Well-Known Member

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    I have never tried to dehorn a goat, but my friends have told me that dehorning a goat is touchy process that can be gory and upsetting for you and your animals. I suggest you leave them on if at all possible.
     

  3. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    Key I agree with you one-hundred percent, we have goats and when our dogs come out the goats have a way to protect themselves if the dogs chase them down and if the dogs are in a non chasing mood the goats just leave them alone. I would recomend keeping the horns just for the sake of defence, and they also look like goats with them, without them they look kinda weird in my opinion, but that's because i've never really seen a goat other than a baby or a picture that has no horns. Well, Bye.
     
  4. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    the horns aren't very good defense against dogs, actually. they are dangerous around children, especially, and if you have woven wire fence, they will get their heads stuck and become dog/coyote bait, unless you string electric to keep them off the fence. 3 months is a little old for disbudding, but it can be done if the horns aren't too long. otherwise, the vet can remove them. don't know cost-i disbud at 5-10 days old.
     
  5. keithil53

    keithil53 Member

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    horns make nice handles for pygmies.
    keith
     
  6. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

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    I disbud my Pygmys and my Nubians for two main reasons. One there is nothing more frustrating than trying to get a stuck goat unstuck. I had a couple that were for sale and the people that wanted them asked that I leave their horns on, so I did. You have no idea how easy it is for them to get hurt when they get stuck, almost everytime one of them got stuck their horns ended up bleeding at the base, or how easy it is for you to get hurt trying to release them. Second, those horns hurt when they accidently bump you with them. Last Monday the two that had horns were being loaded up to go to their new home and I have the bruises on my thighs to remember them by for the next week. The thing is these were babys that I have spent alot of time with, very friendly, love people, but the horns are placed just so and at the right level to hurt their keeper. If you have small children you really should get them taken care of and asap, those horns are at eye level to a child!

    Find someone in your area that has done alot of disbudding and you shouldn't have too much trouble.

    Jeannine
     
  7. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    I don't know but we've never had any problem with our goats horns hurting us, other than our Boer Buck and that's because his horns curve out about a foot sidways. We have had them get their head stucks too, but after a while all of ours learnd how to get their horns out by themselves. We keep ours on though , what you do with your goats is for you to decided, but their not that hard to handle.
     
  8. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    we've had pygme goats for years and have never burned horns.
    have heard horror stories about stuck in fence, hurting children, etc.
    we watch 4 children 1 to 6 years old and have never had a problem.
    horns will not protect against a dog unless the dog is slow and they can hook him. horns are for head butting each other in play and dominence between males. nature put them there so I don't think they need to come off.
     
  9. mamasaanan

    mamasaanan Well-Known Member

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    Dehorning is an exceptionally messy business. If the vet doesn't get all the 'horn bud' tissue the first time, you will be going back for more surgery. The procedure itself is nasty and bloody and you have to be on the lookout for infection. Takes forever to heal properly as goats love to butt heads.

    Kids should be disbudded when they are about a week old. We use a disbudding iron. Takes about a minute, the kids scream their little heads off, it smells awful but recovery time is quick and the kids are usually back out romping in the pen and playing with their little goat friends in about an hour.

    Since you have pygmies, I'd leave the horns on. Horns make wonderful handles for any breed of goat, only be carefull that the goats don't get caught in fences.

    My big Saanan buck was suppose to have been 'disbudded' as a kid. I don't think the operation was a success. He's got a rack that's at least 30 inches across. Good thing he's as gentle as a big old puppy dog.
     
  10. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    Personally I prefer to disbudd. I would NEVER have one sent to the vet to have the horns surdicly removed, it is way to stressful and goats don't handle antisetic well at all.

    We disbudd our kids (nubians) at 5 days to 3 weeks old depending on the rate of their horn growth. Does horns grow more slowly while buckks need to be done earlier.

    We raise dairy goats that are gotten out and milked twice a day. Horns could injure us and the doe's udders whether intentional or not. Also, if you are planning on showing your animals AT ALL they have to be disbudded. I am pretty sure pygmies are required to be disbudded or dehorned to enter a show arena. Dairy Goats are required to be disbudded or dehorned. Boer goats are not required to do so.

    I also don't need the added hassle of finding a goat stuck in the fence where it can injure r even kill itself. Stuck goats are a rare treat for the hungry coyotes around here.

    Disbudding is quick and easy to do. I was horrified at the thought of me actually putting that iron to their heads. It looks MUCH worse than it actually is. If you have the right iron it is quick and easy. Have a high quality iron that gets very hot to do the job. We have a Rhineheart X30. Get it red hot, put it over the horn bud, press firmly and rotate the iron in a circle around the horn without rubbing. Do this for 8 seconds per horn. Give the kid a second or to to breathe between horns.

    As soon as the second horn is done sooth the kid and let it down to run around. Don't put anything on the horns for at least two hours after the disbudding. If you spray or put anything on their heads right after it will blister because their head is still too hot.

    The longest part of disbudding is waiting for the iron to heat. it is really not that bad and the kids are back to playing with their buddies withing ten minutes.

    It is a personal preferance, but I would definately have to vote hornless.
     
  11. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    disbudding at 3-5 days old is a simple matter.

    Banding at 3 months old is a simple matter.

    Waiting until the goat gets much older becomes harder on the goat.

    if you ever get more goats without horns... keep the horned goats seperate from the disbudded ones. Goats with horns know how to use them and in no time can kill other goats by hitting repeatedly.

    Why risk blinding a child by keeping horns, kids can't show goats with horns.. and there are reasons.

    try getting a goat with horns in a milking stanchion!

    Horns had a purpose out in thw wild... but todays goats kept on a farm, doesn't really need them any more.
     
  12. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    With Pygmy's horns shouldn't be a problem, and if they are friendly I really don't think that they will hurt you or your children, diffenatly not on purpose and I doubt at all. Just my opinion though, Bye.
     
  13. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    i have to disagree w/not putting anything on them-we spray furall on their little heads right after burning and i know from experience that it causes an almost instant freeze-cools it right off, and protects that open skin.