can't dehorn - how to minimize risk? : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

I live in Thailand. I have bought four nubians with horns. There are no disbudding irons here nor do i know of any vet that can remove horns. I shall probably have to keep the horns.

The milking farms I have visited keep each goat in a separate cubicle (1 x 1.5 metres) 24 hours - no physical contact with the other goats. I won't keep my goats in such confined conditions.

Apart from a few superficial grazes, what are the dangers of leaving the horns and how can I minimize the dangers.

-- gregory barton (, March 29, 2003


A few superficial grazes are the least of it. Horned goats get caught in fences more often, require more space since they will fight more in crowded conditions, they require different feeders and stanchions than hornless, they are more aggressive to their handlers, can take out an eye inadvertently just just a toss of the head, and I could go on.... I had a horned buck once who hooked the best milker's udder and left a huge, hard bruise on it that lingered for weeks. They can actually disembowel each other with the horns....If you want to have hornless goats you can, you don't need a disbudding iron or a vet. Get a piece of pipe, usually copper is used, and it needs to be long enough or have a wooden handle so you don't burn yourself, and heat the end of it with a fire or propane torch, then burn. It should leave a black ring on a piece of wood almost instantly if it's hot enough. Burn the hornbuds until there's a copper colored ring. For the milkers who are already horned- you can cut the horns off and then burn, but it will stress them. I do this but chances are you won't want to.

You can wrap the horns with rags, glue tennis balls onto the tips, etc, and this will minimize some of the risks, but the balls do come off from time to time. I would start disbudding any kids that you get and eventually sell off the horned goats as the disbudded ones mature and coem into milk.

-- Rebekah (, April 03, 2003.

We occasionally get horned adult goats into our herd. We use rubber elastrator bands (normally used for castrating male kids) to remove the horns. Put one ring as far down the horn as possible, preferably onto the skin. The lower down the ring and the more skin the better the job will be. Put another ring on the horn and roll it down the horn and OVER the first ring. If the goat is young, this may cause pain in the goat for a little while, but older animals don't seem to have this problem. The horns will take several weeks to a month to drop off. Watch where the rings are cutting in carefully for any sign of infection or fly problems.

-- Max Farm (farmmax!, June 21, 2003.

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