Horns vs. No Horns

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by ChesapeakeBorn, May 16, 2017.

  1. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn New Member

    39
    Sep 29, 2014
    I have a couple of two month old fainters that still have their horns - one doe and one wether. These are backyard pets (and weed whackers, lol). Can we talk about the pros and cons of having horns? Do I really need to have them removed?
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator

    No you don't. That is a personal preference. You do have to be very horn aware when around them.
     

  3. JK_Farms

    JK_Farms Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2016
    Tennessee
    I have horned and non horned goats and I love all of them sometimes the horns can make them aggressive but that hasn't been true for me
     
  4. Bree_6293

    Bree_6293 Briawell6293

    Aug 3, 2014
    Australia
    We have horned and disbudded. Either is fine. If they keep their horns you just need to be aware of them so they don't accidentally poke you but you can put padding (tennis balls/ pool noodles) on them if there is kids around instead of removing the horns
     
  5. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    I also have both and in ways like both of them for different reasons. Right now with the kids and giving cocci prevention I am not liking horns on them lol only because I hold their heads between my legs and now have finger print looking bruises on my legs. When I am drenching a goat or worming them I like horns because I can hold them in a head lock better. I like no horns because I don't have to worry about heads being stuck in the fence (this is not every goat all the time but some do get it in their heads that they have to have their heads stuck)
    Honestly though with yours being two month old I would let them have their horns. It won't be a easy disbudding and no horns at this point. You would either have to hand them or take them into a vet and there will be a good amount of pain with both options.
     
  6. Boer86

    Boer86 Member

    33
    Jun 7, 2016
    Pros: natural for goats to have them. They use them to scratch their backs and establish themselves socially in the herd. They also help the goat keep cool in hot weather. Plus they make a great means of controlling the goat I may have grabbed a horn or two when they try to push their way through a gate.

    Cons: they can get their heads caught in field fencing or larger panels. Can cause injuries but I have never had this problem.
     
  7. I hate them, I've been smacked in the mouth and chipped my front teeth and I've also had black eyes from a young buck jumping up at me.They are dangerous and if you have young children they could get poked in the eyes. I have young wethers in with 4 doe kids and they bully the does who have been disbudded ,all registered dairy goats have to be dis budded .Also the bruises and I don't know how many times I've had to rescue a kid with horns with its head stuck through netting:sigh: teejae
     
  8. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    You can blunt the tips with a file if that makes you feel safer. I believe you can take an inch or 2 off, but make sure of that if you decide to do it.
     
  9. gwith

    gwith Member

    699
    Aug 12, 2014
    Weatherford, Tx
    I love horns. We have both. The horns are a natural handle that I can use anytime I need to work the goats.

    I have had them get caught in fences when they are at a certain size. I am fighting that right now with one. Once she grows for another month or so she won't be able to get her head into the fence to begin with.

    If you keep horns, you may want to consider making them blunt. I do that for everyone's safety.
     
  10. Damfino

    Damfino Active Member

    885
    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I have horns and de-horned and have no issues. At two months, the disbudding ship has sailed and you're better off educating yourself on managing horned goats. I personally don't think horns are a problem, but you do need to keep them in mind when planning your setup and when handling your goats.

    You can't take horns for granted, and it's important to watch out for your face when bending over to pet or when medicating (I wear eye protection when medicating a horned goat). I tend to chalk most horn incidents up to improper management and user error. As long as fences, feeders, gates, shelters, etc. are designed with horns in mind you shouldn't have problems with horns getting caught or goats being destructive. Always remain "horn aware" when handling and when allowing others near your goats. It's a lot like being "hoof aware" and "teeth aware" when handling ponies. Train goats to be mannerly and train children to be respectful. I like to use halters when handling horned goats so I can control their heads without grabbing the horns. Grabbing a goat by the horns can make them angry and more likely to fight you at some point. However, horns are a great "handle" if you slip your arm behind them to hold the goat still.

    When my goats are in public and I know they will be handled by a lot of people (especially children), I plop a tennis ball on each horn and vetwrap it in place for safety. It looks festive and prevents accidents should a goat startle and turn his head suddenly. I've never had a goat whack a kid even by mistake, but we don't like to take chances. The best "horn protection" by far is teaching your goats good manners from a young age. Have fun with your new babies!

    Here are my goats with their horns wrapped for an Easter party last month.
     

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  11. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    Very festive!!:)
     
  12. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn New Member

    39
    Sep 29, 2014
    Thank you so much everyone for your detailed responses! I really appreciate the information.
     
  13. BoerSaanenmother12

    BoerSaanenmother12 Member

    89
    May 21, 2014
    To me Horned goats are nothing but trouble and they will break your heart.


    I raised a 3 week old Buckling as a bottle baby every thing went great until he hit 3 months old some how he got his leg stuck in something don't know what and fractured his leg so 10 weeks every 7 days or so going to the vets casting his leg up for 10 weeks but he healed and the vets was great. almost 400.00 dollars but well worth it.

    But a couple weeks after his leg fixed He snapped his neck and was Dead. Some how he got his head in the fence we have for are 3 pit bulls and panicked not due to are dogs as they were in side at the time but he tried to get his head out of the fence and i guess it snapped so I had to dig a whole and bury my best buddy.

    My Oberhasli doe that I raised as well with him she would also get her head stuck in things but she was i guess smarter then my buckling she wouldn't freak out she would just scream or her buddy would scream and come running if she was stuck so i would always go rescue her.

    But in the end I ended up selling all my horned goats because I just couldn't take having to worry about them every single day worried if they are going to get there head stuck in something i could not get it out.


    But Now i own 3 beautiful goats with no horns 2 Nigerian dwarf does and a 4 month old Mini Lamancha buckling who is a sweet heart but a very loud mouth screamer when he doesn't get his way or get out when he wants out. :sigh::tears:
     
  14. Damfino

    Damfino Active Member

    885
    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I'm sorry you lost your goat. That's unfortunate. However, it goes straight back to management. You say the goat broke his leg, but you don't blame his hooves! For the same reason, it's misleading to blame the horns when a goat breaks his neck. Injuries and accidents happen for any number of reasons, but I prefer to blame the fencing or other object than blame the animal. I've known goats without horns to also break their necks in fences and feeders, but you won't find me blaming their lack of horns. If a certain setup is dangerous for goats with horns, change it. If it's dangerous for goats without horns, change it. I have a feeder that is dangerous for goats without horns. There's a wedge-shaped gap in the corner that is too narrow for horns to fit through, but exactly the right size and shape for a dehorned goat's head to get caught in. I need to fix it before I start feeding hay again this winter because I have several dehorned does who could be hurt or killed. It all comes down to risk management for whatever type(s) of goats you have and knowing that nothing is 100% foolproof. But we do the best we can.
     
  15. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn New Member

    39
    Sep 29, 2014
    Wow, I had the impression that goats are pretty smart, but the way they break their necks now has me thinking otherwise! What type of fencing would you consider to be dangerous?
     
  16. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    I have had many many heads stuck in the fence, feeders and on and on and never had a broken neck :( I'm so sorry you had that happen. This one stupid kid I have always has his head stuck in the feeder it seems and he comes out fine, he just has to think about it till I go out there. The only issue I ever had was actually a disbudded doe with a pretty good scur, she for some ungodly reason out her head threw the fence one night and then a storm came threw and she ended up getting pneumonia and dying. But I totally blame the animal its self! There is no reason for this kid to put his whole head Into the feeder, out of 80 some odd kids he's the only one. That doe had no reason to put her head threw the fence, there was NOTHING on the other side. I've had ones that they never stop getting their heads stuck. One I got loose and by the time I made it back to the house she already had her head out. She left not long after that. I won't put up with constantly being stuck. I don't mind the oops I had a stupid moment but when they keep doing that they leave.
    As for what fence if you get the wire with the smaller squares, I think they are 2X4, we call in no climb fencing here, they can't get their heads stuck. The feeders I have are 4X4 square panels and kids can get their heads stuck in it (as I mentioned with dumb dumb) but nothing can get their heads threw that no climb fencing
     
  17. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead

    I recommend no climb horse fence with 2 x 4 holes.
     
  18. Damfino

    Damfino Active Member

    885
    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Goats are smart, but there are always a few stupid individuals who get the Darwin Award. ;)
     
  19. JK_Farms

    JK_Farms Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2016
    Tennessee
    I have one doe named Liszt that loved to get her head stuck in the horse fencing!!!! I switched to the goat fencing and love it she doesn't cause she can't get her head thru tho lol!
     
  20. BoerSaanenmother12

    BoerSaanenmother12 Member

    89
    May 21, 2014



    I didn't blame the goat I blamed the fence we chose to use for the dogs because they won't go through the fence but I new something like this would happened one day and well it happened and there is nothing i can do that will bring him back.


    But I will never own goats with horns that is just me yes i can still have the same problem but not likely.