Banding an older buck's horns?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Epona142, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Is it possible? Advisable?

    I ask because of Buckly. We are extremely fond of him, but have decided that all our future bucks will be disbudded or just generally hornless. They just do too much damage with their horns (not to people or other goats, just to stuff.)

    We were considering selling Buckly after this year's breeding, but like I mentioned, we are fond of him. He is a sweetheart and very lovely.

    He's visiting a friend right now, or rather, he's visiting a friend's does. She has banded most of her goat's horns and has been very successful with it.

    Buckly has such WIDE horn bases. He's around five years old (another reason I'd hate to sell him, who knows where he'd end up.)

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    We of course would not be doing it now. We'd look to do it after the first frost, so that bugs aren't an issue.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    At this point why? is he a problem with them? At 5 I cant see making any major life changes to a goat :shrug: just my opinion tho
     

  3. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I understand what you're saying. We're really just kicking the idea around.

    He does a lot of damage to fencing and housing with his horns, plus all of our future bucks will be hornless, and I'd hate for him to hurt one fighting with them.

    Housing him separate may or may not be an option depending on how our current situation works out.

    It's really just something we're just mulling over; it may not even be an issue if things work out to the best. I guess mostly just thinking out loud?
     
  4. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    With the rest being hornless then I would consider the idea then. Add to that the damage he does then yep. And as far as I know you can band em all just use a cow bander since they are so wide. :thumb:
     
  5. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Thanks for your thoughts. Hopefully everything that we're working on works out and whether he gets banded or not, I hope we don't have to sell him and he can stay with us. :hug:
     
  6. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    First of I am very very much a horns on person, having Boers which are not normally disbudded. I also have a Nubian who is disbudded and she gets along great with all her horned buddies. In fact she is the herd queen.
    I realize this would probably not be the case should you put a hornless buck in with him.
    Buckly has an absolutley magnificent set of horns! Im sure he does lots of damage with them to your fences & whatnot.
    The only experience I've had with taking horns off were on two mo olds for FFA which were a good two inches and wide base. They had the vet come out to do it.
    It wasnt pretty. The goats did ok with it. He gave them a sedative then used ob wire to remove them. After that it was the disbudding iron.
    Then the reverse shot to bring them back around which seemed to take 10 or 15 minutes.
     
  7. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    All of my does have horns; I love horns and prefer goats with them.

    Its just that Buckly is far too destructive with his, and as we plan on having disbudded bucks in the future (for a number of reasons, safety mostly, and to avoid the problems we're having with Buckly now) we wouldn't want to have him with his big beautiful horns beating on some hornless bucks.

    Surgical dehorning makes me very nervous, I've heard some horror stories about it.

    Ahhh...what to do, what to do.
     
  8. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    I'll second surgical dehorning, as long as you have a good vet that knows and understands goats, especially how to put them under without killing them. The only reason I recommend a vet is because he is so old, and his horns are quite developed. If you were to band him and he were to knock his horn off prematurely, he may lose a lot of blood.

    In the Goat Sense 101 there is a thread I started about dehorning with some very graphic pics of the procedure, it may be very gory but if I had to do it again I would have rather had the vet do it.
     
  9. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I really like Buckly AND his horns!

    I do understand where you are coming from though, I have always had horned goats and the bucks are the most destructive! It took me a good 3 years of patching fences and fixing latches on gates to realize that I needed to "accomodate" Hanks strength. Galvanized goat panels secured with t posts at every 4 feet have done wonders...as well as heavy duty latches!

    I have banded a 6 year old nigi does horns...because of the bully factor. She did very well and hers were nearly as wide at the base, it took a few weeks and when they did come off she was mopey for awhile but is back to her head butting self...just not endangering the other goats.

    I do have 1 "baldy" buck in with my 2 horned boys, Chief gets into it with them just the same as if he had hornsd himself, and he knows when to stay out of their way, I have an "escape" for him in the form of a box, he can hide if need be and their pen is plenty big for him to be by himself and out of their way.
     
  10. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I love Buckly and his horns too, I just hate the damage he does. :greengrin:

    I will go look at the thread, goathappy, thanks.

    Liz - Buckly's pen is made from cattle panels, and so far they hold up great! If things come to pass and we get the house we're looking at, the buck pasture should be large enough to offer hornless bucks plenty of room to run away from him.

    Guess we'll just take it one step at a time right now.
     
  11. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I dont know that i would consider it. I have successfully banded horns in the past, but they had a very small base. normally a doe or a somwhat young kid. Or a large scur. Buckly has a very large hornbase and its going to leave a very large open wound in his head. Even surgical is going to be quite tramatic for him.
    I dont know that i would risk it.
    beth
     
  12. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I think you're right sparks.

    If we banded, I think there's no doubt he would knock them off early and possibly bleed to death.

    I guess we should REALLY hope we get the house we want! Lots of room for a good sized buck area, and we'll use cattle panel and find some nice things for him to rub his head on.
     
  13. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I had used the cattle panels as well, but Hank would get his head stuck in them, I had to use bolt cutters to free him, thing is with Hank, his horns are not like Buckly's, Hanks go back and then tip out to the side, he could get his head through the squares but the "tip out" of his horns made it so he couldn't bring it back through, the goat panels solved that for us as the squares are 1/4 the size of those in the cattle panels. And I'm lucky enough to have a hubby that is handy with a welder as he custom made gates within the panels that are "buck" proof!
     
  14. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I personally am a proponent of banding horns when the needs arise. I have banded horns on a 4 year old pygmy, a 2 year old boer/sanaan, and a 5 year old boer/sanaan. The reason was the same as yours.

    I never had a huge issue with the bleeding and I am gone for 14 hours a day. they know when it gets close to falling off because it is tender. The older the animal is, the longer it takes for them to fall off - 6 weeks probobly - but if it is a matter of him staying with you or finding the right horn for him not to have the horns - then do it.

    Now, surgical dehorning, I personally would not do. I have seen the pictures and the aftercare, and i thought that I was going to loose my lunch. There is not a way that I could do it personally.
     
  15. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Buckly can't fit his big horns through cattle panel, so it works for us.

    I guess it really all comes down to what happens in the near future here. :scratch:
     
  16. Firestone Creek Farm

    Firestone Creek Farm New Member

    432
    Jul 11, 2008
    NC, USA
    Does anyone have pictures or directions for this process? Magellan, who is about 8 weeks old now, has scurs that are growing. I disbudded him twice already, and he WANTS those horns! I'd really like to be able to show him, if possible, and I am keeping him so he'll be in with my other hornless bucks. I'd love some info on removal before the horns grow any larger... one is already kinda 'broken' off midways, but they haven't fallen off like they should have. He was disbudded early, too, and I burned an X over the horn area... just didn't work. :(

    Angie
     
  17. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    With an 8 week olds scurs it may be too early to band...shave the base and roll a castrating band down as close to the head as you can get it, if you can change the band weekly it will speed up the process.
     
  18. Firestone Creek Farm

    Firestone Creek Farm New Member

    432
    Jul 11, 2008
    NC, USA
    Thanks, Liz! I'll do that. :)

    Angie