Dehorning, Yes or no?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by CodyMyGoat, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. CodyMyGoat

    CodyMyGoat New Member

    Jan 27, 2009
    We have a two year old alpine mix doe, that has horns that are 6-8 inches long. We're thinking about getting them removed, because she's always beating up on our youngest doe... Comments?
  2. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I did this with Demi when she was 6 months old. It is a really messy procedure and the goat has literal holes right down into its skull for weeks after. You have to be very careful to keep the holes clean as they are the sinus cavities and an infection could be pretty serious considering their proximity to the brain. It was a massive deal with Demi, I had to keep her separate for about 3 weeks... i have pictures on my laptop of what it looked like. But I cant get on my laptop at the moment... will work on that one.
    Personally I dont know that I would go through this a second time.


  3. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    I have banded a few goats horns off, but they were younger than yours. We had no holes in the head or anything like that to deal with. I disbudded the spot after it had fallen off to keep it from growing back. I don't keep horned goats so I would band them off. Dehorning involves the vet digging the horns out. I would advise against that and would never opt to do that with a goat I owned. Banding is less traumatic than dehorning and doesn't leave the sinuses open.
  4. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    The vet does not dig the horns out when dehorning, but it is still equally stressful.

    I've had two goats dehorned by a vet, I was able to get pictures during the second time and you can see them here(warning: extremely graphic):

    When we had them dehorned, they were emergency procedures, both of them knocked one scur(their scurs were as big as horns) off and were bleeding profusely. I think banding is a much better alternative.
  5. Trace

    Trace New Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    Holy guacamole - I am glad that I had my brekkie before I read that!!!!!

    That is enough to put me off EVER considering this op.
  6. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I agree with some of the previous responses--I would definitely band them rather than have them surgically removed if you choose to take them off. It will be much easier on everyone involved.
  7. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    try banding. just make a notch as close to the skin as possible, take an elastrolater and slip in onto the notch. and let it sit for around 6weeks. worked wonderfully on a 4yr old nigerian
  8. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    HOLLY COW. No wonder I do not dehorn.

    I say leave them on the poor goat. That is just way to stressful, even banding is.
  9. CodyMyGoat

    CodyMyGoat New Member

    Jan 27, 2009
    Does banding seem to be painful?
  10. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Banding does cause them discomfort, I did a 5 year old nigi doer last fall for my mom, first one ever for me, Coco was more upset at being held down than she was with the banding. Yes, it does cause them some pain especially when the banded goat decides to use her head...Coco did as she always did, beat up on the others til she realized it hurt to do so.

    Her horns dropped off within 5 weeks, no bleeding and now she looks as though she never had them.
  11. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    That is great to know Liz.
  12. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    I have never dehorned a goat after watching the procedure as the vet did 16 goats 20 years ago. I have had goats for 15 years and all have always had opinion is keep them dull.
  13. bheila

    bheila New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    I would only band my goats horns off. I banded 3 goats about 6 weeks ago. 2 of them have already fallen off. The third goat has only lost one horn.

    Do as Katrina said, use a chainsaw file to make a notch in the horn as close to the skull as possible, put 2 bands on and change weekly. Make sure all of your tools are sterile. I sprayed my girls heads/horns with iodine just before I placed the bands. They will scream like you're trying to kill them when you replace the bands.

    The first 2 girls I did went well. One of the girls did get infected after one of her horns fell off. I just used some Iodine and water to flush the hole out and she's been fine ever since. When they had the bands on they were in a little bit of pain. They walked around like they had a headache so I would give them pain meds when they needed it. The third doe I banded didn't mine the bands at all. She still headbutted everyone and she walked around like nothing ever bothered her
  14. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine have horns and I do use duct tape across the tops of the horns of more aggressive goats.

    It helps to keep new goats "safe" as they find their place in the herd.
  15. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Personally i dont like horns. I have banded a few sets, but it can be a messy procedure. Before you put the bands on make sure you have a proper medical kit put together. Have a disbudding iron handy at all times.
    Sometimes they will knock horns off before they are ready to come off, making a bloody mess. Cauterizing is the fastest and most efficiant way to stop the bleeding. Other things to have on hand are rolls of vet wrap gauze pads blood stop powder and banamine.
    Other times the horns just fall off with bo bleeding or anything.
    Of course this is the scenario we all look for but it doesnt always go as planned.
    Not meaning to scare you or anything like that. Either banding or haing them removed by a vet can be a very messy and painful process. and you need to be prepaired to handle things.
  16. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    I don't believe in leaving horns on goats... I would definitely prefer to disbud kids rather than have to have full horns surgically removed though. I don't think I would ever do that.

    Banding sounds like a good option for older goats that were not disbudded as kids.

    I have a buck that will be banded as soon as the flies go away!!! :- )

    Faint-Hearted Ranch
  17. deineria

    deineria New Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    Huntington, WV
    You can - to avoid removing the horns - do something like this - lol. . . it is effective ;)

  18. jesse300

    jesse300 Guest

    Oct 28, 2009
    I love the handle on that goat.

    We disbud all of ours. After looking at those pics I would not be able to have it done once they got older.
  19. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    Oct 12, 2009
    I like the horns, and I find disbudding to be a very cruel procedure. We bought an adult doe this spring and found out that she was brain damaged due to a bad disbudding job. She had so many behavioral abnormalities that I don't know how she lived to two years old in the first place! And a friend of mine who raises goats lost an entire crop of kids when she had a 'goat expert' come out and disbud them...she said they all got very sick and spent three weeks in misery before they finally died. Their little brains had been cooked by the iron. She now leaves them horned, or bands them. She said she also tried some sort of a 'dehorning cream' on kids, and they ran around screaming and running into things like it hurt them.

    All the kids born on our property are left horned. None of them have ever given us any problem, even our buck. My two year old niece drags our horned Alpine buck around on a leash and he will carefully tip his head so his horns stay out of her way!

    The downside to this is that we can't show these animals. (Personally I think they ought to have classes for disbudded goats and classes for horned goats.) So next year I'm going to have to get a doeling disbudded so I can try showing. Personally I find the process unnecessary and's like cutting off the tail or ears of a dog just to fit the breed standard. Goats were created with horns, and I like to leave them that way. A better alternative is just to train the animals in proper behavior. My horned goats actually show less aggression than the ones I bought already disbudded. The only goat who has ever tried to butt a human around here is an old disbudded doe. Our goats come into contact with each other, fencing, and people continuously and we have never had any issue with the horns being 'dangerous'.
  20. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Dehorning cream is nasty. It basically burns away at whatever it touches. Its a slow painful process. And think about it, its meant to get rid of the hard substance of horn. It does the same to anything else it touches. It doesnt stay where you put it.
    As for disbudding, I have disbudded hundreds of kids, and never ever had a problem. I used to work at a dairy where there was an average of two hundred kids a year born (thats when i got most of my experience with disbudding). Its all a matter of timing. The younger you do it the better. When you wait for the horn to pop out of the skin, it has not only grown up but out. The horn does what is known as spiderwebbing. it establishes itself and grows outward. I do my alpine kids at one to three days old (most other breeds i wait a bit longer) When you wait you have to hold the iron on longer therefore applying more heat to the kids head. Rather then count out seconds i hold the iron on for only a couple of seconds at a time and check, letting the kids head cool for a few seconds in between burns. It takes a bit longer but i get a better burn and less scurs.
    Just mt 2 cents