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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With kids on the ground now disbudding looms on the horizon. My question is: in the instructions I've read and videos I've watched I've seen some people only burn the copper ring and others do the copper ring and cauterized the center after the skin cap is knocked off. Am I understanding this correctly? And if so what would you recommend doing?
 

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we always knock the cap off and cauterize. Bucks do best with the figure 8.
 

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Bucks are hard. I like to shave the horn area with clippers. Burning hair stinks!
The important thing with disbudding is to KEEP that iron on the horn bud for the full time- I count to 13-15 seconds. Putting it on and off is how the skull gets heated up and brain damage can occur. Make sure that iron is HOT, hold it for a second or 2 on a piece of wood (it should make a nice black ring in 2 seconds or less).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bucks are hard. I like to shave the horn area with clippers. Burning hair stinks!
The important thing with disbudding is to KEEP that iron on the horn bud for the full time- I count to 13-15 seconds. Putting it on and off is how the skull gets heated up and brain damage can occur. Make sure that iron is HOT, hold it for a second or 2 on a piece of wood (it should make a nice black ring in 2 seconds or less).
Well, now I'm confused. All the places I saw said 5-8. :shrug: Is your recommendation for a lower watt iron? I see on caprine supplies website it says that. I have the Rhinehart X-30.
 

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I have a Rhinehart X50. I also have an ice pack in case a kid acts like his head is too hot. After 400+ disbuddings, I have only ever had to use the ice pack twice- and that was because the horn buds were pretty big.
 

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We do a five count, remove the iron to let the head cool, do the other side, then come back to the first side with a 5 count for bucks for the second time and a 3 count for does. That is how our vet taught us to do it. He told us not to hold too long or you could literally burn through the skull. After that we pop off the caps and cauterize any bleeds, then figure 8 if a buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So you do the extra figure eight burn on boys after you've completed the horn bud burn?
 

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If you're nervous about it, you can ask a vet (or local knowledgable goat person) to come over and do it the first time so you can watch in person and learn.

For me, it's something I never intend to do on my own - my vet's rates are very reasonable (they make most of their $$$ on horses) and I strongly prefer the kids to be sedated while the procedure occurs, so it's worth it to me to pay a small fee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't really have any goat people I know around me, and my vet is against disbudding, so she's of no help. I am a bit nervous (how could you not be?), but I think I can do it. It's tough when there are so many different opinions out there, but I think I have a handle on what I'm going to do. I'm just glad for today to get a little more educated and prepared. I thought for sure my little buckling would need to be done today.
 

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Go by the copper circle- as you gain experience, you will get a better idea of how long to leave the iron on. What works for one person may not work for another. Just make sure your iron is hot. And wear leather gloves! Especially the first time!

You will do fine. Its a scary proposition, but it is actually harder on you than the goat! (I tell myself that every time! )
 

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It’s normal to be nervous, especially the first few. It gets less stressful the more you do. I haven’t managed to permanently harm any of them yet, and I think I’ve gotten better along the way. Take breaks as needed, for both you and the goat. Don’t rush things. Shave a bigger area than you think you need (burning hair smells awful and shaving helps decrease the smell). For the bucklings, clearly identify the horn flute so you have the iron properly positioned.

Disbudding is the thing I most hate about kidding season; however for our situation it is a necessary evil. You’ll be fine, just take a deep breath and focus on the job.
 
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