going crazy over disbudding!

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by farmergal, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    I have had terrible luck with disbudding -- and I haven't even done it myself yet! I bought 6 Nigi doelings in early summer, and out of the 6, 4 started to re-grow their horns after being with me for a couple of months. Two had been disbudded by a relatively new breeder -- I took one of the kids back to be to her and she said that the horns didn't need to be re-burned, but afterwards the horns kept growing -- and two had been disbudded by a vet. (The only ones who didn't start growing scurs came from Castle Rock Farm, which goes to show it helps to buy from long-time goat folk.)
    Anyway, I found a local vet who loves goats, and she gave all 4 kids a numbing shot and then reburned the scurs for me. But, she cautioned that it might take a couple of attempts to totally stop them from growing, since they weren't done right when the kids were young. When she burned them, the scurs were about 1/2 inch long at most.
    In the last week I've realized... at least three of the goats have horns growing back in (with the fourth, the scab hasn't fallen off yet so I still can't tell, but given my luck it will probably start growing in too). Two of the goats have pretty slow-growing scurs and one seems to be growing in way faster than before. It went from nothing to 1/2 inch in like a week!
    This is getting tricky: the kids are now going on 7 months old. It's pretty expensive to have them burned at the vet's. (She misquoted me a price originally and stood by that for the first round... but the normal price is at least $100 per goat.) I just ordered a Rhinehart X50 from Hoegger's because I'll need one for kidding season anyway. So here's the question: do I reburn them myself, or do I take them back to the vet's so they can get a numbing shot? (The goats still scream like the dickens, and the vet says it doesn't help all that much, but it does help a little.)
    My fiancee has told me that I'm going to have to do this on my own eventually, and that most of my reasons for not wanting to do it myself are silly. (Like, I'm afraid the goats won't like me afterwards, and I'm a little bit chicken.) Has anyone had this much trouble with scurs, and had to reburn this much? Any advice on what to do? I feel bad for putting my goats through this, but I also feel like it's better for them in the long run -- I've heard enough horror stories about scurs growing back into their heads, and horn surgery removal to realize that I really don't want a goat with horns.
    Thanks for any help!!
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    once the horn base attaches to the skull yes it is much harder to keep them from growing back and requires a couple attemps usually.

    I would personally either reburn them myself or wait till they grow a bit and then band the scurs off.

    If you do burn them know that you HAVE to hold it on the head and push and roll the disbudder around to make sure you get even pressure all the way around. SInce the horn base is attached youmay need to burn around the tip of the horn more then you think you will -- feel the horn base and make sure you burn the entire area.

    Give them all a shot of banamine just before you do this -- ask you vet for a bottle or a couple syringes -- she may just sell a full bottle to you if you ask and tell her why you are needing it.

    banamine is 1cc per 100lbs

    or you can register with Vet Serv and purchase a bottle for like 46.00 plus shipping which isn't bad at all. I paid 40.00 from my vet.

    I purchased the 1cc syringes which are marked in units so I give 1unit per 10lbs. I found these at Jefferslivestock.com

  3. bheila

    bheila New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    I'd just let the horns grow out and then band them. I'd hate hate hate to have to keep burning them. Banding isn't a big deal.
  4. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    Horns are not a bad thing .... I never debud and have been raising goats over 15 years without a major problem More problems come from removing horns. Just my opinion.
  5. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    now see i wont have goat with horns besides the show boers.. and i rarely have any anymore. one too many horn incidents involving myself or other hornless goats. i've gotten it in the face and thigh, other goats in the belly and udders
  6. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Thanks for the advice and the idea that I can give them the shot myself. I think that I will try reburning them myself, at least one more time, and see where I can get that shot.

    If I let them grow in and then band them, don't they keep growing after that? Or does that somehow stop them? I don't want to do that if I have to keep re-banding throughout the goat's life...
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    banding usually stops the growth -- but if it bleeds you will wan to burn the area just to cauterize it

    still can end up with small true scurs (not shaped or thick like a horn) but these usually fall off before they become large enough to do damage.
  8. citylights

    citylights Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Stacey -- you rock! I hate doing anything that hurts the animals, so I just this week disbudded my first two babies. Ugh! None of us were too happy about it! And everytime they moved, I burned a little more hair off th em. Poor babies....
  9. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    I'm right there with you! LOL Last season 10 out of my 12 kids were polled. I was thrilled that we only needed to disbud 2 kids!!! Normally my friend and mentor disbuds my kids for us... but we decided it was time to learn ourselves since we have a much larger herd now and instead of having 4-5 kids needing to be disbudded per year we are now looking at at least 20. Anyway... my hubby and I did our very first disbudding ourselves and it was the only kid I've ever seen have ooze.... it scared us so bad we stopped (though we should have burned through) so our only kid we disbudded grew back HUGE horns and now we are scared to do it ourselves! :shrug: I guess we'll just have to pray we get 90-100% polled kids so we don't have to worry about it!!! LOL

    Faint-Hearted Ranch
  10. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    That's the problem with newbies just beginning to disbud. Your always afraid of hurting the goat, but in all honesty its better to make sure you did it fully than to fear hurting the kid. Everyone has to learn how to do it and do it right but it doesn't take long to catch on and make it right. My first year I had some small scurs on mine, but after that only a couple boys had scurs, the girls have perfect heads. Since then they've all been picture perfect.

    As for yours, banding, if done low and stays in place is the best bet. However it is the most painful for the goat. Burning is more traumatic at one time, but they heal quicker and get over it quicker. If I felt I could remove the horn myself by burning I would do it.

    I did have a doe who regrew horns a little, not full horns after being disbudded as a kid. I reburned hers and there was a horny appendage that wouldn't burn off, just the outside portion of the horn. I left the bony part on which was only about a half inch in length. After being exposed to the air it became brittle and she naturally broke it off painlessly playing with other goats. The horn never regrew because of how well we'd burned the base on the second go around.

    Good luck which ever route you choose. It'll work out I'm sure either way.
  11. mnspinner

    mnspinner New Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    NDs are tougher to disbud than the standards because they have an odder-shaped teardop base rather than circular.
    Seven months is really getting up there to be trying to burn again, especially for the 3rd time. Some breeders opt to keep the scurring down by pruning the tops or some even use a dremmel tool to keep the growth in check.
    Banding would definitely be an option, but you need to do it properly and make sure the band is in the groove where the horn base and skin meet.
    Removing the horns surgically is not something I would recommend.
    Disbudding is definitely a skill that takes practice. It took me 3 years to be successful - particularly on stubborn buck growth. Most newbies don't burn long or wide enough.
  12. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Update on what I ended up doing: I called a large animal hospital in the area, and talked to a vet over the phone. They said that when goats are this old they prefer to put them under -- so I decided that rather than wait for the disbudding iron to arrive (and then have to fight to restrain the kids) I'd try out the large animal hospital, which is a bit further away than my other vet. They were wonderful, and it only cost me $100 for the 4 kids, even with putting them under, which was really reasonable considering usual vet costs around here.

    With a couple of the kids, the vet was really glad I brought in because they had fast-growing scurs that would have been problematic. The other two weren't as bad, but I was glad that the vet looked at them and did a tiny bit of burning anyway... he's seen way more horns than I have so he knows better than me when to worry.

    So, here's hoping that I end up with very small or nonexistent scurs after this last effort... I swear this is the last one, I won't put the kids through this again! And after seeing what a pain this has been, hopefully that will give me the courage to burn the kids well when they're little so they won't have to go through all this later in life.

    myfainters -- why oh why didn't I think to try and get a polled buck? sigh....
  13. mnspinner

    mnspinner New Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Sounds like you made the best decision. Hopefully you won't get any regrowth, but don't be surprised if you do. I had a qualified vet years ago do the same procedure on a buck who was 12 weeks (originally disbudded at under a week) and he came back with a perfectly clean head. But alas, he did grow back some pretty hefty scurs.
    With does though, you should be good.