Horn Growth..genetic or nutritional

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by liz, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Just a curious question, What do you think contributes to horn growth...in bucks, wethers and does?
  2. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    I would say both genetic and nutritional would contribute but that is a good ? and I really am not sure.

  3. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    I would say both also, and varying by gender.. and males seem to grow larger horns. Selenium helps prevent cracks in the horns, so nutrition plays a factor.
  4. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I say mainly hormones and genetics. Maybe nutritional. But that is a really neat question. Actually, nutrition having a part in it makes a lot of sense as certain minerals are really good for keeping healthy hooves. . . . so, it would affect horn growth as well? :shrug:

    Bucks definitely are good at growing those horns & scurs! Even with great disbudding jobs, bucks will grow scurs. Roy did, but it fell off. He's getting another one now. . . . All that testosterone (sp?)
  5. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Beings I have horns on all my goats, I would have to say that the Genetics do play a little. You can see mother and daughter with the exact same horn pattern, and others that are not at all remotely alike. Now at a she I was the judges assistant. She was telling me that some of the goats we were looking at had the hors the way they were because of a worm overload as a baby or as they were growing up. I am not sure I believe that totally. I do know that the Cashmere goats horns, you can tell if they are a line from Mongolia, China, or where ever from the horn shape. I guess they all had a different shape and for that I do believe it has a lot to do with the nutrition.

    Liz, my daughter just said that is a great question. Maybe she will research it sand do that as her 4H demo this year. :leap:
  6. Tog Lovers

    Tog Lovers New Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Greensburg, PA
    I would say that it would have alot to do with nutrition. Goats are of the same family as deer. And studies have shown that the horn growth in deer is based on nutrition. A buck with a 10 point rack one year may only have a six point rack the following year if the quality of food is decreased or if there is more competition for food.
  7. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Great answers everyone! I to agree that both genetics as well as nutrition play a role in horn growth...all of mine except the 2 reg. nigis have horns....and having 3 generations of does, all their horns are similar, Bucks definately get the heavy growth from testosterone, and TogLovers, you are very right about deer and the bucks racks there...and well, they are close cousins to goats.

    Even though Angel was not born here, her sire is my Hank...he has a very impressive set of horns...Angels dam was polled, her horns are a nice size for a year and a half old...Bailey was noy born here so I don't know wether to attribute her spindly horns to genetics or what she may have been lacking in nutrition before I bought her.

    Sweetgoats....I think your daughter would do very well with doing the research on this subject...it would definately get some attention.