You are correct and here are some links on that:When I grab his horns, they are quite warm and clearly have blood flow. I assume the horns are a natural way for goats to release heat but have found nothing online regarding the subject.
- https://www.jstor.org/stable/30152426 [scientific article that is, unfortunately, not free]
- http://www.synergyecology.ca/S8Msheep/documents/Hoefs2000CanJZool.pdf [An interesting study on sheep horns]
- "[Horns] also have a thermoregulatory roll in cattle and goats. When the ambient temperature increases, the blood flow through the dermis of the horn also increases, thus facilitating heat loss through radiation from the horn surface."[link]
I've had many, many goats over the past couple of decades. Horned, disbudded and polled, and does, bucks and a wether. And only four of them were dangerous or injurious to people, one horned Alpine who cracked my wrist, two bucks and one doe. Another couple of does were safe around people but terrorized other animals, one was horned, one was disbudded. (One disbudded doe was a biter and inflicted some nasty bites on other does. One horned doe liked to act like the wether you are describing and poke and hurt other livestock.)
The problem isn't necessarily the horns. I'm not saying that horns can't be dangerous. But the chief source of the problem can be the personality or meanness of the animal itself. That same type of animal if disbudded can still inflict serious damage to another animal by biting. A thoroughly mean animal will find a way of hurting someone or another animal, horns or no horns.
Sometimes it isn't necessarily that they are mean, I've had goats that were just plain careless and rough, the kind that might accidentally step on their kids or even sit on them. But the careless ones are not doing it intentionally, and might even swing a horn at their own leg accidentally. I prefer does that are gentle and cautious mothers and most of mine will look twice before walking around their newborn kids.
And if they are excited over feed or treats that is a state of frenzy and one has to understand and allow for that.
Not all goats are that rough. Not all are dangerous to humans and not all of them inflict bruises. That would appear to be more of a personality issue. I've had Nigerian Dwarf does, a wether and intact bucks that were so calm and gentle and docile that they were perfectly safe to be around small children. They never hurt or harmed any creature. Not all goats are that docile and gentle. But even the ones who aren't do not go out of their way to cause harm. I have goats with sharp horns and they have never hurt anyone, man or beast.
Indeed, most of my goats have been very well behaved, six problem goats is a very tiny percentage over the years. Because I know that most of the goats I have had have been safe, I do not tolerate any goat that injures my family on purpose. If it happened accidentally, or in another words, not intentionally, that's another story. In the end, I culled the viciously mean animals out of my herd. And vicious is no understatement, they were not wild but would go out of their way to come up to a person or other animal and hurt them. I have never owned a Pygmy goat, but have seen many of that breed in my area and know that there are gentler Pygmy goats out there.
If we were discussing geese, that would be different. Geese are naturally protective of their flock and goslings. If were discussing cattle, that would also be another matter. A cow with a young calf can be dangerous. If we were discussing a large breed of goat, well, there are meaner bucks and wethers in certain breeds so that is an exception. Now, I mean absolutely no offense by this but I just want to dispel the myth that all goats are mean and hurt people. There are some behavior differences among the various breeds, but not that much. And not all miniature Pygmy wethers are that mean. Though there are individual exceptions.
I am glad that you are being so considerate about the wether's comfort. As for options on how to address horns, I haven't had to on account of my goats being relatively safe. But I know some people use cork. There are various sources for different thicknesses of cork online. It is a slightly more breathable option, but I'm not sure that that would work for you. (I have visited that region of Texas twice.) I love Texas, pity my camera didn't agree with me though because I couldn't take many pictures without it fogging up on account of the intense humidity. (The photos were taken in August 2015, just a visual to illustrate the humidity, it's hard to describe what the heat is like unless you've been there.)