Horns on Goats

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by dfsumner, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. dfsumner

    dfsumner New Member

    9
    Aug 9, 2009
    I'm new to this forum, I posted this on another forum first. Want more thoughts!!

    Anyone not disbud their Dairy Does. I kinda like horns on a goat. Don't have little children that might get hurt, Not afraid of getting hurt myself by the horns. I've heard about them getting caught in the fences, ect. Other than that is there any reason to disbud. The horned entact males and cull females bring more money here than the nonhorned. (ethic meat buyers). Anyone have photos of their horned does. I search the net, however most photos of Dairy animals are hornless.

    Daniel
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    All of my mini goats have horns...except the 2 nigerian dwarfs..Mine mat not be full sized goats BUT regardless of size, respect for the horns are a must. I too prefer the horns and have adjusted my fencing to make sure I don't need to worry about them getting stuck in the fence, always careful when doing the routine maintenance with them and I will use duct tape on the horns of does that are aggressive towards the others. Never use the horns as a tool and don't "play" with them when they are babies because as adults, that kind of play is a no-no. A milkstand with a head gate is a great thing to have when doing maintenance things...goats are happy with the grain in front of them and you can avoid an accidental poke with the horns as their heads are immobilized, respect the fact that accidents can happen and do your best to prevent them. :wink:

    I do give buyers the option of having unregistered kids disbudded..their choice, registered nigies are disbudded because of potential show purposes, if the new owners choose to have horned goats, they are very well instructed as to the respect of the horns.


    BTW...WELCOME TO THE GOAT SPOT! :wave:
     

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I like to disbud because I want to be able to show my goats and have people be able to show them. They also seem to be a lot nastier to other goats during feeding time. Another thing I have had a much harder time selling a goat with horns than without. Most people with children don't want to buy a goat with horns so that doesn't work for the pet quality goats and then the show people generally aren't going to want to buy a goat with horns because to show they can't be horned. Then yes, they do get caught in fences sometimes. And another thing...when giving shots, trimming hooves, or shaving sometimes I will put the goat's head between my legs to hold it still and when they have horns it's harder because they poke at you on accident. I like disbudded goats WAY more than horned. But that's just my personal preference.
     
  4. goatbless

    goatbless New Member

    43
    Jan 10, 2009
    Florida
    The horned goats I had and have seen were kept in 2x4 and/or plywood fencing and never got caught in it but sometimes could do a little damage to the structures and fence(cosmetic mostly for does). I like the look of horns on a goat and feel it gives them at least a little self-defense in a dire situation, but will admit it will mean needing to be more careful and possibly fixing fences more often(or having a good sturdy fence). I've never been horned on purpose, and when I did get jabbed it was by the point when they turned their head suddenly - never from butting. I've seen hornless does fight with horned does just as fiercly and even win, and while an animal may be accidentally jabbed seriously I never saw it happen with any animals I've known. If you ask a breeder they probably would be happy to not disbud, since it's an extra cost and health risk. That by itself is another reason I wouldn't want to do it on my own goats. It doesn't work for everyone but I never saw it as a significant inconvenience to have horned goats. Personally I'd rather not mix horned and hornless goats, but mostly that's because it looks unpleasant for the hornless ones(but probably can't be too bad or they'd stop headbutting back I assume)... Just my two cents on it, will try to find some photos to post. :)
     
  5. goatbless

    goatbless New Member

    43
    Jan 10, 2009
    Florida
    Here are a few pictures I had in my files of horned dairy goats. Not sure about the source of my pictures, so if they belong to anyone feel free to let me know and I'll either take them down or give credit where due. :)
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  6. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I raise Nigerian Dwarf goats, a miniature dairy breeds, and I do use them for milk.

    All of my goats are horned except for my new little buckling, he is naturally hornless, or polled.

    I totally understand why people disbud, the horns can cause problems and of course you cannot show a dairy goat with horns. They can be rough with each other, cause damage to fencing, structures, even people.

    However, I love my goat's horns. I never forget the horns are there and have respect for them. I ensure the fencing cannot be damaged and the goats can't get stuck do to their horns. I give my very large horned buck stuff to rub his horns on aside from the fencing. I teach baby goats that it is unacceptable to butt me or rub their little heads on me. My milk stand is made to easily accommodate the doe's horns.

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    It's something you have to weight the pros and cons of personally, and decide for yourself. :)

    And welcome! :wave:
     
  7. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I disbud all my goats, unless someone has put a deposit on a whether for a pack goat. Even then that honred animals are housed seperatly.
    I dont want to take the chance of a goat getting caught in a fence, or a goat stabbing another goat. Even if the goat doesnt mean to, she can move her head and poke you in the face with a horn. it hurts a lot. Its harder to find a stantion that will accomodate a horned animal. Like Sarah mentioned on another thread, dary goats tend to have a different shape to their horns, the go up and back, where boers tend to be flatter. The up and out style of horns are easier to get caught up in thngs. Plus you cant shoe a dairy goat with horns. When leading a goat witha collar its not fun to get stabbed in the arm by a horn.
    beth
     
  8. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Mine have to have horse (Cashmere). I would NEVER dehorn a goat unless I had to. Yes if you are going to show in the diary world you can not have horns (I have never understood why), but if they are just for home leave them. Goats do not sweat and the only way for them to release their body heat is from the horns. If you have a goat in the summer when it is hot out feel their horns, you will be surprised how warm they are.
    i have a friend that has her Pygmy goats and her Cashmere together, (horns and no horns). They have never had a problem.
    I tell all my 4H kids to RESPECT the horns. They will not try to hurt you with them. (Bucks might try but I have nee had a doe lower her head to charge me)
     
  9. HollowbeadRanch

    HollowbeadRanch New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    NW Alabama
    I agree with Lori. If you don't want to disbud, can sell them with horns, and aren't planning on showing them... then leave their horns if you want to. When I raised all unregistered Nigerians all of my had horns and I didn't disbud any of the babies because they were registered and going to pet homes. I had no problems selling ANY of them. And if anyone asked why I didn't disbud I explained my reasoning and most of them accepted it. But mainly you have to do whatever you are comfortable with :wink:
     
  10. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I think that it really is a personally decision on what you like and what is best for your market.

    I sold a reg nigi with her two reg babies. They did not want them disbudded. I explained the pros and cons of both and they decided to disbud about a week later because of being registered and maybe wanting to show at a later date.

    I hope that helps :wink:
     
  11. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Welcome Daniel... to the goat spot.... :wave:

    Horns are very important for goats....

    a way to hold on to them...LOL ...without horns it makes it difficult...

    It is also a radiator in the summer and winter.... :greengrin:

    I agree ....I like horns to.... :greengrin: :thumbup:
     
  12. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Epona that first goat is absolutely dignified with that lovely set of horns!

    Meat goats are not generally disbudded. I have only had one request to disbud. I also run my one Nubian with the Boers. Guess who is the herd queen.

    They do make a mess of fence though, usually if one is on one side and another on the opposite. They will butt each other till that field fence is shredded. :hair: Then we get out the plywood to patch it up.

    Other than that we have had no bodily injury. Boer horns grow in a gentle curve back, not straight up like some.
    I do have unintentional bruises & a few scars & once a black eye from checking a feed pan too quickly. :shades:
     
  13. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I do like the look of horns...but I would never have a dairy goat with horns for many of the reasons already stated. To me, it is not worth the trouble horns can cause with fencing, hay racks, and just general destructiveness...and it is certainly not worth the risk of injury to other goats or to humans.
     
  14. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Daniel,

    As you can see we are a LOT nicer here then that other place you asked this question. :cool:
     
  15. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    If you prefer to have the horns.... that is totally up to you.....everyone has there own preferences....I have had the nubians in the past... and never had any problems with them.....horns or not ....I had a hotline up ...to keep them off the fences...I also.. have had a hornless nubian... that was very aggressive ... she liked to bite and she meant business,it hurt and left me with bruises.... of course ...we sold her.... with the warning that she bites. Horns or not.... goats will do ...what they will do ....regardless. You have to be careful either way.....because you never know... :wink: :greengrin:
     
  16. dfsumner

    dfsumner New Member

    9
    Aug 9, 2009
    SweetGoats You have just made me laugh out loud :ROFL: :ROFL: True, true

    Thank You
     
  17. Nubiansrus

    Nubiansrus Guest

    278
    Nov 15, 2008
    I raised dairy goats and I keep the horns on everyone. I did my research and found that it was the better option "for me" and have set my fencing up for goats with horns. I also found out their horns help them stay cool, and with 115+ temps here, I couldnt see taking them off. We are caution around our horned goats but have never had anyone hurt by them, we even have a bottle feed Nubian stud thats well over 100 lbs with horns. Heres a few pics that I had handy. We do have a few without horns that were bought that way.

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    Only part dairy

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    Sorry Im pic happy lol
     
  18. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Great pics Nubiansrus!!! Just love the one with the pretty girl and the nubies!
    I have never used horns to hold any of my goats, even my bucks....they get collared and leashed when I handle them, the girls are just as easy and do what is expected of them with food bribes :wink:
    Heres a few of mine, with horns :wink:
    Teddy is a 18 month old Nigerian Dwarf/Pygmy buck
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    Hank is a 5 year old pygmy buck
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    Bootsie is a 9 year old pygmy/nigi doe
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    Now, I do not keep collars on my bucks as they do get rough with each other, on Bootsie though I have put duct tape across the horns at the top as she likes to catch the other does legs in between...the tape solved that issue :wink: