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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have a couple questions now that I’ve had my first-ever goat babies!:

1. I have a mama who gave birth a week ago to a single doe. The baby is eating well and growing great, but I suspect she is drinking more from just one side (the other side has a “double” teat). Both double-teats have milk, and I’ve seen the baby nurse from that side, but today, mama’s udder (and teats) are notably bigger on that side. Should I milk off some? Just enough to comfort, not “empty” right? I’m assuming it’s like breastfeeding: if I milk off too much I’ll just increase her production? Udder isn’t hard or bright red. She doesn’t seem tender. Anything else I should do, besides monitoring for changes? No, I will not breed her again (this one wasn’t planned, but failed-burdizzo “wether” changed those plans...).

2. I know this is a hot topic, but disbudding: all of my goats were purchased hornless. I planned to disbud (at vet with pain meds) so that everyone is on a level playing field (and I honestly don’t want to deal with getting horns unstuck, etc). My husband has just announced that he thinks I’m being ridiculous, and “all the ads on Craigslist” make it seem like disbudded/polled isn’t a popular thing. He did bring up the heat dissipation aspect, which I do acknowledge (we’re in Texas). They are NGD, but not show-quality. They’ll always be pets. Is a “mixed herd” of horns going to be a problem? Do they really get stuck in fences, or is this “just overblown justification” like my husband claims? Is the heat dissipation seriously beneficial? I figure every working dairy goat in Texas is disbudded, and they aren’t dying off, so it can’t be THAT big of a deal? Dang, I was so confident in my plan... Now they’re 7 days old (2 bucklings have nubs coming through, so planned to call vet Monday on those, even though they said 2 weeks). Argh!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you want them to be pets all their life then disbud them. If you ever find yourself needing to re-home them, it will be much easier to find a pet home without their horns.
Thank you. I wish my husband would've kept his opinion to himself! :) He knows nothing about goats, and (while he helps me with whatever I ask him to), he has no interest in my animals. 'As long they make as you happy' is his only concern for the animals, so I was surprised when he weighed in with this! :bonk:
 

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this is what CAN happen when you have a mix of horned and nonhorned goats together.... AND. fixing this was more expensive than three disbuddings by my vet. Plus the stress on my newly bred doe and myself. Nope. Never again for us.

625B6438-F985-4E1D-910C-76F762D2AD68.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
this is what CAN happen when you have a mix of horned and nonhorned goats together.... AND. fixing this was more expensive than three disbuddings by my vet. Plus the stress on my newly bred doe and myself. Nope. Never again for us.

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I am so sorry for you - that is exactly my fear! Thank you for sharing your experience.
 

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I'm in Texas too, I have all three versions in my herd, and went through the same debate as you're going through. My horned goats, disbudded and polled live together pretty well and all handle the heat about the same. The thing is horned goats DO get their heads stuck and if they're stuck they get rammed by hornless goats. Or they can do the damage too. Herd dynamics play a huge role in this.
@SalteyLove is right if you want to ensure a better future it's better to have them Disbudded.
Just make sure there's lots of cool water and shade if you're worried about the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm in Texas too, I have all three versions in my herd, and went through the same debate as you're going through. My horned goats, disbudded and polled live together pretty well and all handle the heat about the same. The thing is horned goats DO get their heads stuck and if they're stuck they get rammed by hornless goats. Or they can do the damage too. Herd dynamics play a huge role in this.
@SalteyLove is right if you want to ensure a better future it's better to have them Disbudded.
Just make sure there's lots of cool water and shade if you're worried about the heat.
My babies are ridiculously spoiled. I have sunshades all around (for my pigs/dogs/goats/sheep) as well as a couple trampolines which make great animal shade (I have the "safety net" up so no one can jump on top!). Lots of water options for everyone. And I MIGHT bring out big hunks of ice to make ice water...I don't like 100+ anymore than they do!
 

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I know so many who are so against de-horning, but overall it really depends on what your herd is like in the long run. I am for de-horning because YES they do get their heads stuck and bad things can happen to them while they are in that precarious position. I lost my new buckling to a dog last summer because he shoved his head through the fence and a dog got a hold of him while he was stuck. I have a doe with horns and she is the most destructive goat I have ever had, rips the houses apart regularly.

With your doe, yes I would milk out some to relieve the pressure if the kid is not nursing on that side.
 

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Keep an eye on her udder and milk her when needed.

But right now, I would milk her out on the engorged side, but also test her for mastitis in case.
You said she was blocked, did you get out clumps or strings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Keep an eye on her udder and milk her when needed.

But right now, I would milk her out on the engorged side, but also test her for mastitis in case.
You said she was blocked, did you get out clumps or strings?
No clumps or strings. It was more like some "resistance" then it "popped" open. Kind of like when I checked that the milk plug was gone right after birth. After that, it was just good, fluid milk. Nothing solid/textured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First three babies successfully disbudded! I’m so excited - the vet did a nerve block, so it wasn’t painful (though they still hated being held). Those were all bucklings. Will monitor the remaining babies for bud development and bring them in soon.

Thanks to all for the support - I was crazy-anxious on my drive there, but I feel much better now!
 
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