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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm actually going to keep this thread as a "journal" of sorts. This year I've left the horn buds intact on my two (soon to be) wethers. I wanted to experience raising horned goats for myself, so I can form a well-rounded opinion on the subject. Due to show restrictions, I will probably always disbud my bucks and does, but since the wethers cannot be registered by the ADGA, I want to see if I can keep them with their horns intact.

These boys are for sale as pets, but I do expect to harvest them as pet homes for wethers can be challenging to find.

Right now Stormy just has adorable little pokey things sticking up out of his fuzz, haha! You probably can't see them in the picture. Pinocchio is a week younger so his have not broken the skin yet.

Right now I'm concentrating on manners. Teaching them to be mindful of where their heads are, and to ask for attention politely.
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They're poking out of the fuzz now! Oh so cute. I think Stormy was especially a good pick for my first horned kid, since he's such a sweetie. He's boss kid, but really he's quite well behaved.

Probably a coincidence, but when we had a hot day he was the most comfortable, even though he's one of the fattest and darkest kids. I didn't know if that was due to his little horns or not, but I did find it interesting. Sister of the same size was hotter than he was, but lighter colored.
 

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I'm guessing you've read The Pack Goat.
You should see some of the beautiful pictures!
Personally I love the different horns.
Lucky I was told when mine were babies to NEVER play with babies' horns. My big wethers are very gentle with me. The only danger is when they are arguing together and I'm too close to them.

I read that the horns are so important if a goat is to be in the desert or a working goat because the horns help to circulate blood and when overheated you can cool them off quickly by using a wet cool rag wrapped around the base of the horns. I tried it on a panting goat and it worked like air conditioning. She was grateful.

The book also explains a lot about color and environment.

Getting rid of horns is for human convenience.
:cart:
 

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Suntoo, you are correct about the horns. The first year I had goats I had purchased quite a few that had been previously disbudded, but most of them still had their horns. That summer we hit temps of 110 degrees and higher. I noticed that the disbudded does were laying in the shade with their mouths hanging open and panting, while the horned does were actually laying in the sun - no open mouths, no panting.
 

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I've raised horned goats before, and the key is to always be aware of them. Don't put your face close to theirs, watch your hands when leading them, and don't turn your back if it's a grumpy goat!
Most goats don't mean to hurt people, but it happens when they try to do simple things like scratch themselves and fight the collar. And you have to keep them in line, because horned goats know they have potential weapons and might wanna test them on you!
I love the look of horns, but not the risk that comes with them....
Good luck, don't get gouged! ;)
 

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And you have to keep them in line, because horned goats know they have potential weapons and might wanna test them on you!
Wow! You really have been around some renegade goats, haven't you? With very few exceptions - even then only when she had newborn kids - my girls have never even offered to "test their horns" on me. Nor do I have to "keep them in line". Ok, just a bit when there is a grain bucket involved. Might I suggest trading in your goats for a calmer, tamer breed?
 

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Recently, I got the idea that I know why hikers with goats carry long walking sticks...
(no....not to smack the goat)
but I noticed when I'm outside with a rake that my wethers like to help me,
:GAAH:

and I can use that long handle to simply turn their horned heads away from me!
It works so well that they don't even know anything significant just happened. LOL Keeps peace in my tiny paradise.
:rose:
 

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Wow! You really have been around some renegade goats, haven't you? With very few exceptions - even then only when she had newborn kids - my girls have never even offered to "test their horns" on me. Nor do I have to "keep them in line". Ok, just a bit when there is a grain bucket involved. Might I suggest trading in your goats for a calmer, tamer breed?
That's exactly why I sold them lol! Of course MOST horned goats are very respectful and gentle, but there are a few of the dreaded "testers" out there ;).
I guess I've been unlucky in that aspect...
 

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We've always had horned goats. The only issues I've ever had was a goat getting stuck in the fencing, which we took care of immediately, and when two of them were playing, one caught the others collar and they were stuck together until I crossed the room and took care of them. New, safer collars took care of that issue. We've never had a goat try to use their horns or their heads against us. Ever. We never grab a goat's horns or draw any attention to them. I do not allow children to visit the goats without an adult present, just in case...their faces are lower than ours and accidents are always possible. Oh yeah, and I have had my wrist in the way when a goat was turning her head and got my arm twisted a little bit. It smarted but there was no damage done. Just be aware of their horns and enjoy their natural beauty. I always feel good knowing they have them to defend themselves if a strange dog or coyote should approach them.

With that being said, if I had to do it over again, I might consider purchasing goats without horns just because I'd have a few less things to worry about. All the "what ifs" and possibilities can wear on ya, you know. But then again, the disbudding process bothers me. Not that any of you are wrong for doing it, I'm just a mush ball who can't take the thought of it very well.

Now that I've probably confused you....lol!

I will be interested to hear how you feel about this experience. I like how you are open to trying it both ways. High five. :) (Our grandkids do that, so I thought it would fit here. hahaha.)
 

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Goatless goat momma
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ours are all horned, and we actually like to touch them every once in a while. and even though we touch ours (and sometimes use them to move a stubborn goat), they have never used their horns against me. the only time I've gotten hurt was when I was in the way of their head butting each other. maybe I just have nice goats?

I love when the horns are just peeping out of their heads. it's absolutely adorable! (and yes, we've played with them at this stage too).
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm guessing you've read The Pack Goat.
You should see some of the beautiful pictures!
Personally I love the different horns.
Lucky I was told when mine were babies to NEVER play with babies' horns. My big wethers are very gentle with me. The only danger is when they are arguing together and I'm too close to them.

I read that the horns are so important if a goat is to be in the desert or a working goat because the horns help to circulate blood and when overheated you can cool them off quickly by using a wet cool rag wrapped around the base of the horns. I tried it on a panting goat and it worked like air conditioning. She was grateful.

The book also explains a lot about color and environment.

Getting rid of horns is for human convenience.
:cart:
I actually haven't read "The Pack Goat"; I wanted to try this because disbudding is quite hard for me to go through (even though I have someone else do it for me!) and I want to be absolutely sure I'm making the right decision for them, and for our farm.

Yep, no playing even with the heads of disbudded goats here! Don't want a butting problem. Is it okay to scratch in-between his horns? He seems to like that, and he doesn't rub me for it.

Love the hint about the cool washcloth. Thanks! Yes, everyone around me has pointed out their goats to so much better in the winter than in the summer, and I had to wonder if it was related to the lack of horns.
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all for the support and answers! I may end up never doing this again, or I may end up preferring it. We'll have to see, but I wanted to give it a good shot.
 

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OH! i forgot to add, and remember when i was with my goats. they LOVE getting scratched on their head right where the horns come out. i think i can sit there all day scratching at my wether's horn base.
 

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Goatless goat momma
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oh, and i want to clarify, when i say "play" i mean we touch and pet. we don't instigate fights with them (that's a no-no). and stop if they get too pushy with wanting a head scratch.
 
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