re-disbudding: should I or shouldn't I? and how should I?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by farmergal, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    My 8-week old Nigi, Ginger, was disbudded at approximately 1 week old. She's a bottle baby, and she came home to me right after that. (Actually, I saw the disbudding happen, and I'm pretty sure the breeder only held the iron on for about 3 seconds, which I've read on here is too short.)

    But, everything seemed to be going fine -- scab fell off, bled a little, nothing out of the ordinary. For a while I was watching the area really closely, but over the past couple of weeks I slacked off. Imagine my surprise when I parted her fur today and found "nubs" where she'd been disbudded! They're about a half-inch taller than her skull, and look decidedly horn-like. Weird thing is, they're nice and round (somehow I thought scurs were more irregular, but maybe I just got the wrong impression) and on both sides.

    So, what do I do? I'm totally new to the goat world and don't own a disbudder. (I will buy one sooner or later though.) I don't know any goat-expert vets in my area (although I do have a large animal vet in case of emergency). The breeder I bought her from obviously isn't a super disbudder, and the longer I wait the worse this problem gets. I know this can be a sensitive subject but I am pretty sure I don't want a goat with horns, due to the type of my fencing and the fact that these goats will have lots of little visitors. And I hesitate to re-disbud after reading on Fiasco Farms that she never disbuds a second time... but this little goat is REALLY a rascal, I should have named her Houdini, and I am 99% sure she would manage to break her horns somehow if I left them on.

    Should I take her to a vet? Try to do it myself? Try to convince the breeder to do it again? Also, for those of you who have re-burned, do I need to "shave" them down with hoof clippers (as was suggested in some other posts) if they're just 1/2 inch long? Most of the posts I read were about long scurs, but these seem to be in the beginning stages.

    Thanks for all of the help and sorry for all the newbie questions :) This site is great and someday when I've learned all about goats I look forward to helping out other confused new goat owners :) Right now I am mostly just reading and learning...
  2. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Three seconds is about right for a nigie doe kid at a week old. their horns seem to be a lot slower then other breeds. I would wait. Sometimes my kids get round little lumps. its just part of the heeling process and the little holes have to fill in. You might be surprised in a few weeks it will be totally flat.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    if it breaks above the hairline then yes they are growing into horns. I would check with vets in the area and other breeders just in case youneed to take her to someone that way you do have options.
  4. mnspinner

    mnspinner New Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    A good disbudding should be either flush with the skull or even a bit beneath it. I only feel confident when I get a certain indentation around the horn bud. I suspect that if you're seeing a rise of a half inch, then you're probably seeing horn/scur growth. In my experience 3 seconds would not do it on my NDs.
    If you don't want horns, at 8 weeks, yes your goat can still be reburned. Is there a goat club anywhere in your area? Or maybe put an ad on Craigslist to find someone competent? You need to get on it asap, as the longer scurs grow, the harder the job to remove them.
    There is also the option of banding.