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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My buck, Champ, has scurs that grow straight back to his skull. I used to be able to use hoof trimmers but they are too thick for that now. I tried branch trimmers (loppers) but can’t get them around the scur because of how tight they are to his head. I ordered and tried a wire saw. He was fine, frustrated and such but fine, until I got a little way in then he really screamed. I stopped sawing to see if it was the restraints or the sawing bothering him. He calmed right down, but as soon as I started sawing again, he screamed and fought, even cracked the head hold on the stand. He is normally very docile and you can do about anything to this tolerant goat.

Do you think I was hitting the core of his scur, hitting nerves or something? I can’t get any closer to the tip of the scur without the wire slipping off. Hopefully you can see that notch in the close up. That’s where I was cutting. I had to stop because I really felt like I was hurting him.

His scurs grow out fast. I really need advice on how to handle them (hopefully without torturing him, which is what it felt like I was doing this time). He’s the sweetest guy. But I can’t let the horn grow into his head and I’m having a difficult time trying to find a method to trim them.
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Bless both of your hearts. The wire saw is new to him; it makes a noise close to his ears and out of eyesight, generates heat and a peculiar smell. With the other types of trimmers used on the scur, it was probably much quicker and relatively silent. Possibly ask your vet for a dose of some type of short duration tranquilizer for this particular task.

Goats are really good at showing their displeasure. And if crying worked to stop the undesirable actions the first time, ramping up the displeasure the second time sort of insured the wire saw would go away. Compare it to them having to learn not to jerk away the hoof that is being trimmed. You just sort of hold onto that hoof until they are finished fighting against doing what needs to be done and start in again with the hoof trimming.

P.S. It's difficult for me to hear my critters crying also.
 

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Yep, I hate to tell you this, but doing it with the wire saw is probably the best way to get it done at this point. He's going to holler and fight you, but he'll feel better once it's done. I have one buck that doesn't make a peep while it's happening and another buck that yells his head off. I just repeat out loud "Almost there, almost there" and go as fast as I can. The faster the better it will work and the sooner it will be over. Be prepared that as you are going through it, if he jerks his head, the whole thing may rip off. That's okay! Just be sure you have your blood stop powder or something similar ready. Don't be too shy with how much you take off too. I'd rather take enough off and make him bleed than have to have him go through it again soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well shoot. I’m glad I wasn’t actually hurting him. I think I was going too fast or using too much pressure with the wire saw because it actually got stuck in his scur and I had to cut the wire out. It was a disaster. The last three times I’ve “trimmed” his scurs with hoof timers or nippers, the whole thing popped off and it was a blood bath. But he screamed less for that. And now I’ve trained him (accidentally) to scream really loud and I’ll stop. Oh boy. I hope my big girl panties are up for this task. I really don’t have a choice.

I’m going to have to get better at the wire saw. His scurs grow fast, so between the two scurs this will be a no-fun biweekly task.

Do you all think I could get castration bands to the base of his scur to try that method? Would it be better for him? Or is banding a scur painful like banding a horn?
 

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You've probably got a hardwood limb (Hickory or Oak) that will make a good wire saw practice object. It's hard to explain about how to tell if you've got the speed and pressure just right when using the wire. If you practice sawing that limb into pieces, it will help you become proficient with using a wire. Heads up, your arm, hands and shoulders will get a workout. I have noticed, stopping while cutting, changing the angle the wire is being held, and/or applying too much pressure will cause the wire to seize up. I've only used a wire saw on wooden limbs, never a horn. (Carry one in a camping backpack)

Castration bands have been known to remove horns and probably will work on some scurs as well. From reading only, you cut a notch (rat tail file, keyhole saw) into the front base of the horn close to the head. The notch is to prevent the band from sliding up and to give the band a groove to seat into. Using 2 bands at once was the recommendation and adding a couple wraps of tape above the bands to help hold them in place was a frequent suggestion. If there is blood supply to the scur, yes, it will be painful like a horn.

Just an idea. After this length is removed, would maintaining the future growth with a sand paper drum attachment on a Dremel tool be a workable option? I use one to blunt the horn tips only. And once I started to show Patch Work the tool, turn it on for him to see the spinning and listen to the noise, he was more calm than the first time when I just started sanding the horn tip out of the blue.
 

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My buck showed surprisingly little discomfort with the bands. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't file a notch. I used extra bands instead. I placed the first as low as I could get it, and then I placed two more, each lower than the one before. The first band acted as a stop to keep the others lower, until I got down flush with his head. I'm really hoping that this will keep them from growing back, but at the very least, it should make them slower. If so, it will have been worth it.
 

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I use horse hoof nippers. From the picture you may still be able to nip the tip. If so..do one small nip at a time until you can tell your getting close to the vein.if not..well the saw is best option. Trim every month at least to keep it manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do need to practice with the saw. I just don’t have the hang of it. After another failed saw attempt, we tried one more time with the loppers. Luckily, I had help. My husband finished a job early and is home for a few days before he leaves to the next. With tying Champ up very snug to a tree and having me immobilize his body and head, it let my husband get a good enough purchase to snap most the scur off with the looper, though the bottom portion toward the skull did tear a little and left a rough edge. Still much better than it was.

I need to get horse hoof nippers. Those would probably work best. Though I might try the bands one day. It’d be great if we didn’t need to do it so often. His have to be trimmed about every three weeks and the two are always ready at different times.

I did try the dremel sander a while ago but hit his head with it and nicked his skin pretty good. But at least today was a success and I can relax for a few weeks.
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I do need to practice with the saw. I just don’t have the hang of it. After another failed saw attempt, we tried one more time with the loppers. Luckily, I had help. My husband finished a job early and is home for a few days before he leaves to the next. With tying Champ up very snug to a tree and having me immobilize his body and head, it let my husband get a good enough purchase to snap most the scur off with the looper, though the bottom portion toward the skull did tear a little and left a rough edge. Still much better than it was.

I need to get horse hoof nippers. Those would probably work best. Though I might try the bands one day. It’d be great if we didn’t need to do it so often. His have to be trimmed about every three weeks and the two are always ready at different times.

I did try the dremel sander a while ago but hit his head with it and nicked his skin pretty good. But at least today was a success and I can relax for a few weeks.
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Mom, give me that back! It’s mine 😂. My vet used a pony nipper on my boys when she touched up the disbudding on Friday. Seemed to work really well. Could you get the disbudding touched up? Is that an option?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Excellent job. (y) I like the picture of that pink tongue giving a lick .... or wanting to get a taste of the object being held.
He always thinks I have a treat for him. He’ll eat anything. I can take anything out in a drenching syringe and he’ll suck it down and taste it later. Lol. He really is the sweetest boy.

This is one reason why I don't get disbudding/dehorning
It is a real pain with bucks. My does, if they even get scurs, have thin ones that I can pull off by hand without them noticing. But they are registered dairy goats, so disbudding is needed if they’re going to be shown. Breeders have no idea what the buyer will do, so they disbud early. And I do have fences horns could get stuck in around here, so there’s that as well.

Mom, give me that back! It’s mine . My vet used a pony nipper on my boys when she touched up the disbudding on Friday. Seemed to work really well. Could you get the disbudding touched up? Is that an option?
I was just talking about getting pony nippers to use. How funny. He’s over a year old, so there’s not touching up now. He’s just a scur growing buck.
 

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Well, this has been an educational thread for me. I didn't know those nubs actually had a name!
We were told by the breeder when we bought our registered ND buck that the breeder they bought him from had screwed up his dehorning. I've never had a polled goat, so that was okay. I don't show them.
Every once in awhile, he'll pull one off playing around with the other buck. I do have horses, and hoof nippers, so I can trim if need be. But basically, all he has are a couple of empty bowls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As long as the scurs aren’t causing problems, usually they are fine to just ignore. And I’m glad my learning helped someone else learn too.

So after all this, Champ ripped off the scur. He’s never done that. I’ve ripped it off trying to cut it, but he’s never ripped it. I don’t know how. It doubt it was head butting because I think the other scur would have some damage, and the other buck’s scur, not as solid, would likely be off too. We think he was rubbing his head and hooked it. He has this annoyingly thick core on his scurs, so when he rips them off, it degloves and leaves this raw, tender core. His face is a bloody mess and his head is shiny silver because I sprayed it with Alushield but he wouldn’t hold still and did some impressive acrobatics trying to get away from the scary spray, so I ended up spraying the entire top of his head before I finally got what I was trying to get all along.
 

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Poor Champ 😅

I was noticing my bucks remaining scur (after all this discussion, I’ve been curious) and it’s wiggly. Kind of like a kids baby tooth before it falls out. I can get a lot of movement from it… I’m wondering if he’ll get it bumped off on his own- like he did his last one- or if it’ll grow out more to where I need to be concerned and have to deal with it myself.
 
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