stopping horn growth

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by rtdoyer, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. rtdoyer

    rtdoyer New Member

    186
    May 5, 2010
    We have some young bucks that are 2 1/2 to 4 months old. They have some pretty good horn buds growing. Some of the horns are 'normal' looking while others are at weird angles. I can feel a few and they are flexilbe - so those will probably knock off with fighting.

    My question, we have our goats surgically castrated at age 5 months. If we castrate these 'horned' bucks now, will those pieces/horns stop growing? Our herd is no-horns so I don't want to have any horns grow. Is there anything a vet could do at this point? Some of the horns are 2 inches long and thick in diameter, really thick and round on the top. They aren't pointed on the top.

    Thanks,
    Tonia
     
  2. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    at that age they have to be surgically removed and thats not a pretty thing. There is a center whole in the horns that runs down into the nasal cavity of the goats that is a total pain in the ass to have it heal right and even then you are almost always assured to get scurs. AND being summer time, you are also assured an infection. Castration will indeed slow down the growth and over all they will be much much smaller then a buck that is still intact. But you are still looking at a foot of horn growth even castrated. Would still like to see some pictures if possible. Photobucket if you cant load em here then just get the URL for em and post em.
     

  3. AACmama

    AACmama Member

    68
    Jul 29, 2010
    Sorry to disappoint, Tonia. You will probably have horned boys. Two of our wethers suffer from horn regrowth after multiple attempts to remove them (including veterinarian's surgical efforts at dehorning). I do use the word "suffer" purposefully. Removal t'aint pretty nor are the resulting misshapen horns and the discomfort that some have created.

    Two of our boys were disbudded correctly within the first week of life and have remained hornless. It's fantastic!

    Our new buying policy is limited to goats disbudded correctly within the first week of life. I suppose if we couldn't find such a pair of wethers again, we'd go for natural horns. But tampering with developing horns has left our two older boys miserable and we don't want to put goats through that again.

    Just our experience,
     
  4. imported_ashley

    imported_ashley New Member

    118
    Jun 8, 2011
    I had a older kid surgically de-horned....it's a long story but to get right to the point, I would NEVER go through it again....I felt pretty cruel doing it; he was in so much pain and had two huge holes in his head going down to his sinus cavity... He lost lots of weight from being in too much pain to eat; worrying about infection was tough; he was very, very head shy (this was a bottle raised goat that loved people more than he loved goats) and this process was so damaging to him that you could not get near his head after him enduring weeks of bandage changing and cleaning.

    Don't do it. If they have horns, learn to deal with it or sell them.
     
  5. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    I feel the same way as Ashley. We did a horn removal on a 3 month old boy who ended up being sold as a breeding buck instead of a packer. And although everything went smoothly, the whole thing is pretty terrible to witness and Ashley mentioned the bandage changing, that to can be an ordeal. Here we didnt need to change the bandage. After an hour or so we just had to cut the bandage off at the ears and the part on the wound itself was just left stuck to it and allowed to fall off as it healed. A couple of weeks later though when the bandage came off there were still holes and they got infected case we just couldnt keep them clean and free of things like hay from eating.

    Now on a side note, scurs are relatively easy to deal with. Lots of old posts about using bands. Here we like to use a wire saw and burn afterwords.
     
  6. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    I remove the horns and testicals at three months old kids with a "Tri-Band" bander . I have removed horns from a three year old doe too with little problem.
     
  7. rtdoyer

    rtdoyer New Member

    186
    May 5, 2010
    I guess I should have mentioned that they were all dehorned as babies. I think they were dehorned too late and it was our first time. We had some guidance and it is weird how some have horn growth and some don't. Thanks for the replies. I'll take a picture this morning and try to post. The surgery sounds awful and I don't even want to know the cost.

    Tonia
     
  8. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    having a scure is normal we all get some horn regroth after burning. you can use a tri- band to remove a scure you need to wait tell the scure gets bigger and some times it is hard to get the band on right but it can be done. I have done it several times.
     
  9. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    Ya scurs are easy nuff to deal with. Some use bands, I know there are posts on here somewhere about using bands. Here we just wire saw em off and burn em if needed. Now if they are big enough. Say the size of 50 cent piece then its a bit more to deal with. Id have a vet out to wire saw and then burn em right. A vet can put the boy out so he doesnt associate you and the pain of the scur removal. Which they do if its bad enough.

    Added a picture of Goshen, the packer that goat disbudded when a friend wanted him for a breeder... And this horn removal went flawlessly and it was horrific non the less.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. squeakymcmurdo

    squeakymcmurdo New Member

    8
    Jun 9, 2013
    If you are going to band horns or scurs, wait until the fall when it cools down. A) so flies aren't a problem and B) so when they fall off or get knocked off the bleeding isn't as bad because of the cold reducing circulation. It will take longer to work but I haven't had to redo anybody because the cold also slows down horn growth allowing the band to roll right under next to the scalp. Yours are young enough they'll probably come off clean if they don't knock them off first.

    Banding horns isn't ideal, but IMO it's preferable to surgery or passing up a goat that is your dream goat otherwise.
     
  11. rtdoyer

    rtdoyer New Member

    186
    May 5, 2010
    We have other goats that have some scurs that isn't a big problem. They grow a little and then always seem to get knocked off. The scurs don't grow more than an inch or so.

    I'm attaching a picture of Alvin. He has a growth on both sides and one side is definitely larger.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. rtdoyer

    rtdoyer New Member

    186
    May 5, 2010
    I went back and read some posts on banding. I read a lot about using the elastor bands for removing horns/scurs. In a previous post on this thread, someone mentioned a tri-band. What is that? If the horn is actively growing (unless you burn off that area), I guess I don't understand how filing, or banding stops growth. Won't the horn re-grow because you've never actually burned at the base of the skull? The same with using a wire as I think Dave mentioned (saw, then burn, then cold compress) - if you don't burn at the base, do the horns/scurs re-grow Dave? With a doe, they grow slower, so filing a little bit at a time would slow growth, but not stop it?

    Thanks,
    Tonia
     
  13. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    Ive never used the bands on horns so cant speak about that. But when you saw off the scur there is usually blood. So the burning helps to stop that and if you are able to burn around the scur area you have a chance to prevent it from coming back. Scurs are very hard to predict. It looks like the one on the left is much bigger then the on on the right. The smaller one I dont think Id even mess with. It will break off many times from fighting or rough playing so shouldnt get much bigger then it already is. Id like to see a better pick of the bigger one. It might be better to have a vet come and do the deed so he can be the one associated with the pain.
     
  14. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    Elastor bands are round and the goat can roll them off by rubbing. Tri-bands are flat and about 1/2 inches long they do not roll off as easily.
    another nice thing about the applicator is it locks open so you can use two hands to position the band.
     
  15. ryorkies

    ryorkies New Member

    540
    May 4, 2010
    I have used the elastor bands on scurs 4 times now. 3 worked very well. I put 3 bands on per horn getting it down past the hair line. The one that did not work well was a horn that was like a
    teepee. So the bands just rolled up the horn and off. I waited for the scur to grow some then put it on again and it fell off. Never seen tri-bands. But would of looked into it for sure.
    I hated going out and seeing blood every where, running down their faces.
     
  16. squeakymcmurdo

    squeakymcmurdo New Member

    8
    Jun 9, 2013
    I kind of like how the elastrator bands can roll. It means they roll down and inward as they work. I filed a groove for them to sit in.