Thoughts on disbudding

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by Thesuz, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Thesuz

    Thesuz New Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    I have a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats... 2 does, a buck, and a wether. They are not registered, have no pedigree, and I never intend to show them. None of them have horns. One of my does recently kidded, with 2 baby females (yay!), and now it's time to think about disbudding. I am totally inexperienced with such practices as of yet, live inconveniently far from my breeder, and am apprehensive about doing this without assistance. I have convinced myself that dehorning paste is the way to go... I know many of you will gasp, but honestly, there is no way I am going near my babies with a hot iron, and if they get disbudded at all, this is the only way it's happening unless I convince the vet to do it for me. I actually ordered the paste from my local grain store, but in the past week, I've made contact with 3 different families who keep Nigerians, and all of them have horns, and 2 families keep horned and unhorned goats together with no problem. They tell me that the mellow temperment of Nigerians, combined with keeping them as friendly "pet" milk goats, as well as their small stature and their relatively small horns, makes disbudding or dehorning unnecessary.
    Given that I never intend to show my goats, and that I probably will keep my little girl babies (or will sell them locally as pet quality animals since they are not registerable anyway), is it REALLY necessary to dehorn my goats? I've done hours of reading on the pros and cons, and I am leaning toward just letting their horns grow, but I don't want to 1. Make them unsaleable should I want to sell them in the future or 2. Cause potential injury to my other goats/these girls hurting themselves. I don't want to have to de-horn in the future, but if I can, I'd really rather avoid the whole horn prevention/removal thing altogether... all I read about with paste or irons are scurr stories, and I'd rather have horns than scurs.
    Thoughts? Anyone have Nigerians with horns, or keep horned and unhorned goats together?
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    some people have had good results with the paste and thats all they will use. THey put duct tape over the paste to keep it from rubbing onto say the udder or underside of the dam while the kid is nursing and they cant try and rub it off with their hooves.

    You can run horned with non horned, but if you do ever try and sell them it does make their marketability a bit less.

  3. Hey there!
    I raise nigi's and my friend keeps her goats at my house, and she raises fainters. Hers are horned, mine are disbudded. No probs with that, we did have one fainter doe who was horned and mean, and she had to go! So I think it depends a bit on personality of the individuals as to whether or not it will work.

    On the disbudding I agree with Stacy! One of the first questions I get is are they horned? I think alot of people with small children like the nigi's, because they are small. And they don't want them to have the horns around thier small children.

    Paste vs disbudding
    Stacy brings up a good point! What if the kid rubbed the paste on an udder, or in an eye etc.
    I have never used the paste. But I understand it works by burning the buds with an acid over a period of time. So knowing that.... I would rather take a hot iron to thier head for a few seconds, than let them suffer for days being uncomfortable while the acid slowly eats at the bud...

    Soooo I guess you could say I'm pro disbudding, and very anti paste. This is just my opinion though, many different people do things many different ways! Good luck on whatever you decide!!!
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I started out with mostly horned goats and at first I was a big fan of horns!

    Then I began untangling goats from fences.
    I doctored some injuries that were horn related.
    I have a four inch scar on my thigh from my FAVORITE TAMEST doe who accidentally swung her head at another goat and I got caught in the middle.
    I realized that since I sell to the pet market, sharp horns are highly undesirable around children's eye levels.
    My first buck had beautiful horns and did an amazing amount of damage with them.

    I now disbud all babies, dehorned my adult does (except Hope), and never looked back, I love it. I heard all about how awful disbudding was, but I personally find it to not really be a big deal. I can even do babies on my own now. I personally would not use the paste.

    I personally have no problem with scurs. My buck has big scurs but I didn't disbud him and they cause no problems. I trim them down occasional.
  5. Plumbago

    Plumbago New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Disbudding works for our stud. Our goats are only sold as pets and I do believe pets and horns are not an ideal thing!
    Truely disbudding it is not as bad as it seems.
    It too took me a long time to gather the strength to do this procedure but I now disbud all our kids and I really do think the kids are more upset because they are held or contained.
    The procedure is very, very quick and once disbudded the little ones straight away feed off their mums and then are running around and playing.
    It is over coming our fear that is the hardest.
    Disbudding taking less than twenty seconds in total, and it does stop and save alot of the harm mentioned.
    Goat with horns do at times use them and they are down right dangerous more so to the other goats and horns are not ideal around young children - accidents very easily happen.
    I do suggest to shave the bud area beforehand, and have the iron very hot - it is so quick ...
    I have heard of horrifice stories with the paste - it is an acid and continually burns ... be very careful if you do use it!
    Is there not someone close by who could show you how to disbud?
  6. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I just started disbudding this year, I'm lucky to have a friendly vet very experienced and willing to do it, but I had a lot of kids this year. So I didn't do such a great job and he has done some repairs for me and I still have scurs on the buck kids, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think the paste sounds terrifying. Scurs are definitely not worse than horns. The instructions on the Fias Co web site are terrific, with pictures. I would not attempt to do it without a kid box, I got mine at Caprine Supply, but they aren't hard to build. You can get a headpiece from them and build the box if you want. And have some friends or family with you to help. I really didn't think I would be able to do it.
  7. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    We have a wether with horns kept with the disbudded goats. He's a bit of a bully at times, but never seriously hurts the other goats. This is partly because I trimmed a little off the ends of his horns and they are dull, not sharp.
    He never butts us hard on purpose, but sometimes when he is trying to butt another goat, he misses and gets us. Ouch.
  8. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    With the paste, you really aren't supposed to leave it on the kid for a long amount of time. The tube gives a certain time. I know breeders who use it and just seperate the kids from the mom and just wait out the amount of time, and wipe it off before taking the kid back to the mom.

    Thesuz-I feel your pain about disbudding. I don't like it, but it is a necessary evil for us. We do plan on showing in the future, so disbudding is a must. and I do prefer disbudded or polled goats. They don't get thier head stuck in the fence!