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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
You have to disbud bucks longer than does, and sometimes a bit in front and a little to the side on buck kids. I disbud all kids and the bucks don't get solid scurs, ever. The wost they get is a very very thin thumbnail sized piece of scur that they rub off, or I flick them off.
 

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One of my girls had scurs that curl back into her head. I tried to wire saw them off last year and couldn't get the wire underneath them. While the vet was trying, it popped off. I can tell they're bothering her again, but having no luck getting near them. Can I grind or sand them down?
 

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You have to disbud bucks longer than does, and sometimes a bit in front and a little to the side on buck kids. I disbud all kids and the bucks don't get solid scurs, ever. The wost they get is a very very thin thumbnail sized piece of scur that they rub off, or I flick them off.
Yeah, I know (and knew) all this, but our disbudding iron was not man enough for the job. We discovered this while we were already in the process of disbudding and there wasn't much to be done about it. Still, I've been to a few buck shows, and I almost never see a mature buck (over 2-3 years old) who doesn't have some pretty good-sized scurs. I'm glad you have the secret to success, but disbudding bucks must be a difficult art because according to the evidence almost nobody knows how to do it right. My boys are higher maintenance and more dangerous now than they would be with properly formed horns, and I feel bad that the scurs bother them and keep them from sparring as they should. These scurs are going to be a lifelong maintenance problem for these poor goats, and it's traumatic every time I have to trim them. And ours aren't even bad compared to a lot of bucks I've seen! Blech.
 

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I am doing banding but I did not do the incisions. Do I have to do the. UTs to make this work? Also do.you feed alphalfa pellets to your wethers?
 

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Surgically removal of horns with bands

I have used the castration bands on 3 goats now. One billy and 2 doeling about 6 months of age. The results on the doeling were very good. The billy is about 7 months old and the process is working as one horn is off and the other is almost off. The Saanan doeling lost her horns in about 11 days. The Nubian doe lost her horns after about 3 weeks and now it has been almost 3 weeks on the Nubian billy. To keep the goats from going crazy and from being afraid of me, I was able to give the goats a shot and put them to sleep. This made removing the hair on the horns, cutting the skin, applying the iodine, placing the bands on the horns in the correct position and again applying iodine to the final procedure. They wake up with a head ache but soon afterwards it seems to dissipate and they do good. The billy was getting really handy with his horns and would hook me with them when it was feeding time as well as the other goats ( all does and kids). Now he has a different attitude and much easier to be around. In fact he keeps a little distance but is not afraid of me. Respect I like to call it.:wave::wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
Glad the banding worked for you!

Damfino-- I have a 2yr old buck out there, his head doesn't look much different than the does, and he's the one I didn't burn long enough--in my opinion. He grows a tiny little "thumbnail scur", very thin and it comes off when he rubs his head on something.

All it is is a matter of time. When you think you've burned long enough, burn a little longer. The people who have been disbudding for more than a couple years figure out how to do the bucks right.
If your iron doesn't get hot enough for some reason, heat it red hot with a blow torch.
As far as bucks at a show with scurs, that's a no-no if they're dairy bucks.
 

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We didn't have a blow torch. The iron was defective. It did the first kid ok--not quite good enough as it turned out, but we were losing our iron so we had to get on to the second kid. It really pooped out on the second, but by then we were committed. I wasn't able to reschedule a second burn with a borrowed iron. I wish we'd just left the horns on and hangment to ADGA and showing! I've about had it with that stupid horn rule. I have more fun bringing my horned pack wethers to ADGA shows for demos and clinics than showing dairy goats anyway.

And yeah, people show dairy bucks with scurs. Maybe they're not supposed to, but they do. Last month we were at a show and there were plenty of "barnacles" to be seen on the mature bucks. One poor fellow knocked his scur off and was bleeding everywhere while his owners were out to dinner. I wish we had the choice to keep horns and show with halters like the fiber goats.

But I won't derail the thread further with my irritated ranting. I know most folks prefer hornless goats. I much prefer intact horns and that's that. I'm probably partly biased because my only truly bad experience with a mean goat was with a polled doe. With all the horns around here, she's the only one who ever caused death and serious injury to the other goats in my herd. Our personal experiences definitely color our perspective on things!
 

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To keep the goats from going crazy and from being afraid of me, I was able to give the goats a shot and put them to sleep. This made removing the hair on the horns, cutting the skin, applying the iodine, placing the bands on the horns in the correct position and again applying iodine to the final procedure. They wake up with a head ache but soon afterwards it seems to dissipate and they do good.
TexasGoatMan - what are you using to sedate the goats?

I have a youngster that I really messed up his disbudding... wouldn't you know it? The nicest buckling I've ever had... a true keeper... and I mess up his horns. I call him "triceratops"! I've been thinking about banding. I'll try to get a photo up and ya'll can tell me what you think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Most likely is using something like xylazine or ketamine on the goats, both are Rx.
There is too much risk with sedating for me to want to do it for something that is relatively simple like banding horns.
 

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Someone told me that banding didn't work on the goats that were too young, I guess because the horns were just growing too fast still. What age do you recommend to do the banding?
 

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He was a botched disbudding job, and is 6 months old. It's fly and breeding season now, so I'm not sure I want to do it right now, but waiting later it might be so big that I have a hard time getting the band down to the bottom... He broke it again tonight-cracked rather, so not much blood-yet...
 

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Someone told me that banding didn't work on the goats that were too young, I guess because the horns were just growing too fast still. What age do you recommend to do the banding?
I have only used bands for 2 years now. I believe that the horns need to be 4-5 inches long for removal to work the best. That generally means 5-6 months old kids. I have 4 doeling that are just getting horns big enough to band and they are 5 And 6 months old.
 

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3 week ago I put bands on 4 doeling. I didn’t do the medication this time. It was a little more challenging but was able to get the bands in place. Now 3 of the 4 have lost their horns and the 4th doeling has lost one horn and the other is about to come off. Yes I did the iodine before and after placing the bands. Also I cut the skin on the front of the horn just to keep the band in place. No more burning for my goats.
 

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This is all great information. I read on another forum that a lady used electric tape over the band to keep it in place. It helped keep the bands in place and from slipping.
 

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Wow! Thank you so much for this thread! We have 2 Nigerian Dwarf bucks (twins) that are 3 years old that weren't dehorned properly and have terrible scurs. Just over a year ago one of the boys scur was growing dangerously close to his eye and I freaked out! Called the vet/vets but no one could come out to help/sedate him so we could cut it off. Eventhough I know sedation is risky I thought it was our only option since it was so close to his eye. It got to the point we had no choice but to do it ourselves without sedation! What a nerve wracking endeavor that was! BUT we did it! We used a rotozip and cut it off. We've had to trim them up once since and its not fun, the boys hate it and it stinks! Now I know that the next time they need to be trimmed we can check it out and see if we can remove the scurs entirely! :) I've attached pics of the before and after. :)
 

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Just to add my .02... I tried this with 2 of mine... 1 wether who used his horns inappropriately on the other kids, and another girl who had these long dagger-like horns, and wasn't super cautious about throwing her head around - I was afraid someone would lose an eye.

Advice:
1. Shave around the place where you're going to band if they don't have super short hair. Mine got their hair stuck (they've got fluffy heads) in the bands, and I think it hurt.
2. If you don't see any difference in behavior/horn shape after a few weeks, pop another band on there, down below the first band. The wether wore his bands for weeks, with no effect - Once I put the second set of bands on, things started to happen - first set must not have been low enough.
3. If you don't have the nerve to cut them to hold the bands in place (that's me) you can create a groove by filing the horn (I tried this previously, but it didn't work for me - I couldn't get low enough with the file) or create a ridge with duct tape and put the bands below the ridge.
4. Watch them - both mine got really depressed toward the end - the wether still won't come within 5 feet of anyone else, afraid someone's going to touch his head. (His second horn is still dangling) The girl was afraid to come with the herd for food, so I would lure off the rest of the herd, and give her some alfalfa while no one was looking. The horn bands are really delicate and painful, I think.
5. When the horn falls off, there'll be a gross-looking red raw area. Wonder Dust coats it and it dries up and heals super fast.

It was super convenient, and I think a good way to get rid of horns on someone who's causing problems - but I don't think I'll do it again. I was really worried about these two, and hate seeing my goats unhappy. Once the horns got really loose, they were both afraid of being near the other goats, I couldn't touch their heads (Even to put on meds, etc) and they were generally unhappy. That was about 3 weeks each of real misery - they both lost condition and look terrible. The girl finally lost her second horn this week, and is bouncing back - even bopping people with her now-naked head... The boy's second horn is STILL hanging on - but he's clearly more comfortable now, I even saw him lying near his mom yesterday afternoon. (He's almost a year now)

If anyone has suggestions for how this could be done in a less painful way for the goats, I'd love it - it was really really easy to do, but oh I don't like watching my babies suffer! (Granted, my goats are utter crybabies, but... aren't they all? These are Nubians by the way)
 
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