Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Goats and horns...  (Read 7984 times)

WarescotFarm

  • Joined Jun 2012
Goats and horns...
« on: August 21, 2012, 05:57:25 pm »
Off the back of the conversation on 'How much for kids'

I have been thinking about the horns or no horns debate and until yesterdays thread hadn't given it much thought as Bella came with them. She is a pygmy and great with the kids but I am all for making the kids surroundings as safe as possible.

So a few questions:
1 - Is it harmful to get a pygmy debudded? I read the skulls are too small (she is 15 months old)
2 - Can you file the horns, I read on one website you can file 1 inch on 8 inch horns but there are blood vessels so you have to be careful. I also read on one forum the horns are hollow so you may be able to see inside the head (sounded odd)
3 - Also, there was mention of burning horns which sounds horrific but as there lots of people here in the know I am asking as interested to know the answer (not considering doing it)
4 - And finally I have no strong views on horns or no horns but alot of other people seem to. I have heard the eye poking out reasons but any other major reasons why to take them off?


Thanks as always folks  :excited:
Miniature Falabella, Pygmy Goat, 2 Glouster Old Spots, 1 Long Island Red, 1 Light Sussex, 1 Dark Sussex, 1 Silkie, 1 Magpie Duck and hopefully some more chicks and ducklings due to hatch soon!

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 06:14:01 pm »
Before I get things thrown at me for my opinion - I would firstly say it should be down to the owner/future owner (if kids), their personal situation and also the size and reason for having the goats. So having a large dairy goat to milk 2 x daily by a family would be a different than 2 pygmy pets for someone with no children.

I breed pygmyies and I do not disbud - personally I like their horns see them as part of them but I respect everyone's own view.

As for the eye poking bit I do find I have to be more careful with a young kid sat on my knee than an older goat. I have see where disbudding has been done incorrectly and a bad horn still grow which needs continual attention but I am sure that not common. To disbud the horn bud is cauterised (so basically burn) to stop growth but like all these things (tagging, castration) the aim it to be swift and efficient and it should be over very quickly.


So far I've not known a goat to hold a grudge although I worry about doing things to the kids in case they never come for a cuddle again :'( :'(


Re other post - The risk of losing a kid thru disbudding is worth taking when you consider the restrictions having horns put on them.

I believe this is in reference to dairy goats - I have a queue a mile long for my horned pygmies - we have them reserved before they are a week old, castrated boys and girls - so like I said at the beginning, it's down to the situation.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 06:22:19 pm by Brucklay »
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 06:20:10 pm »
My goats have horns. They're Old English, so bigger than pygmies but not as big as say a Toggenburg.

You have to operate horns in mind - what Brucklay says about being aware of those little kid horns. But then my sheep have always had horns, so it doesn't seem odd. No-one would dream of disbudding sheep.

I've never seen (or heard of in our goat society) 1. Anyone poking an eye out 2. Any kid tearing its mother's udder 3. Anyone being hurt by the horns in any other way.

I gather Jinglejoys on here, who also keeps OEs did have a tooth knocked out once.

I like to see them with horns, no OE is disbudded. That said, it's the norm amongst diary goats (but not Angoras).

anderso

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • brokenbrough
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 06:35:55 pm »
When looking for our goats the place we got them from did not dehorn them as they stated that the farm was orgainc and that this was the natural way - also thay had people visiting the farm daily who had larening difficalties and had not problems with people getting hurt or when milking
 
I do think the less we do to nature (just to make humans life easer) is the better way. if born with horns leave well alone.
when the revolution comes it will be a co-op

Rhi

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 06:38:12 pm »
Hi, I have a variety of goats, all nannies are disbudded, one has been done incorrectly as a kid and has a tiny little horn but doesn't seem any trouble. I also have a whether (saanen type) and an anglo nubian x alpine billy, these both have horns.
I was worried about their horns as they both have a set about 6-7 inches long if not more and they are still growing it seems.
I contacted the vet who said they would have to have surgery to have them removed at their age and size which would be a couple of hundred pounds each and cause them a lot of stress, so I left it. The boys live in one field, girls in another, my only worry is when the billy goes in with the girls, but I will keep an extremely close eye, its also a pain when turning them over to do feet, but I'm inexperienced and through that got injured by ones horns in my side, I now use a turnover crate for my awkward and lively whether and its win win all round now, so in all I have a mixed herd at the moment but for preference I will disbud my kids as when reading wanted ads people seem to request hornless goats more.

Regards

Rhi x

wytsend

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • Okehampton
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 07:08:08 pm »
That I'm afraid is from a Vet who doesn't want to do the job !!      Goat horns, wven a full grown set can easily be removed with what is known as a 'cheesewire'.   Goat is sedated, around the base of the horn ...in 6-8 places,    local anaesthetic is injected.   Horn sawn off with goat standing.........hot iron appled briefly to cauterise any blood vessels.    Time 10-15 mins.
Used to many with horns before F & M.....andmy Vet at that time was very good.
It is not major surgery !!!!!
Nearly lost my hand twice to a horned goat.........would notg recommend a goat with horns.

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 07:30:08 pm »
I also read on one forum the horns are hollow so you may be able to see inside the head (sounded odd)


Now to the horns hollow bit - probably not the best way to describe them but they sort of are - if you have a horn that is say 8" long there in an outer hard 'horn' inside there will be roughly a 3" mound from the head of living tissue - often discussed in the sheep section when lambs get their horns stuck in fencing - they snap tips off but also sometime loose the whole outer sheath/horn leaving a bleeding stump which is a bit horrific the first time it happens but a bit of spray and everything dries up and the horn reforms - but I do not see how you could file any significant amount off - sometimes people use sandpaper at shows to smooth rough bits out but not to reduce the length.
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 08:21:39 pm »
We have 3 that were disbudded and our milker who has horns.


We operate around her bearing in mind she might accidentally knock us with them, she has once got them caught in my ribs which made me jump and swear but I was over it in minutes.  I have 4 small children and they are grown up around her, never an issues (thank goodness)
she's the most gentle of goats but any damage would, I am sure, be accidental.


Having said all of this - all 3 'disbudded' get scurs. Currently Sixpence the kid has 3 long scurs and looks quite daft because of them  ::)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

WarescotFarm

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 09:58:06 pm »
Thanks everyone loads of great advice there, still not sure what to do though.
I like Bella's horns and think she looks pretty with them but I do like to reduce risk for the children where I can.

More thought required I think and maybe a chat with a vet
Thanks  ;D
Miniature Falabella, Pygmy Goat, 2 Glouster Old Spots, 1 Long Island Red, 1 Light Sussex, 1 Dark Sussex, 1 Silkie, 1 Magpie Duck and hopefully some more chicks and ducklings due to hatch soon!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 10:42:35 pm »
Well you see - big divide bewteen the "dairy goats" and the "other" goats.... my strong opinion on disbudding is entirely based on large dairy goats, and if I would be bringing in fibre goats I would have them disbudded too, just to keep the balance even in the herd.
I am not so sure about pygmies, as I guess the children will outgrow the goats quite quickly...I would have a chat with the vet and see if s/he could recommend rounding them off with some sandpaper a bit. My vet would not disbud a goat older than a few months.
I do however disagree that disbudding is done "for the convenience" of the human handler, I would think it is done for the SAFETY of the milker/handler, as well as the goats - mesh fences and horns just don't mix. And if we are talking about "the natural state of things" - then we shouldn't be  milking goats at all... after all they should be out on the hill. I would be disappointed, but not surprised if "organic" goats cannot be disbudded.

Rhi

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 10:44:13 pm »
Yes, we cheese wire our bullocks when too big for the irons and also if our welsh tups horns turn into their heads we cut them off too.
If my boys become a problem I will cheese wire them, but if I don't need to cause them the stress I won't, I don't know about anyone elses goats but mine really hold a grudge if I do something to upset them!!
X

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 11:37:40 pm »
 :) As I have said previously, I do not have the pygmy kids disbudded.  My vet said there is a risk involved with any goats, but pygmy goats more so, and she was not at all keen on doing them.
 
My larger goats have been disbudded as kids, although a bad experience this year, when the vet overdosed 3 of my kids, was not nice - they had to go on oxygen to be revived.
 
It is normal practice to burn off the horns - and probably the first time you witness your goat kid being attacked with a large flame is a bit frightening, especially when the flame gets a bit close and there is a distinctive smell of burning, and the kid flinches

wytsend

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • Okehampton
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 06:30:36 am »
Rhi.........just a word of caution !        It is illegal for any body other than Vet to even cheese wire horns off a goat.     A goat's horn base is totally different to cattle or sheep   despite looking similar.     A cheese wire will cut into blood vessels which literally on topof the head   and need a hot iron to cauterise.
I mention this becasue the Royal College of Vet.Surgeons have just issued a directive on this very matter.
You can trim horn/scurs with suitable instruments  but you cannot remove down to the skull.

tizaala

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Dolau, Llandrindod Wells,Powys
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2012, 07:19:06 am »
Disbudding kids is best done before they are 3 days old, you have to have confidence in your vet to do it propperly, full anesthetic and a very hot iron ,
do not mix horned with non horned goats, not fair when they indulge in the goat greeting ceremony. :goat:

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2012, 08:02:16 am »
You wouldn't cheese wire sheeps' horns to the skull either - usually you take of the 'curl' to avoid it growing into their faces. Sheeps' horns have a core filled with blood and nerves too.

You can feel, on a cold day especially, which bit of the horn is 'live' and therefore warm and which bit is cold.

Deliberately going into the core should be done by a vet in all horned animals.

 

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