Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Goats and horns...  (Read 8430 times)


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 08:35:14 am »
It's nice to know I'm not the only one who keeps horned goats, I was beginning to feel a bit isolated.

Mine are dairy goats but the construction of my milking table means that their horns are kept well away from my eyes.

As I said in the other thread, I never really thought about their horns (that's not to say I didn't respect them) until I read all the posts.

"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."

Absolutely agree with Brucklay.

We have had the vet in with a cheesewire to one of our disbudded Dexters when their horns had regrown and threatened to put an eye out - their eye not ours.  We have another who has a horn growing at an odd angle. 

It seems that the process is not always successful in cattle - what's it like with goats?


  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 08:58:07 am »
Apologies, I may not have made it clear.
A vet is always present when cheese wiring our bullocks horns although its very rare as we disbud them as calves using the irons, which is also done with a vet present.
I would never consider cheese wiring my goats horns off with out a vet present for one I physically couldn't do it myself anyway.
And we only cut off the part of the horn causing trouble on our tup and never the entire horns, although we did have one tup after fighting who had to be operated on as it broke under the skin close to the skull and caused a massive bleed. He is now a happy 1 horned tup, but sadly this year he's heading to market as all his teeth have fallen out.
One of my goat has sharp edges on his horn which really hurt when he jabs me with them, by other horned goats horns are quite blunt, I considered just taking the sharp ends off.


  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 02:01:35 pm »
We've kept goats for more than ten years now - initially we de- horned our kids until my OH was asked to be present at the operation. The kid was anaethetised (sp?) with gas and air and the hot tool applied. The kid was not entirely knocked out and was obviously feeling some pain. The vet explained that he couldn't knock the kid out properly as he needed the animal semi conscious because the kids skull is very thin and there is a danger of cooking the brain if the iron is held too long. The deed was done, blue spray applied and the kid never looked back. However, the OH deemed that we would't be de horning any more kids.
Since then we have had naturally polled animals, horned and de-horned. They all seem to get on well enough - they all head bang each other but the horns are not used as weapons.
We too had a Old English billy with enormous horns. One of our current billys is a Golden Guernsey who has been de-horned but not very successfully and now his horns grow back into his head if we dont keep them trimmed.
I also milk my horned and polled girls and have never found myself in a position where my eye could be poked out - I face the rear end or use a milking stand.
I think if you watch the horned goats you will see that they use their horns for scratching the parts they otherwise can't reach, they scratch up the earth with them, beat nettles with them etc - as nature intended I'm sure.
As for trimming feet we do ours with the goats standing and lift the feet as if they were small horses. I'm not sure how I would do a pigmy or Bagot though...
So, I wouldn't discount a horned goat if I were buying any more.


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Lincs Notts border
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 08:22:25 pm »
We have Boer goats and their horns are so close to their heads and tightly curled back that I would not consider it nessessary to de horn but we also have milkers that are dehorned and I would not have them any other way, we  did not disbud the young billies from our milkers and although they are friendly they are also very lively and you need to take great care with them

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Goats and horns...
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 09:35:15 pm »
I was present the first time one of my goats was disbudded and found it quite distressing as she cried out at times.  By the time we had her home, though, she was absolutely fine and didn't seem to be aware of what had been done to her.  I must admit to being relieved when the next one had to be done and the vet didn't want me in there.


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