Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Horn  (Read 6275 times)

Ayeskint

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Fife, Central Scotland
Horn
« on: February 27, 2011, 10:21:47 pm »
Hi guys, I need your advice.  I have a ram lamb who is coming up for a year in a couple of months.  He is growing some nice curly horns but one of them is nearly touching his eye.  I think I need to reduce it in some way - can anyone help.  Is the horn dead (no blood?) and how do I cut it? 

Thanks
Carol

andywalt

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Re: Horn
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 10:34:49 pm »
you can trim the end of the horn off, its sounds as if you need to do it sooner rather than later,you need some wire cutters, that is like cheese wire and you pull back and forth and it will cut through the horn like butter.  no blood. just give it a spray of purple spray.
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Horn
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 12:40:32 pm »
You can tell which part of the horn has a blood supply by holding it in your hand - where it's warm it has the blood filled core under it, further towards the tip it feels cold and has no core.  If you use a cheesewire type cutter it will cauterise it if you cut too close to the blood bit.  You will need to keep an eye on this horn forever, and cut back every now and then because of course the horn doesn't stop growing just because it reaches a bit of the animal  :o.  Could get gruesome.
When using the cheesewire saw, have someone else holding his head and body firmly, and covering his eye (horn dust will irritate the eye if it gets in) then keep your hands well apart while sawing - if you have them too close together the blade is more likely to break. Just to take the tip off you can use foot shears, or bolt croppers if you can get a grip with them.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Horn
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 01:07:37 pm »
A hacksaw will also work on thick horn or long handled garden loppers on thiner stuff start at the tip take only 1" bites .

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Horn
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 01:09:58 pm »
We have to crop our tups' horns quite often - Rough Fells. It's quite normal unfortunately, they've been bred with horns that are too tight.

We use a horn wire too and it reduces the bleeding. Even if it does, it doesn't seem to bother them that much, they're straight into the feed afterwards and seem to forget about it.

We have sometimes got away with 'shaving' the inside of the horn off - we do that with a pruning saw, but have to be very careful about his eye then. We tie the other horn to a fence post and then have someone pushing him against the fence with their body and holding his chin.

Just as Fleecewife says, keep an eye on the horn - I knew someone have a tup lose an eye from the pressure cos he didn't do anything soon enough!

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Horn
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 01:30:33 pm »
Cut it off, unless you want to keep the horn for good looks ie (showing), in which case it can be turned.

Cutting off is not a big deal. Use a meat saw or a jewson hardpoint saw. If it bleeds, it will make a mess, but no more harm than that.
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Ayeskint

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Fife, Central Scotland
Re: Horn
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 07:20:41 pm »
Thanks guys that is really useful advice, I don't need his horn for showing so will get that sorted.

Carol 

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Horn
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 08:46:37 pm »
Yes cut it off. I have a ram that broke its horn as a lamb and it never grow right after that, I trimmed it a few times but cut it of the last time as the horn just kept on growing and if left would have blinded him, There was a lot of blood and if I was ever to do it again I would be looking for some method of freezing or pain killing. 
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

Joe11

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Horn
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 01:26:23 am »
First of all i have no experience with horned sheep what so ever, but cutting through the living core of the horn to remove the whole thing sounds extremely painful and very stressful for the sheep! As bigchicken suggests about freezin etc can this be done with a vet present? Im not sure what the correct way is of removing a horn and maybe this is it but just want to make sure nothin rash is done. Sorry if this is the norm  :-\

Cazzie

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Herefordshire
Re: Horn
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 03:51:08 pm »
Hi
Last year I had four ram lambs castrated by my vet at @ five months old.  Two of them somehow had each broken a horn by about half about a month previous to castration, so I asked the vet whether he would just 'even them up' so the horns would at least grow at a similar rate - which he did while I attended, using the cheesewire method.  There was no bleeding.  I brought all four home, and of course they all looked a bit sorry for themselves for a few days.  However the two whose horns had been trimmed both went downhill.  One died a couple of days later and I returned the remaining one to the vet to see what he thought.  He was puzzled and did loads of tests, injected him with a few things  but he too died a couple of days later.  A post mortem was done and they found nothing, everything was fine with the castration which had already healed, so we could only conclude that they died of shock - unless someone else on here has any other ideas  :-\
I just wish I hadn't had them trimmed for cosmetic reasons.
The other two are fine and as we speak are running around creating havoc in Hampshire.
Herefordshire Ouessants
www.ouessantsheep.co.uk
U.K. Registered flock

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Horn
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 01:02:12 am »
I agree that taking the whole horn off is not necessary and is potentially dangerous.  The live core provides a track to  the brain so could introduce infection, and sawing through it would cause extreme pain.  Just removing the cold tip as described above is quite sufficient, causes no pain and deals with the problem.  Sheep use their horns for more than decoration and will be at a social disadvantage without one or both.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Horn
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 06:57:34 am »
I'm really sorry to hear about your lambs Cazzie :-\

We have to trim our tups horns all the time and have never lost any - and once we had to take them off 'after the first curl' which unfortunately did bleed (better than losing eyes however).

But I agree with Sheepwife, leave as much on as possible.

 

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