Monday, August 3, 2009

Goatucation - Butt's Up With Dehorning?

Actually I am being funny with today's title. I think I ate too much apple mash yesterday but that is a tale for another post. Today is for serious stuff. Today is Goatucation where I answer your questions about all things goat. Our question today comes from The Old Grey Egg at Random Living on a Northwoods Farm. He actually asked,"What's your opinion on dehorning? If it's decided to have a hornless goat what's your preferred method?" That does sound more technical than "Butt's up with dehorning?" doesn't it?

There are opinions that say when you have dairy goats it is better to have dehorned goats because horns can harm udders. Initially the male person was going to dehorn my kids but you will read later what happend. None of my kids have hurt my udders.

On the other side of the issue when you live somewhere like Montana where there are mountain lions, wolves and coyotes around it is good for goats to have some level of defense against predators. So that is why we ultimately keep any goats born here horned.

I am sure you have all noticed that there are both kinds of goats here at the Happy Goats Farm. I don't have my horns. They were removed so long ago I don't even remember how. I think I look quite pretty, don't you think so too?

Abby was born on a different Farm and they tried dehorning her when she was born but you can see how effective it was.

Jillian and Mallory came to the Farm from another Farm and they were dehorned when they were little. They don't remember how either.

Now, the male person decided he was going to dehorn the kids born on the Happy Goats Farm. His preferred method was to use the burn method where you put a hot iron on a kid's horn bud for about 10 seconds. He did this with Michael the goat. You can see how well he did it and how effective it was in this photo here...

His theory was that the iron he used was sized for full sized goats and we are little goats. So at this point he decided the goats born here would be horned goats. That is why when we brought Luke over from his Farm in Washington we requested that he have his horns. Otherwise he would have had his problems living in a pen with Michael.

There are other methods of dehorning that I have heard of. I have a goat friend on another Farm and they had their horns removed after they had grown through the use of bands that got tighter and tighter on her horns. I don't know if it hurt or not but our horns do have blood vessels in them that is why it is not suggested to have them removed once they have grown.

I hope this has answered The Old Grey Egg's question. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to the Ultimate Spool Supremacy - The Kids Do Battle.


  1. That was really interesting! Those horns really do grow quite large.

  2. Ouch! That sounds painful either way you do it. I'm with you--let them have horns! I don't de-claw my kitties either--they need some defense against the outside world and the evil couch. It just seems so cruel to do.

  3. My father in law has horned goats on his farm. The only problem is when they stick their head through the fence and get their horns stuck.

  4. wow...have any of you goats ever had your heads stuck in something? i would leave the horns on too. do they hurt each other when they butt? and what about the cats and chicks? do they send them flying? i wish i had horns. i know a few people i would like to show them to!

  5. That was very interesting, thanks for the lesson! Priscilla, that's an extra-beautiful picture of you!

  6. The goats are all so cute!! I didn't know that you had to dehorn goats. I thought some were just born that way! Poor little things! Does dehorning hurt them?

    Just stopping by from SITS! Have a great day!! :)

  7. but i am lacking goats for my soap? do you use lye in your soap? i have been told good soap has to have lye in it. i just really haven't had the time to research soap making. i made homemade english muffins this morning. now this is fun!!!! and wow are they good!

  8. soap is definitely in my future. thanks for the info.. i will absolutely give you the english muffin recipe. you cook them on a griddle. i have an electric one so i could regulate the heat. i am in the midst of a double batch of brownies but i will send you the recipe later! btw...i am cooking the brownies not eating them. i hate chocolate.

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog ! Yes goats are hysterical,and very ,very addictive !!!!!The Boy is going to love your blog ,he is all about "The Goats" ! ~Melodie

  10. Thanks for the lesson on de-horning.

  11. i lost your email. i will post the recipe on my blog tomorrow with pics of the muffin. i will post twice tomorrow.

  12. I love how different their horns all are! I'm constantly amazed at how our goats can stick their heads through a small hole in the fence, then pull them back through without getting their horns stuck.

  13. Hmm. I honestly never thought about goats and horns or not. I hope it's not too painful for those of you who had it done...

    If I was a goat, I'd want my horns.

  14. blueviolet - they do indeed. Those boys really butt heads too!

    Lin - I am with you, although Farm cat Fred doesn't have his claws. It was his claws or his life. He was a very bad cat. But he is the best hunter on the Farm.

    Pam - sometimes we are very stupid that way.

    Daisy - thank you! I think I look pretty myself.

    Heather - some goats ARE born without horns but it is a genetic defect. It does hurt to be dehorned but only for a little bit.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.

    jaz - the publicist fell over when she read you hate chocolate. I have to go revive her.

    Melodie - I think I should get a lawn chair. I AM head goat after all.

    Reese - you are very welcome.

    jaz - thank you. The publicist is doing better now. I gave her some chocolate.

    Statch - it is a goat secret.

    Cute - there are times I wish I still had mine...especially when it comes to Abby.


Maaaaaa away....


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin