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.


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