Concerning Dehorning Mature Goats


Aristotle 2016 

Recently, I received a help  inquiry from a young woman in western Ireland. She had rescued a young, badly neglected Old Irish Goat 2-year-old buck from a place not able to care for him properly.  Although he is good natured, she plans on neutering him for family safety and also wishes to get him dehorned. This is not an easy proposition at that age.

I once had a doeling with significant scurs (partial horn regrowth) at 18 months old. I decided to try a surgical removal. Although the vet did a great job and she did recover, I swear that for at least two weeks I could see straight into the brain.

Substantial horns that have become an integral part of a mature skull are not candidates for either surgery or c-bands at the base. Therefore, size matters. As Gary Pfalzbot of the website GoatWorld comments on c-bands or elastrator banding:

“The first step using this method involves determining if your goats horns are long enough and large enough. Since every goat has a different growth rate, there is not really a young age which is best, but if you insist on knowing an age, let's say anywhere from three to four months old. The width of the horn at the base of the head is the most important factor. I generally follow my own rule of 'if the horn diameter at the head is at least the same diameter of a coin penny.' Likewise, if the horn diameter at the head is the width of a half dollar, you may not be able to easily slip the castration band all the way down to the base of the horn at the head.”

Furthermore, it may not stay there. Although I have not seen the horns on this particular buck, Old Irish Goats are known for their magnificent sweeping horns, so I am assuming that this boy is well on his way to not qualifying for banding.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters