How to Disbud (Prevent Horns) in a Baby Goat



Gather the things you need.,
Identify the horn buds.,
Apply the disbudding iron.,
Feed the baby some milk or return her to her mother.,
Monitor the healing and enjoy the result.

Have the iron hot, so that you can put a black ring char on a piece of wood instantly. Have a seat, and your friend will put the baby goat into your lap. Cross your leg over its body for restraint, and use your non-dominant hand to hold baby’s head against your chest, its ear folded down and covered by your gloved hand. This procedure must be done when the baby goat is as young as three days old, BEFORE the horn tip starts to poke up through the hair. Some horns take up to ten days to start sprouting. Waiting too long is much harder on the baby goat.;
, Feel with a fingertip in the hair, remove hair, and see the point of the horn bud. Find the perimeter of its base so you can see how you will apply the iron centered, covering all the base. (This will ensure that a bit of the horn base doesn’t regrow into big deformed curls of horn tissue called scurs. If they do start to grow, just reapply the iron.) Notice that the point of the bud has a spine proceeding toward the nose, so that the perimeter is not circular. (Ideally, you can have your vet anesthetize, but this procedure is very brief and the use of anesthetic is not common.)

, Plant the iron onto the horn base, blow on it to see through the smoke. Baby will cry and wiggle even if the area is prenumbed successfully with anesthetic. Keep it on for a slow count of ten, using a vigorous press and twist to smear through the layers of tissue down to an orange-brown ring (roll out the button of tissue you have removed). Then apply ice cubes on the wound, to stop heat penetration. Staying on too long, like twenty seconds on a very young animal, can heat the sinuses.

, She may sleep more today, but will sustain the wound and thrive.

, It takes two months for the horn scabs to fall off, and they can be slightly junky-stinky underneath. Whenever you hold the baby, you can look for ooze or smell, and then medicate with a wound treatment. If they get bumped, they can crack, so apply a bit of wound cream.

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