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In Reply to: ohh those horns posted by Helene on November 29, 2001 at 14:58:13:
I know exactly what you mean. We have the same kind of goat that does the same thing. I've tried just about everything to keep her from putting her head through the cattle panels. I counted one day that I must have released her 20 times or more. No sooner than I would get her unstuck, five minutes later she was standing there again. I ended up nick-naming her "dum dum" amongst other names I don't dare repeat here.
If you really want to get rid of those horns, probably the best way I know of is get a pair of horning shears and getting down as low on the horns as possible. This is kind of like a big crimping tool that cuts each horn off in a single motion. Then there is the part about removing a small vessel in the opening where each horn was. I've never performed this operation myself but I knwo it can be pretty messy. If you decide to go this way, I'd give a round of antibiotics and make sure she is up on her tetanus shot. Afterwards, bandage the area so dirt and bacteria cannot enter the wound. That's easier said than done for most goats - so I'd keep her isolated from the rest of the herd for a week or two.
Sawing is an option too followed by a dehorning iron to cauterize the area. I'm sure some of the others have performed this task or can shed more light on it. Come to think of it, I think there is an article in the Articles section about dehorning (disbudding).
The banding of the horns - I know people that use this method on cattle and while it does work, it is not always the best way to go. You need to make a notch near the bottom of each horn so the bands will stay on and it usually takes about a month for the horns to fall off. If one of the bands break during the process, be sure to get another one on there quickly. Not many people will recommend this procedure - perhaps for that reason.
Another alternative that I have tried with moderate success is by taping a small length of broomstick or dowel longer than the opening side to side or angle to angle of the woven fence, to the horns. It looks pretty darn funny, I suppose it's cruel in a way, but then what's crueler? A goat that died because it got hung up in the fence or one walking around looking like a strange radio antenna? LOL
Gary Pfalzbot, GoatWorld
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