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Dehorning an older calf?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by abigalerose, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2016
    I have an 8 month old jersey cross heifer with little horns, they're obviously already attached to her skull, but they're still pretty tiny, she's a small cow in general, is it still safe to dehorn her? I would use a vet, but even so, what are the risks? If I'm going to risk losing her I'll just leave them but I'd really prefer she not have them.
    If I do have to keep them on her, is their anyway at 8 months to project how big they will get as she ages?
    I'll try to get pictures later today
     
  2. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fall and winter are the perfect seasons to dehorn cattle because of the lack of flies. IME, "established" horns in cattle are best dehorned at a vet clinic, with an air powered or hydraulic guillotine dehorner. The hole left in the skull will be impressive, but it will heal over. Many vets will numb the area first, making the procedure more comfortable.

    Alternately, you can buy "horn weights" which will train the horns to grow down and around, so that they are not such a deadly weapon.
     
  3. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2016
    I'm going to ask my vet about it next week! I don't think it will be a problem for her since her horns are tiny. How big of a risk is there when you dehorn established horns?
    I forgot to get a picture
     
  4. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not enough risk to prevent dehorning...

    The thing with dehorning horns that are already visible and growing is that you have to take a good chunk of bone from all the way around the base of the horn, not just the horn. You end up with a hole literally into the sinus cavity that has to be packed with gauze until it closes.
     

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