Trimming Doe's Horns (from growing into her head)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by MrsCountryChick, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    I have a young doe who has a horn that is close to growing into her head. [​IMG] We're planning on stocking up on bleed stop before trimming of course. But from the angle unless it's fully cut off at her horn base it will continue to grow towards her head from the curved angle, so this will have to be repeated trimmed. I read somewhere that you can take as much as an inch at a time cut off without blood loss.............has anyone ever had experience trimming a curved horn before? I would be happy with being able to "safely" trimm off atleast a 1/2 inch. What is the best cutting tool? I read you can use small hacksaws or bolt cutters to snip off the length.??? It's a shame that we have to, but it's necessary for her safety. But because we Have to I'm just interested in getting the most information.
  2. buck-wild-chick

    buck-wild-chick Songster

    Jul 24, 2008
    Hamilton C. FL
    I would contact A vet.Massive bleeding could happen even with the blood stop..Just a word of cation.But goodluck
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
  4. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    Vet is best. There is often a good blood supply to, or close to, the tip. Harder to predict if it's a scur (the part that insists on growing on a goat that's been disbudded, and often grows curly).
    I recently tried to trim just the tip on a curly scur on a 2 year old buck, because the breeder told me I should; He twisted away and the whole sheath of the scur pulled off. [​IMG] I am very lucky he didn't bleed much. I keep a can of Granulex here for wounds; I sprayed him with it right away & he was ok. If he needs work again it will be under anesthesia, or at least sedation, by a qualified Vet.
    Corn starch or arrowroot are said to be good for stopping bleeding, or clean cobwebs (I have yet to find one of those!).
    added...yes definitely a goat Vet, preferably with references... call the nearest Vet School? (I had an experienced horse vet oversedate a pony to float her teeth, and then do a terrible job on her teeth as well, ugh.)
    If they're clear a horn saw sounds ok with caution (my friend got a deep arm cut when the Vet's hand slipped on the wire horn saw)
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  5. MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Her horns were trimmed before, they have a slightly jagged look to the last 2inches. & when sunlight hits her head while eating in her feed bucket (standing still for a good view) I can see the pink blood supply in her horn & the last inch is clear without pink....(she has white clearish horns)..... that's why I was hoping the last 1/2 inch would be okay to cut for now. I know of no caprine vet & with the horror stories I've heard of animals receiving bad care from unqualified goat vet & some dying from anesthesia I was looking for a safer, less stressful, & economical choice. [​IMG]
  6. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    You can buy a dehorning saw. They are not very expensive. It is two handles and some obstetrical wire. You can find them in any livestock suppy catalog. You can saw a small amount at a time if you like. If it were me I'd saw the whole thing off below the hair line as close to the skull as possible and take care of the problem once and for all. Cauterize any bleeding with a hot dehorning iron. If you have a hole in the head, pack it with an antibiotic powder and apply a bandage. We use kotex mini pads secured with duct tape. After a couple days the sinus hole will be closed up and the bandage can be removed. Be sure to give a tetanus shot. You can also remove the horn with an elastrater band. BTW, we have lopped off hundreds of horns over the years and our mortality rate was less than the vet's. In fact I can't remember losing any. The vet lost several I know of. Probably from the after affects of anesthesia.
  7. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    Yes you can cut up to 1 inch off. You are best to cut a little at a time. I would start with 1/2 and go from there.
    I know most vets will not see goats.
    Just FYI goats also do not to well under seadation
  8. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    You might want to try putting a rubber band at the base and see if it will fall off. Agreed to be careful of blood loss.

    We were able to disbud a doe with a rubber bande approach when she was about 7 months old. So far so good on her.

    Good luck and have a blessed evening.
  9. MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    THANKS for all your responses & info. [​IMG] I've read & heard about sedation being risky with goats. I have been researching the banding horn technique & plan to do that with her horns once cooler weather is here to stay. Hearing of how horns grow slower in colder weather & insects like flies will be gone lessening the chance of infection a bit. I did hear about giving a tetanus shot.... do you give it at a certain interval?... like a day or so before, etc? My husband was able to take about 1/4 of an inch off yesterday. [​IMG] We've had her for a short time & she was really skiddish when she first came, but now that she's grown friendlier & trusting of us we wanted to get her horn trimmed before it became a danger to her & before it'd be too close to her head to band. They must be scur horns, because that were trimmed before. But I like the safe approach, so we just trimmed a bit. Love all the information from experience. [​IMG]
  10. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    I have a buckling with scur horns. I am able to trim the one side down 1/2 away from the skull before I get a bit of blood. The other side has hardly growen. I use my hoof nippers, in the milk stand with grain. makes it pretty easy.
    I am not a fan of the banding. To much risk for me, cause if it can go wrong here on the farm it will.
    I will just happly trim the one side of my buckling.

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