Dehorning or not dehorning?



    Pro horns: 


1.  Horns serve as a temperature regulator, dispelling heat. Important fact if you life in a warm weather area.    


 2.  Dehorning is terrible painful and can injure your goat forever (brain damage, infections, blindness). The horns are part of the scull. Improperly removed horns can grow back into the skull, and can also break, bleed and prone to infection easily.  


 3.  Goats need there horns for self-defence against predators.  


 4.  Goats use there horns for utilitarian purposes such as scratching, and feeding (e.g. holding down tall brush to feed)


5.  Horns are the strongest handle you have on a goat. Hold their horns and you have completely control. (If you are strong enough ;)) (e.g for medication)


6.  Goat horns are a natural, God given part of the goat and could be left already only for that reason.


Contra horns:


1.  Horns can hurt you, if you are not careful.


2.  Some agricultural fairs and organizations (including 4-H clubs) do not allow  you to show goats with horns in different classes.


3.  Horns can get stuck in places (fences, hay racks) and immobilize a goat so they are easy prey to predators or the goat may starve to death or die of thirst before anyone has a chance to free it.




  • Goats with horns fight more. Not true! We have at the average 40 to 50 goats. Our worst fighter and only really mean one is a dehorned pigmy. We have lots of very gentle goats with horns, one of the friendliest ones ever was the the famous Sir William, who had beautiful horns.


  • Horns are dangerous. Even you should seriously consider this aspect, because they can be dangerous. But, when two bucks are fighting they can easily run out of it with bloody heads even when they are dehorned. (Our bucks like to play and fight with each other. Only the poor disbudded one gets hurt on the tender disbudded area. Because he trys to act like a real goat ...We have two bucks with horns who never get hurt after fighting!)


We figured:


We like horns. They belong on our goats and are a personal jewel to each of them. We didn’t experience any serious injuries because of horns.

The only danger we experienced is getting stuck in fences what can cause the a.m. possibly consequences. So you want consider that while choosing the size of mashes in the fences.


How to dehorn?

CAUSTIC PASTE: Please don’t use it on a goat! This method works for calves. Goats are much more active and flexible. They scratch and scrub the paste over themselves and others. So it corroded the skin and eyes!


RUBBER BANDS: They work good for castrating. But the bands can fall off the horns and leave "scurs," (partial little deformed horns). It ends up being very painful when the bands cut through to the nerves.

SAWING/TIPPING: Could be used for grown horns. If you choose to saw (use a wire saw), you just trim the horn tips. Don't saw down to the part where the nerves are starting. That would be inhumane. If you even though cut the blood vessels you need to cauterize the blood vessels. (Another technique is to saw so fast that you create enough heat to do the cauterizing. Be sure you are fast enough!)


BARNES TOOL / GOUGING: Made to remove the horns from an adult animal. It digs in below the root of the horn and what is left behind is a bleeding hole in the scull. You couldn’t choose a crueller way to dehorn.


DISBUDDING: Burning with a hot iron. The most popular way to dehorn a goat. We don't recommend it either, since it is terribly painfull for the little ones and can cause cruel injuries and death. But if you whish here you go:


The kid should be in the first 10 days of age. Be sure somebody experienced helps you!!


(Point with the mouse on the pics to see the description or klick on the first pic to get a slide show.)