Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Trails and Tribulations of Horned Goats

There has many differing opinions as there are many a great debates on whether or not one should have horned or disbudded goats.  A good read on Horned vs Not Horned can be found on Fias Co Farm's website at the following link:
Dyson, our wether, came to us at three weeks old, with horns. At the time, he probably could have still been disbudded, but he was very sick and I did not want to add to his stress with the procedure. He's a very calm little fellow and we've really had no problem with his horns up until we brought Aurora home. Suddenly he was headbutting and side ramming her like crazy. After a week he mostly settled down except when it came to grain and hay time, then it was right back to showing he was boss. It alarmed me, but not until he started hooking under her stomach and lifting her up with his horns... That's when I knew we had to do something about them before he ended up gorging her and possibility killing her.
Many fellow goat shepherds gave us a lot of different advise on how to take care of his horns.  I refused the idea of surgery immediately... not worth the risk of the possible side effect. Banding his horns was out of the question too... Sometimes they grow back and when they do, they be malformed scurs.  Putting tennis balls and pool noodles were our best options, but even with the smallest tennis balls, they almost cover his whole horn and I don't want to mess up his temp regulating. I have a tub of spare parts... I need to find a goat rescue place to donate too. There had to be something out there, because I really did not want to have to give up Dyson to keep the other goats safe.
Anyway, what finally worked was the form insulators that you buy at Lowes and the like for those small copper pipes on water heaters. Just the right size to leave most of Dyson's horns exposed without too much duct tape.

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