Sunday, September 9, 2012

HELP... With Goat horns... Any Suggestions???

Okay I am at a loss with my 6 month old Alpine doe.  We got her when she was 3 days old and bottle fed her.  Needless to say she is SPOILED and a big BRAT!!!  She and Jack were our first and we had no idea how to disbud them or the equipment to do so.  I have since learned how and have gotten a kid box and a X50 disbudding iron for our next baby.  Yes I have learned my lesson...

Here is my dilemma.  We have red wire field fencing.  Her horns are about 6 inches long and very slender.  She is getting her head into the 3rd from the bottom row of squares and then gets stuck and I have to push and pull the wire to get it open enough to get her head out.  Then the idiot walks down the fence 5 feet and sticks it right back in!!!!! This happens multiple times a day EVERY day!!! Today she got her head stuck on the neighbors side of our property and of course he was scared it would hurt her.  She really seriously thought God said Trains when he said line up for Brains and she did NOT want to go for a ride!!!!

I have read about using castrating bands to remove the horns, but I am not comfortable with doing it because I am afraid I will hurt her.  I have an elastrator and I have green bands I just need to hear from someone who has actually done this, how to and what the risks are.

If any of my readers have experience in removing or trimming horns and can give me good advice OR if anybody has any ideas what to do I would love to hear from you...  Just leave it in comments.  I moderate all the comments so if you do not want it posted for others to see just start the comment out with "do not post" and I will be more than happy to read and converse via email and NOT post the comment/email on the blog.

This is what I did for the time being to keep her head out of the fence... I now have a goat that looks as stupid as she acts....

Please and Thank you......


  1. I don't know if she is just getting her horns caught or her whole body? Maybe a yoke would work. You try one and see? Made from a forked limb, hangs down to her knees and above here head to clear her horns. Run a strap, collar, webbing behind head to hold it up & in place. May look funny at first, but have used them & they work, even on milk cows that think the grass is greener on the other side. Have always disbudded our animals when born, bought animals that was already disbudded or born hornless. Never use a buck that was born hornless, will produce young that are morphodite.

  2. I think the word should have been,"hermaphrodite". I had to look it up to make sure. Sorry! Animals born without horns are called, polled. So, the rule of thumb is not to use a polled buck for your sire. I think it is beacuse the male throws this gene, not the female. I seen the caustic salve used, but didn't like the results, so when we got dairy goats & starting to have babies, we bought a debuding iron. Works great

  3. I have a disbudding iron for future babies. She is just getting her head thru the fence. So far my garden hose fix has worked. My buck is an Alpine and he has beautiful long horns. His are big so they do not fit thru the fence even though he and Sookie are the same age. He is very sweet natured probably because we raised him on a bottle also.... Thank you for the idea. If the garden hose quits working I will definately incorporate the yoke idea.

  4. We got in to goats quite by accident. Our third child was born lactose intolerant, unable to drink cow milk or canned milk? The doctor recommended trying goat milk. Sure, if we can find it. I had drank goats milk when growing up and had no problem with it. The goats milk worked!
    We had just moved to 15 acres and already had small livestock, actually had purchased a bucket calf( jersey heifer) for our future milk cow. Well, we needed goat milk, not in two years, today! We purchased a good milker locally, toggenburg I believe. To make a long story shorter, we ended up with a herd. My favorite was the nubians. Maybe not as much milk, but richer, more cream. We did pasturize some so the older kids would drink it. Myself, the smell or taste would not defer me from drinking it. As most things we did, we tried to make a profit from or at least break even. I purchased a registered Nubian yearling for a herd sire. I showed him in a sactioned dairy goat show once. He won grand champion of his class. That was enough for me. The show ring wasn't for me! We enjoyed them animals until we sold the homestead 15 yrs latter to relocate for a job. Thanks for listening.

  5. I enjoyed your story.... The nubians I have are soooo Funny. One will even play ball with my husband. He throws it and she will run and get it, bring it back and drop it thru the fence at his feet. We found out by accident as he was throwing green apples into the pen for them as a treat. She brought it back multiple times until she accidentally bit into it and found that it tasted good!
    My kids drink the milk raw. I do not pasteurize anything. I make alot of cheese though