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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    Can't imagine it is cruel, inhumane, painful, etc. Maybe uncomfortable after first putting on the bands, but not after that.
    But to some, anything they wouldn't want done to themselves is cruel, inhumane, painful, etc. (But slaughter house? )

  2. #22
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    Reality is:

    Valley is obviously a sensitive person. Understands early dehorning. Not an option in this case. Has some experience with goats, perhaps more.

    This goat has a new home and is being well cared for. This is positive.

    Large, adult bucks can be and do become very aggressive towards people. Once desensitized to people, they consider people as part of their herd. Dominance struggles ensue between the buck and the people. People can get hurt depending on the situation.

    Not every buck, not all the time, but aggression/dominance issues can arise. Those horns could be dangerous. The buck clearly is over 100 lbs, likely around 200 when full grown and well fed.

    Valley seems to have decided that the safest answer for the buck and people is to consider dehorning and has asked for experience/advice. Always a good idea when faced with new situations.

    He has 3 choices.

    Take it to a vet and leave it for several days for surgical dehorning = many $$

    Do it himself, selecting the best method given his situation, skill and resources. This is the choice all animal owners make for our pets, or animals raised for food and/or fiber. Most do an excellent job. A few are irresponsible. Valley is not being irresponsible.

    Move the buck elsewhere.

    He is exhibiting an excellent attitude for animal husbandry.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

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  3. #23
    Super Member dcyrilc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    texasjohn,

    Well said!
    Cyril

    JD 2240 MFWD (with duels now)
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    Thanks John!
    I ordered the bands and spreaders and screw worm spray. Picked up a couple pallets to make a squeeze chute.
    The girls 12 and 8 were able to put a collar they bought on the buck while feeding him alfalfa pellets through the wire of his stall.
    They are looking forward to washing and brushing him.

    The implements arrived from the supply house as I typed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -oregonbahag-049a-jpg  

  5. #25
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    You are making excellent progress and thinking ahead.

    Girls that age will mess with him (feed/brush/etc.) and have him accepting people in his world and his pen very quickly. Your girls will quickly become very trusting of him. Their safety depends, as I'm sure you know, on YOUR judgment about how close they can be allowed to get to him, and under what conditions. There is a reason that petting zoos do not have large adult billy goats in them for the human kids to pet....they weigh too much and at unpredictable times they decide to assert/test their dominance

    I applaud your idea of making a chute from strong materials..the pallets...this should work fine....

    The good news is that ultimately the horns will be removed....bad news is that when this happens you will lose your "handles" on the goat. Thus, I recommend you get a small halter from the feed store that fits him...strong, not a flimsy one but made of nylon or other tough weather resistant material. You can get him familiar, over time, with being haltered when being fed. Might even leave the halter on him at times so you will be able to have something to grab on occasion. Specifically, I'd leave the halter on while the horns are banded and until fully healed. Feeding alfalfa is laudable, but not required... you can use a less expensive feed and he'll still be very healthy and like it just a well.

    The collar is a good start, but will be ineffective in properly controlling the animal. The halter should have a ring so a lead rope can be snapped to it and buckle type adjustments so it can be snugged to the head.

    I looked at the photo of the animal... if this is your place, the fence you have is IDEAL and can be used for one side of the squeeze if the configuration works out that way. Make sure the sides of the squeeze are at least 50% taller than the goat is..... amazing how well an unconstrained goat can climb out of stuff. If you do get a halter, you can have a bar at ground level you can run the lead under, wrap around, and hold the head toward the ground...key to controlling the entire goat's body.

    Screw worm medicine...haven't heard that phrase in many years...I have experience from the early 50's when there were actual screw worms and they plagued ALL animal husbandry folks in Texas. Thankfully, they have been eradicated from the USA now...but still you DO want to control the flies on the goat's head after the horns fall off. Else, you will get maggots where you really don't want them to be.

    Best wishes...and let us know how it goes
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    We'll take pictures, or have the girs do so, while we work with the animal. The picture is of our corral. Bahag, the girls named him, knows his stall and can be driven in. I have had a much larger Saanen buck, years ago, that I raised from a kid. He loved me and was no trouble. He would drink a bottle of home made beer that I would hold for him, loved the tast of the malt. He used to come when I'd hike into the upper lakes to fish and camp.
    This guy, however, is a bit worried never having people this close before.
    We got two does a while back that were never handled and soon loved the family wanting to be with us all the time. I appreciate your insite and suggestions.
    The girls are home schooled, when my wife gets them caught up with the work and can help, we'll see to the horns. I have never used the banding method but hear from people that keep and show goats it is the way to go with animals that have been allowed to horn. One person, seeing a picture of this buck, said" looks like you have your work cut out for you".
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -bahag-001a-jpg  

  7. #27
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    Have never personally used banding... am sure it works if others say it does.

    My concern is to keep y'all safe leading up to and during the process. Suggest you not rush things... get him used to going into the area where you will do the deed and allow him to enter/exit without stress...feeding him there is a good idea.... and, get him used to being haltered and unhaltered without putting a lead on the halter.....you may find out that you can begin to rub your hands on his horns without him objecting (tossing head, running backwards, etc...) if so, so much the better....I'd prepare to do the deed and keep the entire routine exactly the same up to the point where you constrain his head (pulled down toward the ground initially so he cannot run backward or rear up) and further squeeze him in. Then, depending on his behaviour, you can do the banding.... bending his head completely back over his shoulders and pulling neck/head down on his back will be necessary only if he is really acting up such that you cannot get the band on any other way.

    After you get all done, slowly loosen him, reversing the process, and let him stand and calm down before releasing him.... even to the point of just backing off and leaving him alone for maybe 10 minutes until he has been calm for quite a while.... point is, don't reward bad behavior by releasing him while he is doing it... wait until he's settled down, preferably having nibbled again at some feed/water. In the best case scenario...and actually quite likely....the goat will be reasonable in the squeeze and not hold it against you and continue behaving reasonably after the process. After all, it is not actually particularly painful to install the bands, just something he is not used to being subjected to.

    Note, all the above is only because this is a pet goat....and you want to keep him gentle. If I were doing this to an animal that ranges out in the pasture, I'd simply throw a rope over the horns, pull him in (gotta watch those front feet), dump him on the ground, pull front leg up over side while putting knee on neck. Have another person grab hind legs and stretch them out while a 3rd person grabs horns and does the banding using physical force to control the head and get bands properly placed....then everybody releases on count of 3 and it's all over. Don't underestimate the strength of a goat this size when it is jerking around.... to safely manhandle him does require preparation and several people. The fewer people, the more western it gets and the greater risk of injury to people or goat.

    Glad you have experience with goats.... proceed using your best judgment, be prepared and very likely all will go far smoother than we might anticipate. However, I have learned from experience that preparation and planning for how to handle undesired behavior is the best way to avoid disaster and injury. Use only the force necessary, but don't be afraid to use the force immediately if necessary. Of course, you will explain the plan to your wife and girls so they won't be surprised if you have to use more force than perhaps their sensitive sides would like to see used. Wife can be good at holding a lead rope which has been wrapped a couple of times around a bar and slack removed. Yep, best to give girls a chore that keeps them out of harms way.

    Looking forward to more photos....this fellow has a great stall!!!
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    Thanks John, I'll take what you said there in consideration. We'll have to be getting to it soon. Richard

  9. #29
    Platinum Member DennisArrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    Richard......Just a couple of thoughts and surely not looking for a confrontation with anyone that gives you advice. Just an ol guy here that when I do say something on here it is what I KNOW, rather than to up my thread count and thereby affirm my self-worth and credibility. With that said.......

    Yes, I still stand by my comments about dehorning being less than humane. Yes, OUR stock is used by the meat goat guys to produce herds that have the genetics that put on meat, size, and growth rates to bring them the profits that they need. We are totally familiar with 450 pound bucks and 250 pound does and the handling problems associated.

    I commend you for what you are doing for your girls and really am trying to help and give you advice that surely works. Teaching them values learned by animal husbandry is so rare now adays that what they learn will produce responsibly and successful adults. So for that......THANKS..........totally RARE............

    I dont raise cattle; but am surrounded by cattle producers and grew up around them. Surely not in anyway an expert so I DO NOT ever TRY to give advice about how to handle or treat them.........A goat expert?......That shows up in the show ring or end of year profit/loss statement on the farm........

    By the way, getting your girls involved in showing goats, 4H, and later FHA is fantastic. Most regions have shows/classes for Juniors and well worth the effort that YOU put forth for those fine children you are raising.........

    OK.......a couple of things..........
    Nose rings for control........NO way on a goat. Check out the anatomy of a goat's nose....I guess one could do some surgery and do it; but surely not standard

    We use 2 methods of control when working on them. Yes, there are many types of devices available; but these run into MONEY.........If the girls get into showing or even perhaps if you get into the dairy side, a goat stand is really nice to have. Basically these are just a platform that can be raised or lowered with a head "holder" and removable sides. They are NOT for heavy duty work; but totally handy for shots, feet, and trimming.
    The other method that we use for heavy duty is a simle 2X6 running down the side of a stall. This is perhaps and inch or so off the wall and butts into a corner.........We use several of the tie down straps that most of folks have around to actually hold the animal......One strap around the chest and 2x6, another just in front of the rear legs around the body, a rope around the outside rear leg pulling it up and off the ground, and lastly another strap or rope around the HORNS pulling upward into a corner to hold the head.......Yes, a picture tells a thousand words.......Sorry........

    Someone above wrote about the horns being a "handle" and YES, they are totally useful in working with goats........TOTALLY........

    Not that it doesnt happen, but have NEVER seen a goat try to impale anyone by spearing or defense.......THEY BUTT........as such, yours could cause a problem........

    Goat horns are full of a substance that is close to marrow.......Not hollowish as cattle horns are.......THEY ARE PART OF THE SKULL........When you cut into one or break it, they easily bleed out on you..........Actually, as goats DO NOT SWEAT, they are useful for heat dissipation of the body.......

    Do as you feel you need to do......OK.....goat maintenance......:

    The fella you have looks kind of pygmyish......Good luck, yes they are cute; but they tend to get out of fences, stubborn, and kinda picky about their pasture cleaning.......

    The old addage about goats eat anything is wrong. Alfalfa is a bit much unless it is a very pregnant momma or one that is nursing.......Wheat straw is great for bedding but not fodder......Fescue and orchard is totally acceptable.....Bermuda is fantastic.......Free range pasture/woods is plenty if it is available.......Perhaps a 1/2 coffee can of goat chow isn't to much but really not needed if pasture is good........

    You NEED to treat for intestinal worms.........DO this........pull down the lower eyelid and is the tissue below the eye a very deeep bright pink?......If pale at all, you have worms......They are totally common and you need to treat these on a very regular basis........

    Get those feet trimmed up........We call them pixie feet and the pic of yours shows it quite well.........Permanent damage to the ankle structures WILL happen........You need to do this perhaps every 6 weeks or 3 months......Another reason for a stand..........

    Anyway, just some thoughts....If I need to expand some of the above there is NO problem....Am proud for your girls that they have YOU......God bless........Dennis

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Band Dehorning

    We worm our goats and trim the hoofs but haven't done ether to the buck yet. The girls give alfalfa and carrots as a treat not a steady diet. This guy is a pygmy. My Saanen buck was, I thought, close to 500lb. {never weighed him} I've seen pictorials of band dehorning from start to finish. With this fellow its dehorning and being herd buck or the freezer. I had a talk with him the other day, his English is poor, but I have the impression he prefers life with the does.
    I was raised on the ranch, We like the girls to have a childhood like that. They are home schooled. They ski very well, both Nicole and I are pro skiers. They have daily advertures on our mountain, they even name the bolders up back. They have a lot going for them. God has blessed! Richard

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