Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The Reasons I Don't Like Goats With Horns..
Obviously from my last post that is the number one reason I don't like horns on goats.. I NEVER thought something like that would happen. Heard of it but never thought it could happen to us..
When we first started managing That Farm year before last All of those goats had horns.. I pulled them out of fences.. Out of Hay-racks.. They almost broke my fingers Twice trying to get their heads out.. It was almost a daily thing trying to get their heads out of the panels.. I came down to the barn one morning to find one goat had gotten her head stuck up in the top of the hay-rack and I don't know how long she had been like that. She was fine but if one of the other animals had run into her the wrong way she could have hung herself.
Then I have been passing goat farms and goats have had their heads stuck in the fence.. The farmers couldn't see them and they were like that for a while. So we knocked on the door to tell them.. We got oh those are my son's goats and they do that all the time. They didn't care.. Then at another farm we went to look at a buck one time as we were driving up there was one goat with her head stuck.. We got it out and when we were leaving its head was stuck again..
Then the bucks were head butting nothing to crazy but one of the younger buck broke his horn almost completely off. It bleed like crazy.. No amount of blood stop powder worked I had to heat the disbudding iron(which seemed to take forever) to cauterize the artery that was squirting blood with every heart beat.. It took 2 adults to hold him and then I was working on him.. By the time we were done he was very weak and I was almost sure he was going to die.. He didn't but it took a lot to get him backup to looking good. I was almost sick from the smell of the blood and I do not have a weak stomach..
Now I know Horns are natural for goats and I try to do things naturally. But God does expect us to take care of them. All of these things would not have happened if the goats had not had horns... Disbudding is a simple procedure that last a few minutes and then they are done. Its not as bad as some people make it out to be.. Yes they holler its like getting a shot it stings and burns for a while and then they forget about it.. Or maybe more like burning a mole off of a person. A necessary evil..
Collars on the other hand are essential to our operation here. All of my goats lead with collars and if I let them out to the milk stand I can lead them there.. Some of them have their stubborn days and will not willingly go up on the stand. So they need to be lead. There is nothing in the pasture that they can get hung up on. I also had bought cheap plastic clip collars that should have broke under that kind of pressure.
If I could have all polled goats I would but that is a whole other ball game.. I do have 2 in my herd now. I always breed back to a horned buck so the hermaphrodite gene is least likely to show up. Even though there is some studies that dispute that the Hermaphrodite and Polled gene are linked.. But they will have some polled babies that I wont have to disbud.
Then there are all the bumps and bruises besides the almost broken fingers. The wether had caught me and the girls in the hips and legs many times. One of the worst was when he caught me behind the knee and he almost took me down. He didnt mean too that time but I am no light weight and he isn't either... He is a wether so for you non-goat people that means he was like a steer. He had been castrated and he was less than 3 months old when I did it. He had started out really friendly and a bottle baby. He first showed aggression when the babies were being born this last spring. I locked him away and he quit.. Then I started noticing lately with all the goat girls coming in heat he had started acting a little aggressive here and there. But mainly at feeding time. He would push everyone away from the pan he was eating out of.. Which is not unusual and why I have several pans for grain time.. I could holler NO and he would stop and go back to eating.. I never thought it would go to far.. But I learned my lesson. He is going to the freezer and I will never have another horned goat. They are going to be disbudded, polled or not here at all..
I am a firm believer that horns have no place with a dairy goat herd meat herd Maybe but not in my experience. Some people will agree and some will not. That's fine with me. We all have our own experiences and opinions.
I also want to say Thank you for all the kind words and for not being condemning like some people tend to be..