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Dehorning Calves, Lambs and Kids

Removing of Horns

Removing the horns from the animal has the following advantages :

  • There is less chance of it injuring other animals.
  • There is less risk of injury to people.
  • An animal without horns needs less space at the feeding troughs.

The horns are best removed when still buds (buttons) on the animal which is less than one week old. This is called disbudding.

The Tools Used to Disbud Animals

THE TOOLS USED TO DISBUD ANIMALS

Tools used to disbud animals

  • To dehorn an animal you will need a dehorning iron which can be heated by electricity or over a direct flame.
  • The end of the iron is round and hollow and will fit over the bud of the horn.
  • Using a hot iron is better than using caustic soda to remove the buds.
  • To test the iron, heat it until hot and then hold the end against a block of wood. A complete, even ring should be burned into the wood.
  • You will need to test the iron each time you use it to make sure it is hot enough.

Disbudding

  • You will need someone to help you. Take care with the hot iron.
  • Restrain the animal. Your helper must hold its head and pull the ear nearest the bud you are going to remove, down and away from the bud. He must hold the head very still.
  • Cut the hair away from around the bud of the horn.
  • Test the hot iron and when ready put the iron over the bud and twist it around for about 10 seconds. Continue until the bud feels loose, reheating the iron if necessary.
  • Push the bud out by pressing with the iron.

Source : Pashu sakhi Handbook



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