My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Goat Horns Growing Back

Our little wether and his sister were born on Feb 25 of this year. I understand from the person who sold them to us that they were both disbudded by a vet, and Hawk, the wether, was also neutered at the same time. I think they also got shots then (but don't remember).

Well, little Hawk, now 3 months old, has horns growing back. We noticed them about 2 weeks ago when we rubbed his head, and just thought it was little nubs leftover that we hadn't noticed before. However, a few days ago, it became impossible to ignore as the horn-buds had grown to about 1/2 inch in length.

He also likes, er, mounting his sister, which thankfully she doesn't tolerate. Possibly the castration didn't take.

I found a local vet that is experienced in goats. They will take a look at Hawk this weekend and check to make sure (1) he's been castrated, and (2) his horns can be disbudded (actually called dehorning now) again without damage to him.

During a lengthy conversation, the vet told me the operation is risky even at 3 months of age. They will need to give Hawk sedation (to put him under), and dehorning him at that age results in a "high incidence of trouble". Could get into his sinuses, etc. Could kill him.

Told me if we have all horned goats, he'd be ok leaving them to grow. But a horned goat with non-horned goats could cause problems, not for the horned goat but for the others when he plays, etc. And he and his sister, Honey, love to butt heads and push and play.

Will have to wait and see what the vet says this weekend.

Meanwhile.... the attempt to work on the goat house continues! Even tho I have a cactus spike in my finger that I can't get out.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Disbudding can be a bit tricky at a young age. You have to do it at just the right time plus it depends on how you do it. The disbudding iron is the best route in my opinion but it has to be done at the right age, too young and the cells haven't started growning yet and it won't work, too old and it is what the vet said. Check Honeysuckle for any numbs coming up, girls will grow horns slower and later than the boys.
As far as the castration, I would wonder how that was done. Just because he is trying to mount the female doesn't mean he isn't castrated. Hawkey will already have testicle sacks if he wasn't castrated. If he does have the sacks and you feel something in them, then best bet he wasn't castrated. Either the sacks will be empty (razor blade method done at about 2 days of age preferrably, at least with pygmy goats, that was how I did mine). Or with the band method there should be no sack at all. Sometime they will put the band on and it breaks before it 'does the job.' Then you can have a problem.
Good luck, I raised and bred pymgy goats for 3 years. They were a blast to have around while I was in college.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Hi Vikki - thanks for your comment on my blog! I saw your post about your goat boy and his scurs and wanted to share my recent experience with you: http://critterfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2010/04/reggies-scurs.html

My boy, Reggie, is doing great now and there is no sign of any more horn growth (knock on wood). My vet really did a really incredible job (both procedure and pain control-wise) and was *very* against doing the surgical horn removal because of its intrusive nature, possible complications, etc.

Good luck! -danni

Vikki and the Kid said...

Thanks anon and danni. We didn't get a chance to get Hawkey checked out yet but they are definitely growing. Can't feel any growth on Honeysuckle so hopefully... none. We've pretty much decided to leave the horns to grow unless we can figure out how to wrap that elastic band around them to take them off, relatively safely. Hawkey has such a wonderful personality that I can't imagine him dying just to get the horns off him.

Danni: I had read your reggie posting. Glad he's doing better. Will keep in mind as we watch Hawkey and his horns grow.

Thanks... Vikki

Farmgirl_dk: said...

To clarify, Vikki - we did not do the invasive de-hornng surgery on Reggie, simply "re-burned" them. Something you said in your response made me think that I wasn't clear on that.
Just wanting to be thorough :-)

Vikki and the Kid said...

Danni: I understood that. I try to read your blog regularly! Vikki

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Oh dear; I hope it all turns out OK and that hopefully at least the castration "took."

P.S. I'm adding to you to my blogroll at Goat Berries now :)