Disbudding Day!

Spiffy's Baby #1
Spiffy’s baby #1 after disbudding
Spiffy's baby after disbudding
Spiffy’s baby #2 after disbudding
Disbudding is where one uses a really hot electric “disbudding iron” to burn around the kid goat’s horn bud. We put the baby goat in a box so that we can hold its head still during this process. We first shave around the horn buds so that we can see the bud, then we place the “disbudding iron” over the horn bud for 10 seconds per horn. . Disbudding destroys the nerves leading to the bud, thus preventing the horn from developing. The babies cry for just a few minutes, after which they are bouncing around playing and having a good time, as if nothing happened.

Cick Here is a good description of disbudding
In fact, had it not been for our goat Sandy, who we adopted with Fawn one of our dairy goats, we probably wouldn’t have decided that disbudding was the right thing for goats. Even though Sandy was a bottle fed baby and nice most of the time, she had a temper, and would butt you when you weren’t looking. One afternoon, my husband and I were tending to the goats, and Sandy ringed her horn right around my husband’s nuts. My husband was in pain and pissed off at Sandy, so his first reaction was to grab Sandy, but then our guard dog Harvey intervened and cornered my husband. Harvey sensed that my husband was mad at Sandy and was doing his job protecting Sandy. We disbud, because if not, the goat could be dangerous around strangers. We have guests who visit the farm occasionally, so it is better for us to be safe rather than have a goat butt a visitor. (We learned this technique from Rosemoon, who taught us what little we know about goats.)

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