Saturday, March 1, 2014

Disbudding Day

Today was Goat D-Day; disbudding day.  We had one last warm day before that Polar Bear Rolex thing descends upon us again.  Freezing rain, sleet, some snow & won't see temperatures above freezing until Tuesday afternoon.  So today was as good a day as it was going to get.

We disbudded Nettie's two bucklings, Pickles doeling and buckling and Annette's two doelings.  I was thinking about just doing Lily's kids since we had the supplies out, but they are only two days old and I like to give them a few more days to strengthen up before we put them through the trauma inherently involved when one burns the flesh on top of the head.
Annette's doeling, disubdded about a half-hour earlier.
Let's play on Auntie Nettie!
Auntie Nettie ROCKS!!
The horns vs. no-horns debate is generally a heated one.  Disbudding is obviously traumatic.  But so is dealing with a massive blood loss from one of your best milking doe's udder after being gored by another horned goat.  So we disbud every kid on our farm; even those who will end up as supper and those that are going to another farm.  I will not sell any kids of ours without being disbudded.  If that person doesn't like it, they can buy from someone else.

The family that bought NewNew came over today to pick up Nettie's bucklings (Whoo hoo!!  No more bottle feeding!)  We disubdded them earlier in the day and then let them watch us disbud one of the other kids.  I hope they decide to disbud NewNew's kids, but in the end, it's all a personal preference.  I'm just glad we were able to rid the bucklings of their horns.  A doe with horns is bad enough, a male goat with horns is, in my opinion, an accident waiting to happen.

Having said that, I have to also admit that we still have four goats with horns at Krazo Acres.  Penny the Boer / Nubian cross has horns, as does MamaGoat (the Mini-Saanen) and Lily & Herman (both Boers).  These goats already had horns when I got them.  But as soon as things slow down here, we will be banding Penny and MamaGoat's horns.  Right now Penny is in a separate enclosure so she no longer poses a threat to anyone, and MamaGoat's horns really aren't as pointy nor is she very aggressive.  But I think we'll end up putting tennis balls on top of MamaGoat's horns pre-banding just to avoid any more horn accidents.  There are a lot of kid goats running around and I'm sure once she kids she'll be more aggressive towards other kids trying to sneak snack or getting too close to her offspring.

We'll disbud Lily's kids sometime Monday or Tuesday and then put the disbudding iron and box away for about three weeks when MamaGoat is due to kid.

Going to check on the kiddo's in the barn now and maybe start adding some more bedding down in the barn for the impending cold snap.

Stay warm!


  1. Dis-budding sounds alot like what I call TnT here on our farm (tails and testicles). I'm always relieved when it's done.

  2. Well I think you should get rid of horns, especially on critters that normally stand about waist high and like to run into things with their heads.

    Maybe that's just me though. I guess like reptile love and fat feeders there could be some people out there that like that sort of thing.

    Not me.

    Just sayin...

  3. A buck with horns is definitely an accident waiting to happen as you well know! Great post in favor of disbudding. After our recent experience Dan actually said this morning if we wanted to try it maybe we could. That's a huge step for him but we'll see if he still wants to when the time comes.

    Your little guys are adorable!

  4. So does that urn the scalp or? Do you put anything on the skin after you dis-budd?

  5. And Aunt Nettie looks so relaxed with kids climbing on her :) What a gem!

  6. We ALWAYS disbudded all of our goat kids. Yes, you can say it's traumatic, but for the kids it lasts only a minute or so, as you know. I think more of the trauma is for the humans doing the job. I found that getting my head in the right spot (no pun intended) was the way to go. I actually think if the human is visibly upset, it's harder on the kids.

  7. Aunt Nettie is so loving :)
    I let the vet disbud my one and only baby so far. When I get a herd going I might learn to do it myself. The smell is awful! Your a strong one Carolyn!

  8. I always hated the disbudding day. I think it's important though.