Thursday, July 18, 2024
General AgricultureRuminants

Proper Guide to Dehorning of Animals

Dehorning/disbudding: Horns on animals can and do cause bruises and other injuries to animals. Horns can also be a hazard to people and equipment. Dehorning/disbudding is the practice of removing an animal’s horns or horn buds, depending on the age of the animal and the stage of horn growth.

Dehorning/disbudding should be done between 7-10 days of age for goats and prior to 3 months of age for cattle. It should be pointed out that perhaps the most simple and effective method of dehorning is to select polled breeding stock (not always possible within some breeds and species).

Methods of Dehorning

1. Chemical Method

Involves the use of alkalis e.g. CaOH, KOH, NaOHetc can be applied. Usually the chemicals are applied in the form of paste.


Clip the hair around the horn bud, this is done in order to expose the bud.

Apply petroleum jelly e.g. Vaseline around the bud to prevent chemical from touching other areas e.g. the eyes.

Rub the paste on the horn bud until a little bit of blood occurs.

It should be applied or calves of 3-10days old.

2. The hot iron method (Electric cauterizer)


In this method the iron is electrically heated until red hot usually above 5000C and a caplide end is pressed firmly on the bud until the matrix cell are destroyed and not more than 10 seconds.

Dehorning of Animals

Care must be taken s that the iron should not go deeper to the head.

This method is carried out on cattle that are over 3 months and below.

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It requires more time and it’s painful.

3. The use of clippers and saws


It’s is carried out on cattle that are over 3 months of age.

It is a bloody operation.

It involves the use of clippers or saws to saw off the horn.

It should be done in cold weather so as to avoid pain.

4. Cosmetics dehorning

It involves the use lidocaine along the base of the horn

Stich the skin around the bud before applying

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Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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