Well today we disbudded our first kid. In all the things we do around the farm this is probably the most emotionally disturbing thing I can imagine and least favorite thing to do. It didn’t seem to bother the young kid much at all. She yelled a little but it was over pretty quickly, then she went on her way and seemed to be just fine with the occasional scratch to her head with her rear hoof. I, on the other hand was a bit more bothered simply because this was something new to me and was more worried about her than she was bothered by it, but I’m a big buck and will get over it.
Disbudding is a necessary evil when you have ADGA goats as it’s required in order to show your goats, whether you believe in de-horning or not. I believe in disbudding for many reasons. It’s much safer for the goat and you. Most dairy goats won’t harm people with their horns, you’re more likely to have a foot stepped on than to be butted by a goat. For the goats it’s better as it is less likely for them to hurt each other with them or get caught in fences and such. So, it’s got to be done.
A little about it. Well you need a good disbudding iron. There are many on the market. We purchased a Rhinehart X30 as it was recommended by Fiasco Farms. We used a disbudding box to hold the goat so I could do it without any assistance and it worked like a charm. Caprine Supply has both the box and irons for a good price, so stop on by and visit their website here. Once you have your kid in place, you’ll want to trim the hair then then use your iron. Place the iron around the kids horn buds for 2-3 seconds then remove. Hold the kid still as she will attempt to move, you don’t want any accidental burns from them moving. Move from one bud to the other. You’re looking for a nice copper ring where you burned. If you do not get that ring, give the iron a few moments and the go at it again. Try to give the kid a little time to “cool” a bit as overheating her head may very well cause brain damage. Once you get the copper ring, you’re done.
If you are unsure or not confident to do it, find a vet who knows goats to do it or someone that’s experienced with it. Don’t take chances.
There’s a bit more to disbudding than I’ve put in this baa-log but these are the basics. I hope if you choose to disbud on your own that you do plenty of research before you do. One of my best resources was the Fiasco Farm website, you can find it here.
Bottom line, this will never be an enjoyable event, but being goat farmers you must take the bad with the good.
May your goats udders be full and your kids plentiful!