Updated: Jan 13
By Sarah Pershing, Funny Bunches of Goats
I used a chainsaw file at the base of the horns to put a groove for the first band. I then place two bands under the groove. Electrical tape will help protect the bands.
I leave with herd for the first week or so, then separate and be VERY careful not to grab, bump, or knock the horns. The animal will be careful, for the most part.
The horns need to fall off on their own. Even if they start dropping or hanging off, don’t pull them off.
I had one “dominant” doe that would use her horns to block a hand from grabbing her collar. She would dart out a gate and try to block you from stopping her. She also flipped kids over her shoulders, which was the main reason for losing her horns. The blocking my hand was done without her thinking as she darted out a gate and it knocked a horn off.
Lemme tell you. Not pleasant for either one. Blood everywhere! Blood stop didn’t work I had to get out the disbudding iron. Phew! All good. Mental note don’t give her a way to try that with the other horn.
A week later she did. Less blood because it was 3.5 to 4weeks banded by then, but still too early. A few days later we noticed first horn had infection and she had a fever, so we started penicillin.
It took a round of penicillin, fly spray, and Betadine washes. It was looking better a week later, however, another week later and the infection was back.
We started a round of LA200. Same thing, a week later looking better and always keeping clean.
Another week the infection was back, however, more healed-looking. A third round of penicillin and infection didn’t come back.
It took almost 2 months fighting infection, but she healed and is much nicer. She is now safe around human and goat kids.
I’ve banded horns on two others without any issues. They also didn’t knock their horns off early.
I only had one that knocked their horns off, and it may be because she was a more dominant goat. I want to give a heads up on the potential hard part.
Also there are less bugs in winter, so that is the ideal time. I didn’t get maggots from flies which may have made this process worse.
Wether horns may be difficult to band since they are much bigger. I haven’t attempted to band male horns. I have a buck with bad scurs I just sawed one off and need to do the other. They are hollow so I didn’t want to do both same time and leave both sinus cavities exposed. Took about 2 weeks to close the first one. (Last photo on next page.)
I would not recommend banding full horns due to not disbudding, but only scurs.