Dehorning or disbudding is the process of removing or stopping the growth of the horns of livestock using a special dehorning hot iron. Dehorning should be done by a trained professional. Animals are often dehorned for economic and safety reasons. Horns can pose a risk to humans, to other animals, and to the bearers of the horns themselves. EG. Horns can get caught in fences or prevent proper feeding.
Advantages of Dehorning
- Horns may cause injuries to handlers or other cattle.
- Horned livestock may require specialist equipment, such as feeders and cattle crushes.
- In some breeds and in some individuals, horns may grow towards the head, eventually causing injury.
- Horns may become broken, causing blood-loss and potential for infection.
- Horned livestock may become trapped in fences or vegetation.
When to dehorn
All calves in the herd must be de-horned within 3 weeks of birth.
Why dehorn calves as new born?
1. Dehorning calves at a young age minimizes hazards to the calf and yourself
2. Dehorning is less stressful on new-born calves
3. Alleviates animal welfare concerns
FRS can help
FRS provides you with a skilled operator to de-horn your calves using his own crate and specialised equipment. FRS can arrange for an operator to call to your farm on a regular basis (every 10 days or so during the calving time) to perform de-horning as the new-born calves arrive or provide a group of FRS operators to get the job complete within a specified time.
Remember! The date of de-horning must be recorded in the Animal events book.
Why not get in touch with your local FRS Co-op to find out about our Calf Dehorning service.
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