Thursday, 15 October 2015

Our Smallholding Calves Have Their Horns Removed.

It was de-horning the other night on our smallholding here in West Cork, Ireland.   A friend we know helped us de-horn them in the cattle crush.  I have read that cattle have horns mainly for divining water and not jut for protecting themselves.  Some breeds like Aberdeen Angus are naturally polled and the Irish often refer them as the 'Black Polly'.  

Our friend came with his hand held gas de-horner.  He said it cost him 270 Euros and it runs off a 7 Euros gas cyclinder.  This burns the horn buds and they will (hopefully) no longer grow back.  The cattle marts will not allow them to be sold if they have horns.  Any way the de-horning went succesful and here's the boys a girls a week later.  They don't look any worse for wear.  





The next job for the boys will be the 'clampsing'  or making the bulls into bullocks.  This will be done around Christmas and before the lads are fertile enough to jump on two heifers.  

10 comments:

  1. Me thinks I don't want to be a bull the next time around...hornless and hornyless? bullocks to that thinks I!

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  2. The male species have a rough time of it dont they, females are a lot more useful :-) the calves look great :-)

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    1. Hi Dawn. The females are forced to have a calf each year and then they take them away from them. Dairy cows are often slaughtered before they are six year old. They become dry cows and fattened. Poor things.

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  3. Our two cows still have their horns, although there have been times when Lester wishes they didn't, especially when they are in season....We would not be able to keep a bull here because we are too small a farm, but we did say that if we ever kept goats again that we would debud their horns to stop them from fighting each other.

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    1. Thanks Vera. We once kept nanny goats. They hated the rain and they were always getting tangled around their tether bar or some brambles. Couldn't afford to feed a herd of cows. We just buy calves and sell them when they become too big for us.

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  4. We did our own de-horning when we had a dairy herd. I found the de-horning kit when we sold up the farm. Sometimes we would buy in a cow that had horns and they would cause a few problems to the other cows tossing their heads about and they would also be misshapen, not perfect horns. Best to de-horn. Lots of Irish cattle used to be sold in our local market for beef and they had horns though.

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    1. Hi Rachel. We have removed horns here with the vet. It's pretty gruesome removing the horns isn't it? Small butchers with their own slaughter house don't mind them having horns. I always enjoy your farming stories Rachel. Thanks!

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  5. I remember someone taking a horn off a animal when I was small and the dog eating it mind you she would eat anything!

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  6. Our dogs do the same when they get their horns removed. I think it's the bone marrow Kev.

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