Dehorning: Benefits, Potential Complications & Techniques

Dehorning is the process of removing the fully grown horns of livestock. Cattle, sheep, and goats are sometimes dehorned for economic and safety reasons.

Benefits of Dehorning

  • Horns are removed because they can pose a risk to humans, other animals and to the bearers of the horns themselves (horns are sometimes caught in fences or prevent feeding
  • Increased space at the feedbunk
  • ease of transport, both through a facililty and during shipping
  • decreased trauma by caused by dominant and aggressive animals
  • decreased risk of injury to personnel

NOTE 1:- Dehorning is normally performed with local anesthesia and sedation,dehorning is not routinely performed, since it is a difficult and painful process for the animal
NOTE 2:- dehorning under the age of 2 weeks is strongly recommended:
1. Technically easier procedure
2. Ease of handling resulting in decreased stress
3. Decreased risk of hemorrhage

Potential Complications

  • Hemorrhage
  • Pain
  • Horn regrowth
  • Infection / Sinusiti

Techniques

The mechanism behind dehorning is to permanently destroy or remove the horn-producing cells at the base of the bud, to prevent further growth
1. Electric or butane hot dehorning
2. Disbudding tube/spoon
3. Barnes dehorner/scoop
4. Dehorning paste

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