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close this bookBasic Husbandry Practices and Veterinary Care (IIRR, 1996, 60 p.)
View the documentForeword
View the documentBody parts of farm animals
View the documentNames of farm animals
View the documentFarm animals and their young
View the documentLivestock production
View the documentReproduction of poultry
View the documentBreeding
View the documentCare of calves and kids at birth
View the documentCare of piglets
View the documentFeeding orphaned animals
View the documentNutrition
View the documentDeworming
View the documentVaccination
View the documentCastration
View the documentHoof trimming
View the documentDehorning
View the documentClipping milk teeth of piglets
View the documentDisinfection of pen and equipment
View the documentWaste management and disposal
View the documentPesticides


Dehomed animals require less space in feeders. The danger of serious injuries from horns is also avoided.

Methods of dehorning cattle, water buffaloes and goats

Hot iron

This method is commonly used to dehorn older animals (4-5 months old). It is quick and bloodless.

1. Restrain the animal.
2. Select a capped-head dehomer that fits the horn to be removed.
3. Heat the capped-head in fire until it is cherry-red in color.
4. Fit it to the here of the horn

Things needed

- Cappedhead dehorner
- Fly repellent like pine tar

5. Turn the handle around to completely encircle the hoary. Remove the horn and bum also the tip of the horn bud with the same red-hot dehomer.
6. Apply a fly repellant, either Pine tar or Negasunt or Gusanex.

Hot iron


Things needed

- Caustic potash stick
- Vaseline or vegetable oil
- Scissors
- Vinegar
- Plastic/rubber gloves. if available. If not, take extra care in applying potash.


DON'T use caustic potash stick if:

- It is raining. It could burn the face or other parts of the animal.
- Several calves or kids run together.
- Young and mother are together.

A caustic potash stick is used to disbud animals, 4-10 days old.

1. Remove hair from and the base of the hoary.

2. Apply oil abaft one-half inches around the base of the horn.

3. Wearing rubber gloves, dip one end of the potash stick in water.

4. Rub stick around the base of the horn until it starts to bleed. Then, stop rubbing.

If burning occurs on the side of the head, wash the area with a solution of I part vinegar and 3 parts water.

5. Follow same procedure with the other horn bud.
6. Place disbudded animals in an individual pen.