HORN TRIMMINGTuesday, 8th March 2022
By Dr Mackie Hobson
It is important to know that disbudding is NOT carried out on Angora goats and is NOT allowed by the Mohair industry.
However, Hoof trimming, where the tip of the horn (up to 2.5cm) can be removed to prevent the Angora goats from injuring each other if they happen to fight or the horns happen to grow in such a way as to cause self-trauma, is of benefit to the Angora goat. Horn trimming also helps in cases where horns can get caught in feeding hay racks or fences.
If a goat's horn needs to be removed for medical reasons, this can only be carried out by a registered veterinary surgeon with the appropriate anaesthesia and pain relief.
Photo: The tip of the horn removed
Horns in nature serve a number of purposes that are beneficial in today’s Angora goat environment.
The horn can serve as a temperature regulator in the hot Karoo environment and be used for self-defence against predators. The goats use the horns to scratch and hook tall bushes to feed on them.
The tip of the horn lacks the blood vessels, nerve endings and bone that forms part of the lower horn.
The goat should be restrained by an assistant by holding it at the base of the horn and the other hand under its chin. The tip of the horn can be removed by using embryotomy wire (saw teeth) attached to handles, and a back and forward movement is used to remove the tip. A hacksaw blade or horn trimmers can also be used.
Embryotomy wire- saw like motion to remove the tip. Horn trimmers used to remove the tip