Livestock dehorning | Dehorning of cattle

Livestock dehorning | Dehorning of cattle

“The method of making all kinds of animals hornless is called Dehorning of cattle”.

Benefits of dehorning of cattle

1) There are following advantages of dehorning of cattle:
2) In keeping many animals together, there is no fear of their fight with each other.
3) There is no fear of tangling the horns of animals.
4) The tolerance of animals increase.
5) There is no fear of physical injury to animals when they clash with each other.
6) The caretaker of the animal does not have the fear of getting hurt by the horn.
7) Many types of animals can be kept together.
8) Weak, strong, small and big animals can be kept together.
9) The risk of horn cancer is reduced.
10) Less space is used per animal.

Time of Dehorning of cattle

Dehorning is done in calves when they are only 10-15 days old. As the age of the animal increases, dehorning becomes difficult and painful for the animal. Dehorning of older animals by taking out the horn from the base is called amputation of horn.

Methods of dehorning of cattle

The following methods are used for dehorning of cattle.

  1. Chemical Dehorning
  2. Mechanical Dehorning
  3. Electrical Dehorning
  4. Dehorning of cattle with rubber rings
  5. Dehorning by Breeding

1. Chemical Dehorning

Chemical Dehorning is of two types

  1. Dehorning by Caustic stick
  2. Dehorning by Chemical dehorner

Dehorning by Caustic stick

This is the best method of dehorning, but this method can be adopted only for animals of one or two weeks of age. In this method, caustic potash rod is used. In this method, the hair around the place of horn is cut with scissors and scrapes the Horn bud. Scrape the horn bud so much that a little blood starts oozing out from horns.

The horn buds should not be scraped excessively because excessive scraping can also lead to the death of the animal.

After scraping the horn bud, holding with the caustic potash holder, rub the end of the Caustic Rod on the place of horn (on raw horn) until blood starts to ooze out. While rubbing the caustic rod, it should not touch the skin of the body except the horn. Grease oil is applied around the horn bud to prevent the skin from burning.

The horn-forming cells are destroyed by the rubbing of caustic potash stick and then the horns do not grow. For complete dehorning of cattle, “dehorning by Caustic stick” method is used. The animals which are to be dehorned should be hornless at the age of two or three weeks.

The following precautions should be taken at the time of dehorning by this method

  • The stick of caustic potash should be handled carefully otherwise it may burn the hand.
  • Due to excessive rubbing of caustic potash or on rubbing it away from the right place of horn may cause bleeding, and there is a fear of getting a wound at that place.
  • Grease oil and boric acid powder must be applied around the horn area, otherwise caustic potash can harm the animal’s eyes.
  • The head of the animal should not be get wet after applying caustic potash.
  • Care should be taken that the animal should not lick the area on which caustic potash has been applied, otherwise it will get wound on its tongue.

Dehorning by Chemical dehorner

This is a chemical method of dehorning. Such a substance is prepared from chemical substances, by applying it on the horn buds, the horns do not grow further. The poldehorner is a good example of this type of dehorner.

It does not cause any pain to the animals and the horns are completely destroyed and after that horns do not remain not able to grow any further.

2. Mechanical Dehorning

There are two types of mechanical dehorning of cattle;

  1. Dehorning by dehorner
  2. Dehorning by dehorning saw

Dehorning by dehorner

A special type of dehorner is used for dehorning old or young animals, by which the horn of the animal is uprooted. This method is easy and simple but it is very painful for the animals. After uprooting the horns, blood comes out from the root, due to which there is a fear of infectious disease.

Dehorning by dehorning saw

Sometimes it is necessary to cut the fully grown horns of animals. In this case, a saw is used to cut the horns. This method of horn cutting causes pain to the animals. This method is used when there is a specific disease in the horns of the animal or the horns have grown too much.

3. Electrical Dehorning

This method is used less in India. This is absolutely safe method for calves.

In this method, the hair near the horn bud of a 3 week old calf is cut and cleaned. After this, the electric dehorner is heated till it turns red and touches the horn bud for 8-10 seconds. When a golden color appears in place of the horn, the calf is released.

4. Dehorning of cattle with rubber rings

In this method, very hard, short and thick rubber rings are widened by a special instrument elastrator and worn on the roots of the horn. Due to which these rings do not allow blood, food and oxygen etc. to the horns, as a result of which the horns dry up after some time.

this is a simple method in which no blood comes out while dehorning the cattle horn, but this method requires costly equipment and also takes more time.

5. Dehorning by Breeding

In all the above methods of dehorning, the animal is in pain, wounds are formed or blood comes out. Therefore, to save the animals from pain, the animals are dehorned by breeding method.

In this method, a male without horns (Polled Male) is crossed with a Horned Female. The offspring that is produced after their breeding is hornless (Polled). This is a more time consuming method, its use in India is limited to large dairy farms. This method is not adopted in the countryside but it is very popular in foreign countries.

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