Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

ok, I was in love with the goat idea, until I read about disbudding.  I got very nauseated reading about it. (I am a newbie, so I finally got around to looking up some new words related to the goat world).  I just don't think I can/ want to do that to an animal.  How do you find the place inside you where you can do that and be ok  with it?  I have always had a hard time with the idea of branding animals.  I am thinking that there isn't anyways around doing this if you are having a goat for milk. 

I am not trying to judge people here, I am truely dumbfounded about this.  I know many of you didn't start out as farmers or goat raisers and had to deal with this issue yourselves. 

Thanks-Laura

Views: 1463

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Laura! There are some people who do not disbud, and that is ok. I have not done it myself, but I held both of mine while the vet did it. And I will eventually need a disbudding iron to do the kids we expect to have in January or February. I did have to go through that as well, but it was not as intense for me. My Father's side of the family is Native American, and we were raised to believe that the most honorable thing you can do for livestock when it dies of natural causes, is to eat it. So we occasionally have chicken from time to time. I figure, if I can clean and eat my own chicken, and fish and whatever, I can disbud a goat. Aside from no horns being the breed standard for Nigerians, which may matter if you decide to show eventually, I have read a lot about goat behavior, and decided that it is safer for me,other people who may encounter the goats, and my goats themselves, if they don't have horns. So, I decided to disbud. I am not particularly fond of trimming the hooves, or nails of any of my animals because I am worried I will hurt them, but it has to be done, and if I do clip them accidentally, I know how to take care of it. I don't like taking the dogs and cat to the vet every year for their shots because I know they are going to hate it, but it has to be done, and I didn't like taking my youngest brother to have his PKU done either ( that's the holding the foot then drawing the blood test) but it had to be done. Nobody who disbuds does it because they like to, but because they feel it needs to be done. My brother screamed bloody murder, and so did my goats, but I know they are going to be ok, and I can comfort them when it's over and put some booboo medicine on it...They won't even remember after a while. If you weigh the options and you still don't want to disbud that is ok , but be aware that it is a lot easier and in my opinion less traumatic to disbud in the first week of life than to dehorn when they are older. I hope that helps.
HI Adrienne-
Thanks for your reply. Was it expensive to have the vet do it? Is it possible to use a topical analgesic? I think I just need a bit of time to digest it. I am just starting to read some books. I know it is not a favorite job of anyone. How many goats do you have and is your purpose in raising them for showing or dairy? I would most be afraid of not disbudding and then someone buying them and doing it later. I appreciate your reply. It gives me good stuff to think about.

Laura

Adrienne said:
Hi Laura! There are some people who do not disbud, and that is ok. I have not done it myself, but I held both of mine while the vet did it. And I will eventually need a disbudding iron to do the kids we expect to have in January or February. I did have to go through that as well, but it was not as intense for me. My Father's side of the family is Native American, and we were raised to believe that the most honorable thing you can do for livestock when it dies of natural causes, is to eat it. So we occasionally have chicken from time to time. I figure, if I can clean and eat my own chicken, and fish and whatever, I can disbud a goat. Aside from no horns being the breed standard for Nigerians, which may matter if you decide to show eventually, I have read a lot about goat behavior, and decided that it is safer for me,other people who may encounter the goats, and my goats themselves, if they don't have horns. So, I decided to disbud. I am not particularly fond of trimming the hooves, or nails of any of my animals because I am worried I will hurt them, but it has to be done, and if I do clip them accidentally, I know how to take care of it. I don't like taking the dogs and cat to the vet every year for their shots because I know they are going to hate it, but it has to be done, and I didn't like taking my youngest brother to have his PKU done either ( that's the holding the foot then drawing the blood test) but it had to be done. Nobody who disbuds does it because they like to, but because they feel it needs to be done. My brother screamed bloody murder, and so did my goats, but I know they are going to be ok, and I can comfort them when it's over and put some booboo medicine on it...They won't even remember after a while. If you weigh the options and you still don't want to disbud that is ok , but be aware that it is a lot easier and in my opinion less traumatic to disbud in the first week of life than to dehorn when they are older. I hope that helps.
It's great that you are doing your homework before you get your goats. I didn't. I just knew I wanted goat cheese, and I bought goats. I didn't know about disbudding until after I had them, and I was not happy when I learned about it. I figured that I'd do it initially because that's the standard -- and I didn't want to sell a kid with horns and have it dehorned, because that's really traumatic, and they die sometimes. But I was thinking that after I knew that I really wanted goats, I'd leave horns on the ones I wanted to keep. And then someone gave me two pygoras with horns. They were only here about three or four months before I called the owner and asked if she would PLEASE take them back, because I was afraid they were going to kill my goats. One of them had hooked his horns under the belly of a pregnant doe and lifted her off the ground. When I was telling another dairy goat person about that, she said that she had seen a doe gut a strange kid that tried to nurse off her. So, yes, they do use their horns for protection, but not just from coyotes -- also from some sweet little innocent kid who was hoping to sneak a few sips of milk from the wrong mama. So, I disbud my goats. Actually, I hold them, and my husband does the deed. Our deal is that he disbuds, and I castrate.

We took our first kids to the vet to have him do it. He only charged $5 per kid, but that was eight years ago. A couple years later, the same vet charged someone $10 per kid. I've heard of vets charging $150 to disbud and castrate, which is outrageous, so be sure to ask before you have a vet do it.

To reduce the amount of disbudding we have to do, I have a polled buck, so 50% of his kids will be polled, meaning they will never grow horns. So, that's another option to at least reduce the amount of disbudding you have to do.

Adrienne's response was great, too! You will have to do a lot of things with goats that they don't like -- castrating, tattooing, trimming hooves -- but the cool thing is that they are very forgiving.
Also good stuff to think about Deborah. I am just trying to imagine myself doing it. I don't know if my husband would help. I perpetually have mice that live in my car, no matter how many I kill, and we found an injured one and it too us an hour of "you do it" "no you do it" before he killed it. Do you have a lot of goats? All I want are 2 for a good source of raw dairy. Ironically, there is a raw goat dairy not too far from my house. So why would I want to go to all this trouble? I like to do things the hard way I guess. :) Also, the milk I got from the dairy tasted good the first day and then developed stronger and stronger flavor (the kind that nobody seems to like). I just read in "Storey's guide to Raising Dairy Goats" that the more the milk is agitated, the more it activates the enzyme Lipase. So maybe that is what my friend was talking about with milking in a special way. She said to do it in a way that makes no foam. Anyways, I am getting off topic. I usually just jump into things and deal with the consequences later, but for some reason, I am actually thinking a lot about this :).

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:
It's great that you are doing your homework before you get your goats. I didn't. I just knew I wanted goat cheese, and I bought goats. I didn't know about disbudding until after I had them, and I was not happy when I learned about it. I figured that I'd do it initially because that's the standard -- and I didn't want to sell a kid with horns and have it dehorned, because that's really traumatic, and they die sometimes. But I was thinking that after I knew that I really wanted goats, I'd leave horns on the ones I wanted to keep. And then someone gave me two pygoras with horns. They were only here about three or four months before I called the owner and asked if she would PLEASE take them back, because I was afraid they were going to kill my goats. One of them had hooked his horns under the belly of a pregnant doe and lifted her off the ground. When I was telling another dairy goat person about that, she said that she had seen a doe gut a strange kid that tried to nurse off her. So, yes, they do use their horns for protection, but not just from coyotes -- also from some sweet little innocent kid who was hoping to sneak a few sips of milk from the wrong mama. So, I disbud my goats. Actually, I hold them, and my husband does the deed. Our deal is that he disbuds, and I castrate.

We took our first kids to the vet to have him do it. He only charged $5 per kid, but that was eight years ago. A couple years later, the same vet charged someone $10 per kid. I've heard of vets charging $150 to disbud and castrate, which is outrageous, so be sure to ask before you have a vet do it.

To reduce the amount of disbudding we have to do, I have a polled buck, so 50% of his kids will be polled, meaning they will never grow horns. So, that's another option to at least reduce the amount of disbudding you have to do.

Adrienne's response was great, too! You will have to do a lot of things with goats that they don't like -- castrating, tattooing, trimming hooves -- but the cool thing is that they are very forgiving.
I have two bucks at the moment. We are going to band them closer to the time our does come home ( we bought 2 from Pine Shaddows) My mentor bought a few as well so she picked them up for me. Right now they are at her house, and we are waiting for them to come in heat so we can breed them to her one of her bucks. Early next year we will have both does kidding, and around that time we will be buying a different buck from my mentor. This will be nice because I can breed my does to him and to the kids since they will have a different dad. We will be keeping the wethers as companions...So we will have 5 goats. Our goal is strictly dairy, but we will probably do a milk test so the girls can at least earn their stars. Once they earn their stars Indiana will be 5*D and Isabel Will be 3 or 4*D ( I have forgotten how many exactly. We might do a show once... just for the experience, but I'm really not into the whole idea.
I have to laugh when I see you say that you only want two goats for your dairy needs. That's how I started! I just wanted a couple goats so I could make chevre. Now I have 16 senior does, 6 junior does, and 8 bucks! I really need to sell some bucks, but I'm not very good at advertising. It's on that part of my "to do" list that never gets done. Oh, and I still have my first doe, who is retired now. She's 11. And I have a couple of la manchas. It's not like I'm a goat hoarder. Cheese hoarder, maybe? Don't recall if I've told you all the cheeses we make now, but basically we provide about 98% of our dairy needs with our goats. We buy butter and an occasional specialty cheese, like a real English cheddar. Every now and then I ask myself why I do it, and then you have an egg recall or you hear that a dairy was selling meat with antibiotics in it, and it's all worth it! I know exactly what's in my food. We raise 100% of our own meat and eggs, as well as a good portion of our fruits, vegetables, and herbs. I believe in natural food, and this lifestyle is also really healthy. So, I don't think there's anything crazy about you wanting your own raw milk. Just be warned -- you'll get spoiled quickly, and store bought milk will start to taste old and nasty. After eight years, I don't think I could ever go back.

Laura Amann said:
Also good stuff to think about Deborah. I am just trying to imagine myself doing it. I don't know if my husband would help. I perpetually have mice that live in my car, no matter how many I kill, and we found an injured one and it too us an hour of "you do it" "no you do it" before he killed it. Do you have a lot of goats? All I want are 2 for a good source of raw dairy. Ironically, there is a raw goat dairy not too far from my house. So why would I want to go to all this trouble? I like to do things the hard way I guess. :) Also, the milk I got from the dairy tasted good the first day and then developed stronger and stronger flavor (the kind that nobody seems to like). I just read in "Storey's guide to Raising Dairy Goats" that the more the milk is agitated, the more it activates the enzyme Lipase. So maybe that is what my friend was talking about with milking in a special way. She said to do it in a way that makes no foam. Anyways, I am getting off topic. I usually just jump into things and deal with the consequences later, but for some reason, I am actually thinking a lot about this :).
I forgot to add that I talked to several vets in Mississippi as there are none in Louisiana close to me. Of the ones I talked to the cheapest was about 1.5 hours drive and no office visit $25 each plus $11 each for a tetnus shot. I know I could have done it cheaper myself, but at the time I didn't have the equipment, and it was good because I got a better idea of how to do it. It did not take him long. Maximum 2 minutes per goat. They didn't use any anesthetic, but once the vet stopped burning their heads, they were ok, and when we got home I put some salve on the burns and sprayed the goats down with anti-fly stuff. I did that until the scabs started to fall off. Stanley's scurs are worse than Sam's. I will have to trim them in another week when I go after their feet again.

Adrienne said:
I have two bucks at the moment. We are going to band them closer to the time our does come home ( we bought 2 from Pine Shaddows) My mentor bought a few as well so she picked them up for me. Right now they are at her house, and we are waiting for them to come in heat so we can breed them to her one of her bucks. Early next year we will have both does kidding, and around that time we will be buying a different buck from my mentor. This will be nice because I can breed my does to him and to the kids since they will have a different dad. We will be keeping the wethers as companions...So we will have 5 goats. Our goal is strictly dairy, but we will probably do a milk test so the girls can at least earn their stars. Once they earn their stars Indiana will be 5*D and Isabel Will be 3 or 4*D ( I have forgotten how many exactly. We might do a show once... just for the experience, but I'm really not into the whole idea.
Ok, today was awful and very upsetting. The only thing that I didn't want to do with the goats, was disbudding them. So I took my (two) 5 week old doeling/buckling in to be disbudded. Well our vet is good and the doeling was not a huge deal. Although, he used the dehorning iron that is in a shape of a U. He didn't use the one designed for pygmy or nigerian dwarf goats. The bucklings horn was larger than expected and he had to use farm gougers.

Update--the doeling is apparently allergic to the lidocaine or topical medicine. The vet called back and said to give her benadryl. She is better and her eyes are swelling more than they were.
On top of everything the mother has disowned both of them. She won't let them nurse at all and sticks her tongue out and makes noises at them. Any advice? We are deparate.


Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:
It's great that you are doing your homework before you get your goats. I didn't. I just knew I wanted goat cheese, and I bought goats. I didn't know about disbudding until after I had them, and I was not happy when I learned about it. I figured that I'd do it initially because that's the standard -- and I didn't want to sell a kid with horns and have it dehorned, because that's really traumatic, and they die sometimes. But I was thinking that after I knew that I really wanted goats, I'd leave horns on the ones I wanted to keep. And then someone gave me two pygoras with horns. They were only here about three or four months before I called the owner and asked if she would PLEASE take them back, because I was afraid they were going to kill my goats. One of them had hooked his horns under the belly of a pregnant doe and lifted her off the ground. When I was telling another dairy goat person about that, she said that she had seen a doe gut a strange kid that tried to nurse off her. So, yes, they do use their horns for protection, but not just from coyotes -- also from some sweet little innocent kid who was hoping to sneak a few sips of milk from the wrong mama. So, I disbud my goats. Actually, I hold them, and my husband does the deed. Our deal is that he disbuds, and I castrate.

We took our first kids to the vet to have him do it. He only charged $5 per kid, but that was eight years ago. A couple years later, the same vet charged someone $10 per kid. I've heard of vets charging $150 to disbud and castrate, which is outrageous, so be sure to ask before you have a vet do it.

To reduce the amount of disbudding we have to do, I have a polled buck, so 50% of his kids will be polled, meaning they will never grow horns. So, that's another option to at least reduce the amount of disbudding you have to do.

Adrienne's response was great, too! You will have to do a lot of things with goats that they don't like -- castrating, tattooing, trimming hooves -- but the cool thing is that they are very forgiving.
I'm not surprised at all that the vet had to cut off the horns at five weeks. I'm sure they were huge. The buck should have been disbudded no later than one week of age, and the doeling should have been done no later than two weeks. I know it's hard to imagine doing it when they're that small, but the longer you wait, the harder it is on them. If you do it early enough, you don't need the other drugs, which caused problems.

The mom is pushing them away because they smell differently, and they were gone for awhile. If she doesn't accept them by morning, you can try rubbing her milk on them or putting something like Vics vapor rub on the doe's nose so that she can't smell very well. I've never tried either of these myself, but I've heard other people say they work. Since we disbud our kids, they're not separated for more than a couple minutes. If you have the vet do it again, you should take the mom and kids all to the vet, so they're not separated such a long time.

You mentioned selling kids next week. I hope it's not these, because they shouldn't be weaned before eight weeks.


Tammy said:
Ok, today was awful and very upsetting. The only thing that I didn't want to do with the goats, was disbudding them. So I took my (two) 5 week old doeling/buckling in to be disbudded. Well our vet is good and the doeling was not a huge deal. Although, he used the dehorning iron that is in a shape of a U. He didn't use the one designed for pygmy or nigerian dwarf goats. The bucklings horn was larger than expected and he had to use farm gougers.

Update--the doeling is apparently allergic to the lidocaine or topical medicine. The vet called back and said to give her benadryl. She is better and her eyes are swelling more than they were.
On top of everything the mother has disowned both of them. She won't let them nurse at all and sticks her tongue out and makes noises at them. Any advice? We are deparate.


wow interesting feed, put some vanilla on her nose and on the kids she wont be able to smell anything different. . I remember my first disbudding, my husband is disabled but he helped me, he build a holding box but it is too big i have to stuff towels in it to hold them up, i nearly threw up from the bruning skin and hair smell, and caused the little buckling head to swell, that was 4 years ago.. I do it by my self now, and am getting descent at it, so you can do it.. here is another couple of reasons to get it done,, i leased a dozen goats this year one was a hot dog buck, he had one horn that grew back from a bad disbudding, he hung himself up high off the ground trying to reach weeds on the other side of a cattle panel.. not a pretty sight, i will never have horns on my place again.. I have 32 does bred this year 9 bucks 15 jr.s and a pen full of wethers.. i defiantly need to sell a few.. at least i know that the dozen will go home in the spring
If she still doesn't accept them back you will have to milk her and then bottle feed, they wont take it right away so don't give up

PlayRite Farm said:
wow interesting feed, put some vanilla on her nose and on the kids she wont be able to smell anything different. . I remember my first disbudding, my husband is disabled but he helped me, he build a holding box but it is too big i have to stuff towels in it to hold them up, i nearly threw up from the bruning skin and hair smell, and caused the little buckling head to swell, that was 4 years ago.. I do it by my self now, and am getting descent at it, so you can do it.. here is another couple of reasons to get it done,, i leased a dozen goats this year one was a hot dog buck, he had one horn that grew back from a bad disbudding, he hung himself up high off the ground trying to reach weeds on the other side of a cattle panel.. not a pretty sight, i will never have horns on my place again.. I have 32 does bred this year 9 bucks 15 jr.s and a pen full of wethers.. i defiantly need to sell a few.. at least i know that the dozen will go home in the spring
find a goat buddy near by they will usually do it for you.. the pros way out weight the cons of getting this done, and yes they forget quickly, it is kinda like getting your ears pierced




Adrienne said:
Hi Laura! There are some people who do not disbud, and that is ok. I have not done it myself, but I held both of mine while the vet did it. And I will eventually need a disbudding iron to do the kids we expect to have in January or February. I did have to go through that as well, but it was not as intense for me. My Father's side of the family is Native American, and we were raised to believe that the most honorable thing you can do for livestock when it dies of natural causes, is to eat it. So we occasionally have chicken from time to time. I figure, if I can clean and eat my own chicken, and fish and whatever, I can disbud a goat. Aside from no horns being the breed standard for Nigerians, which may matter if you decide to show eventually, I have read a lot about goat behavior, and decided that it is safer for me,other people who may encounter the goats, and my goats themselves, if they don't have horns. So, I decided to disbud. I am not particularly fond of trimming the hooves, or nails of any of my animals because I am worried I will hurt them, but it has to be done, and if I do clip them accidentally, I know how to take care of it. I don't like taking the dogs and cat to the vet every year for their shots because I know they are going to hate it, but it has to be done, and I didn't like taking my youngest brother to have his PKU done either ( that's the holding the foot then drawing the blood test) but it had to be done. Nobody who disbuds does it because they like to, but because they feel it needs to be done. My brother screamed bloody murder, and so did my goats, but I know they are going to be ok, and I can comfort them when it's over and put some booboo medicine on it...They won't even remember after a while. If you weigh the options and you still don't want to disbud that is ok , but be aware that it is a lot easier and in my opinion less traumatic to disbud in the first week of life than to dehorn when they are older. I hope that helps.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Order these books on Kindle!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need goat equipment?

2-quart milk pail


Mineral feeder (put minerals in one side and baking soda in the other!)

© 2014   Created by Deborah Niemann-Boehle.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service