Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I've read through some of the older posts and I just want to make sure that I know all of my options here. I am adopting a 3 year old doe (who was disbudded as a kid) and her two kids (a buckling and a doeling) who are 9 weeks old and have not been disbudded. Is my only option at this point to take them to a vet? The vet in my area charges an unbelievable amount of money for everything (when I called to get a quote for a CDT vaccine prior to owning any goats he said that for ND's the fee would be $120.00 per goat for just the one vaccine). I am not someone who skimps on my animals care, but I am living on a budget. I am not comfortable with the idea of banding the horns off, and I also don't want to leave them on (I just had to rehome a doe that had small horns because she gave me multiple bruises and I was worried she was going to kill my other does).  The horn buds aren't visible from the pictures the lady sent me but with them being 9 weeks already I get the feeling it's too late to disbud using an iron. Any thoughts?

Also, my buckling is now 7 months old and has visible scurs (they were not visible when I purchased him). They are flat and dry feeling (like a tortilla chip) and one is smaller than the other. Will they become a problem or should I just keep an eye on them to make sure they don't start curling into his head? They don't appear that they will become pointed, they are very rounded at the ends so injury to me and other goats isn't a big threat. 

Thanks for your help!

This is the buckling, it is hard to tell because of his fluffy head, but no big horns yet.

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Nine weeks is pretty old to be disbudding. The price you gave from the vet for shots... does that include a patient set up fee? The vets near me charge a one time set up fee, so a first visit always costs a lot. That's a pretty spendy shot, though. Considering you can give it yourself. 

You've got a good grasp of all the disbudding options. Another option would be to not buy these goats. I really hate encouraging backyard breeders because we are already seeing a lot of goats in rescue. There are plenty of culls that need good homes. People don't need to be breeding pet goats. Responsible breeders disbud their kids when they're a week or two old, and if they don't give vaccines (like me), they should explain why they don't and explain to you how to do it yourself for only a couple bucks. IMO, it is not acceptable for people to not do these things simply because they're cheap or don't want to learn how. If the "breeder" didn't want to disbud the kids, she should have taken them to the vet to have it done.

I am going back and fourth about purchasing them. If I get them I am definitely going to wether the buckling, but the lady was breeding the doe for milk not profit and due to health issues is no longer able to milk or care for the goats. I am only purchasing the mother, she isn't charging anything for the kids. I guess she just didn't see what the big deal about disbudding them was, but then again, she doesn't have small children and her doe is disbudded. I will call the vet and see what the quote for de-horning the kids there would cost, and if it is astronomical I will probably just pass on these goats. Thanks for the advice, glad I wasn't missing anything. 

Her doe being disbudded is even more reason for her TO have done the same to the rest... not having horns in a horned herd isn't safe or fun. 

PS. I know that YOU probably understand that, Emily! I'm just saying it out loud for any future readers on this thread. 

Yes I completely agree! I guess that since she has never owned a goat with horns that she didn't consider the safety issues though. 

Yes, you could look at it that way... Alternatively, I have never owned goats with horns, but I educated myself on why I would or would not want them. To me, the fact that she didn't seem to think it mattered is just another example of how unprofessional (for lack of a better word coming to me) she is. 

Another couple of cents from the peanut gallery here...

If there are this many signs of inexperience and signs of backyard breeding gone bad... think about the implications of all the unseen issues you might be inheriting along with the ones you CAN see...

You are at so much greater risk of inviting disease and other issues from poor breeding. It's a romantic idea to rescue these guys and help the woman out, but the cost to you and your herd could be great. Even a person who didn't already own goats could find that they are unable to buy more because of disease that renders their space unusable without a risk of further contamination. I have a friend that did this, (against my and another breeder's advice) and he ended up with CL, and had to not only cull the goat that had it, but the rest of the goats he rescued. Lucky for him, he had the land to move his next herd to a location far away from the first, and keep them off the old one for a year. Not everyone can do that. Plus, he paid for goats he ended up having huge vet bills for, purchase and installation of new fencing and housing materials, and then had to kill those very goats he paid for "cheap". In the end, he could have just bought the "pricey" goats from a reputable breeder, and saved himself a lot of headache. He still didn't *really* learn his lesson... he bought more cheap goats, who are horned... I can't wait for the day he calls for help with an issue that brings him. 

That's a very good point Rachel and you've helped me make a decision on this one. I really appreciate all the helpful advice :)

It's such a tough call to make, when you know that either the goats need rescued (in bad living condition situations like my friend did) and in this case, where you know it would help the gal out due to her health... but I personally think that this is a situation I would pass on. :) Glad I could help! 

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