Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

My little triplets are going to be a week old in 2 days and I'm gonna try my hand at disbudding, but I have a few questions.

I have two boys and one girl. I've been paying close attention to the boys' buds and they seem to be relatively unchanged since birth. Both boys were born normal weights(3.2lb and 2.4 lbs) so I'm wondering when I should disbud them? and is it possible to disbud too early?

Last year I had 4 bucklings born and had them disbudded by a lady I know who bred Oberhaslis. She told me that I needed to wait until the horns actually start to pop out of the buds(between 10 and 14 days old) . So the first boys were disbudded at 10 days old and the both got scurs one was even done twice and still got scurs. The second 2 boys were disbudded at 14 days. One had really small scurs, while the other had scurs so bad that we had to take him to get his horns removed surgically, and he still somehow managed to grow tiny scurs back after recovering.

So I understand just how bad disbudding too late can be. so naturally I don't want to have that happen again.

I know bucks tend to need disbudding sooner than does, but how much sooner?

My little girl is sooooo tiny(born at 1.6lbs) I can just barely feel her horn buds. Should I wait for her and her horn budlets(tiny buds) to get bigger?

My iron is a rhinehart X30 with a .55" tip. I'm told it's very good.

Other question:

How much pressure do you apply with the iron?

What are the limitations? i.e. how much pressure and how long can the iron be in contact without causing serious problems or death? 

Any tips and tricks from you experienced disbudders out there would be greatly appreciated!  

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Actually I hope you did NOT order the disbudding iron with the pygmy tip. It's not big enough. You need the regular goat tip.

Myra Isaac said:

I ordered a disbudding iron but unfortunately it was back ordered and I still haven't recieved it yet. A friend loaned me theirs that they used on their full size goats. It looks like the tip is 5/8". Is that too big? My bucklings badly need to be disbudded and I don't know when I'll get my iron! :(
Any idea what size your tip is? I can still cancel my order if it's not right because it hasn't shipped yet. The one I ordered was a 3/8" and the one I borrowed looks like 5/8".

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Actually I hope you did NOT order the disbudding iron with the pygmy tip. It's not big enough. You need the regular goat tip.

Myra Isaac said:

I ordered a disbudding iron but unfortunately it was back ordered and I still haven't recieved it yet. A friend loaned me theirs that they used on their full size goats. It looks like the tip is 5/8". Is that too big? My bucklings badly need to be disbudded and I don't know when I'll get my iron! :(

HI Myra 

I thought I might try to help you out with your questions.

I think you'd be best off with a 1/2"(approx) tipped iron. This is what was recommended to me by a friend of mine who has disbudded many goats. I even loaned out my iron to her when her iron broke and she needed to disbud many kids of different sizes. She said it worked great on all of them.

This is my iron tip for size reference. .55" tip

Here's a link to where I bought mine http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e07ae6-7b6a-11d5-a... 

My Friend also said that the smaller tip don't work as well cuz they don't cover the whole area of growth and the copper ring ends up being more of a clover shape or the olympics logo so you can cover the whole area. This requires a lot more burning as you can probably imagine.

hope this helps!! 

Myra Isaac said:

Any idea what size your tip is? I can still cancel my order if it's not right because it hasn't shipped yet. The one I ordered was a 3/8" and the one I borrowed looks like 5/8".

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Actually I hope you did NOT order the disbudding iron with the pygmy tip. It's not big enough. You need the regular goat tip.

Myra Isaac said:

I ordered a disbudding iron but unfortunately it was back ordered and I still haven't recieved it yet. A friend loaned me theirs that they used on their full size goats. It looks like the tip is 5/8". Is that too big? My bucklings badly need to be disbudded and I don't know when I'll get my iron! :(

This is by far the best tutorial I've found. http://goat-info.com/disbudding%20baby.htm

Emily said:

Does anyone who is experienced in disbudding have a video they could upload? I've read everything from Deborah's book and this site, as well as watching youtube videos, but having someone who we KNOW is experienced would be helpful. Some of the youtube videos are pretty questionable. 

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