Least Favorite Task

I’ve written before about my dislike of disbudding goats. To get me through this process, which is high on my list of least enjoyable tasks, I cast my mind back to those instances where I have had to deal with goats who have gotten stuck in fences, and the couple of times when the goats have broken their necks in fences before I found them. Since the paste method has been ineffective more than it has worked, I had ordered an electric disbudder earlier this year. The first one I received was defective and the second one arrived too late for me to disbud Nougat’s twins.

I’ve been checking Nutmeg’s triplets daily as the timing of disbudding is critical to its success. While I was prepared to have to disbud them on different days, as it turned out, all three kids were ready for disbudding today. So this afternoon I plugged in the electric disbudder and gathered up the equipment I needed while it was getting hot. I started with the largest kid, the last born, and worked my way backwards since the first-born was, and still is, the smallest kid.

Here is the middle kid:


After putting the kid in the box, I used scissors to clip hair away from the horn buds and then once the iron was hot enough, applied the tip of the iron for four seconds. After doing the second horn bud, I went back and reapplied the iron to the first horn bud for an additional four seconds. I repeated the process on the second horn bud as well just to ensure I had a good “copper ring” around each horn bud. (Though to be fair, it didn’t look copper as much as it looked charred to me.) If I have to do this, I want to make sure I do it right and don’t end up with scurs. Time will tell whether I was successful with any or all of the triplets.



  1. eee. THIS. among other things, but THIS is why i am no good at being a singular goatherd. I give you
    enormous credit for this. To Go Forward with it…and it seems that you were by your Self….that’s the stuff
    among others i can’t do. just can’t. And facing that is a good thing. For me and for them.
    i am hoping it went well, charred or copper. Couldn’t be any less sucessful than the results of either of
    the two vets in town.

  2. Hi! Cruising your site after reading a email on our ESC yahoo page re working our dogs. I despise disbudding too…gag, but have a friend who raises more goats rhan I do who gets me to do hers cause she cant do it. Sigh. After my son grew up and got married…. there went my dehorning tech. Oh well. I really like your page.

  3. Hi Mindy, glad to see you here. Any tips on making the process easier (or to ensure success)? I raise very few kids as I breed for milk production and try to breed does that can stay in milk for extended lactation periods, so don’t have a lot of opportunity to disbud (thankfully).

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