Dehorning the girls - warning graphic!
Listening to 'but they should have horns!" argument won't be happening ever again. Believe me I've seen dehorning done before. It's not nice and it's a messy business literally. The three girls lost their horns today. After putting up with busted fences and the very real risk of ending up with a horn in my ribcage because of a 'friendly' nudge made the decision. Off with their horns! I said. Our local veterinary practice was all too happy to oblige. It's against the law to go dehorning cattle over a certain age yourself. It has to be done by a vet. Fair enough too! One farmer some time back was prosecuted by MAF for dehorning cattle using hedge cutters would you believe. Madness. Cattle horns are full of nerves and are in effect a sinus cavity.
The girls are feeling very sorry for themselves right now. We'll be keeping a very close watch on their health over the next few weeks.I wouldn't recommend leaving horns on any cow. Get them taken off when they are calves before the buds become horns. It's kinder and more humane than having them removed with a big set of cutters. Our vet used a local anesthetic so the cows felt nothing. Lots of blood and they are not a pretty sight at all. The wounds have been sprayed with an antibiotic so hopefully we shouldn't have any issues.