Disbudding part two: demo

by goatlove

Again, I’m no expert on disbudding.  Fias Co Farm’s website offers a wonderfully detailed how-to guide on disbudding.  Check it out here: http://fiascofarm.com/goats/disbudding.htm

To disbud your goats you will need:

-Unsuspecting goat kids
-Electric Clippers
-Heated electric disbudding iron
-Metal can
-Wood board
-Bottle of goat milk


1.  Plug your iron in and get it really frickin’ hot.  Use the metal can to rest the iron in, but make sure it’s in a safe place where it’s not in danger of getting tipped over.  This crazy thing gets up to just shy of 1,000 degrees F.

2.  Put your gloves on.  These are to protect your hands from the blazing hot iron.

3.  Grab a kid… be gentle, they’re about to have a pretty rotten day.

4.  Fold the legs of the kid towards each other so they’re tucked against their little tummy.  Place the kid beneath you and between your legs so you can, well, basically sit on the thing. Some people put the kid in a special box instead.

5.  Hold the kid’s head and use the clippers to shave the area around the horn buds.

Just a little off the top!

6.  TEST YOUR IRON BEFORE TOUCHING IT TO THE KID!  If your iron isn’t hot enough, you’re screwed.  So touch the iron to a wooden board to assure that it’s burning hot.

Iron test board

7.  Hold the head of the kid firmly as you place the iron on its head for a count of 10.  Rotate the pressure of the iron to assure that you are getting a good, even burn around the bud.  If you’ve done it right and well, you will see a copper ring around the bud when you remove the iron.
WARNING: The kid will squirm and scream bloody murder.  Be ready for it.


8.  Let the kid have a break to stand and shake that one off before you do the next bud.

Takin' a breather.

9.  Do it all over again on the other side.

10.  Once you’ve finished, it’s a nice touch to give the kid a little warm milk, they’ve certainly earned it.  Not to mention, it can be a nice bonding moment after you’ve essentially beaten the crap out of them.

A well-earned treat. And you can see the copper ring around the bud.

NOTE: Only disbud a few kids in one sitting and let the iron reheat for at least 10 minutes between kids.

11.  The bud will fall off when a scab forms underneath.  If the bud falls off prematurely, just put some salve on the wound.

See my other post, Disbudding part one: discussion, for details on disbudding and why it’s important.

Looks like I’ll get to do my first round of disbudding this weekend!  AHHH!