Group Title: Press bulletin
Title: Dehorning cattle
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Dehorning cattle
Series Title: Press bulletin
Physical Description: 3 p. : ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dawson, Charles F ( Charles Francis ), 1860-1928
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1902
Subject: Cattle -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Dehorning -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Chas. F. Dawson.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "October 1st, 1902."
General Note: At head of title: Department of Veterinary Science.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090435
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 83154405

Full Text

Press Bulletin No. 30.

Experiment Station.




Cattle are dehorned for several reasons; they are
rendered more docile; they can be shipped in a smaller
space; they are less dangerous to each other, to attend-
ants, and to other farm stock. Dehorning may be done
at two periods of an animal's life; either at the age of
one to four weeks, or after the horns have reached mature
size. When done early in life, it does not have the tam-
ing effect that results when the operation is performed

October Ist, 1902.

upon adult animals. A natural-born poker, when dehorned
early, becomes a butter when mature, because it has not
learned that its weapons have been removed. Upon the
whole, it is better and much easier to dehorn the young
calf than the mature animal. No instruments are needed;
it can be done at any time of the year, and one man can
do the work. All that is necessary is to buy a stick of
caustic potash, or caustic soda, dip the end in water and
rub it gently over the little horn, taking care first to an-
noint the skin around the base of the horn with vaseline
to prevent the caustic from spreading. Throw the calf,
apply the caustic to one horn, then to the next; repeat
the application to the first horn when dry, and then apply
a second time to the other horn.
In handling the caustic wrap the end in paper, or the
fingers will be burned; also be careful not to drop any of
the caustic in the calf's eye, as blindness will result.
Should such accident occur, vinegar would be the most
easily obtained antidote.
Two methods of dehorning older cattle are in vogue.
One is to secure the animal to a post, or in a brake, and
cut off horns with dehorning shears. The other is to saw
them off with an ordinary butcher's saw. The shears do
the work more quickly, and, although an animal dies oc-
casionally as a result of the operation, they are to be
recommended where large numbers are to be dehorned,
and when time is an item. Where only a few animals
are to be dehorned, it is unnecessary to go to the expense
of buying a dehorner, as a common butcher's saw, or even
an ordinary hand-saw will do the work just as well and
perhaps better. Bleeding is sometimes profuse when
shears are used, and inflammation is sometimes set up
owing to small pieces of horn being driven into the horn

by the crushing action of the shears. I have known of a
range steer to die of Texas fever, induced by the inflam-
mation resulting from the use of a dull pair of dehorning
shears. As a means of restraining the animal while using
the saw, I prefer casting. This is very easily accom-
plished by taking three half-hitches around the animal
by means of a 4-inch rope 40 feet long. Secure the head
by means of a slip-knot, take a single half-hitch around
the root of the neck, another around the chest, and -an-
other around the loins with the knots lying on the back,
and pull hard on the free end of the rope. The animal
will make a few lunges, and then lie down. The feet can
then be secured, and the animal is ready for the opera-
tion. Turn back the hair at the root of the horn and saw
off about I inch or the skin along with the horn. This
will prevent further growth of the stump. Have the saw
slant inwards slightly, and a better-looking head will re-
sult. As soon as the horns are removed, sprinkle some
powdered boracic acid of pine tar on pieces of cotton bat-
ing, apply to the stump and secure it by drawing the hair
over the cotton and tieing the ends with fine strong cord.
Under no circumstances should the practice, which seems
common here, of sprinkling sand on the stumps to stop
bleeding, be resorted to. The bleeding will generally stop
of itself in a little while. Should it persist, apply any of
the following: hot water, ice, tannic acid, alum, or Mon-
sell's solution of iron. Dehorning should always be done
in cool weather. Cows far advanced in pregnancy should
not be dehorned. A temporary loss in the milk yield
usually results.

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