Hi there. After being out for the majority of the day - I noticed one of my 6 month old calves has one of her horns missing. They are no more than stumps to begin with but she has had a bleed. I am wondering if they are prone to being easily damaged and wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience. She is eating well, her ears are up and she appears ok otherwise. Look forward to ready your experiences. Thank you.
At 6 months, a "horn" should be rater onviously a horn, so if she has knocked off the casing, then that wiil re-grow probably in a twist. If it was a horn with a point then I personally would get both of the horns removed by the vet.
If it is a scur, then they can get knocked off quite easily. They usually are much smaller than horns, and tend to not be pointed. If it is a scur then you need to watch out that it does not get fly strike, and treat it when it does. A dehorned calf will also have to be regularly checked for fly strike.
Do you know what breed she is? If one of the parents is a pure polled breed (Angus, Polled Hereford, Murray Grey, Galloway, Red Devon and a few others) then the "horns" are scurs, and don't need to be removed. If both of the parents had some horned breed (Friesian, Jersey, Limousin, Highland, horned Hereford, Texas Longhorn and others) then the "horn" is probably a horn, so get her dehorned.
Thank you LongRidge. Father is pure Hereford & mother is a Fresian cross. From what you've described - she has scurs. They resembled two very small round protruding boney lumps that looked like they may have grown into horns (to the inexperienced mind such as mine) but never developed any further. Is there anything that you could recommend to prevent infection in the first instance otherwise I'll keep an eye on her for any infection. This forum is magnificent and I've learnt so much from you. Thank you again.
Dont have experience with horned cattle (mine are polled) but I have horned sheep and quite a few of my ewes have scurs - and they are always braking them! They dont seem to bleed as much or be quite as bad if one of my ram lambs breaks a horn.
If you have any iodine spray or that purple antibiotic spray that should be enough to prevent infection and keep the flys away for a couple of days - which should be all it needs to start healing.
Don't use the iodine as there is a chance it could run into the eyes, and not all iodine sprays are safe. I once had a goat dehorner use some and we had the kids at the vets emergency clinic at 2am in the morning when their eyes began to cloud over. It took weeks of chloromycetin Sp? ointment to clear up the damage.
Purple spray should be ok, or a little dab of stockholm tar (just make sure it doesn't run, but I think you'll find they will heal up on their own accord.
Thank you Stikkibeek. Those points are invaluable. I think I'm going to leave it to heal on its own at this stage as you said and as "LongRidge" suggested - I'll keep an eye on the healing process. Have a great weekend everybody.