On our farm, we dehorn calves when they are between two and three months old before the horns are visible through the animals hair. This is referred to as “disbudding” because the horns are not developed. At this age, it’s a quick process that takes one or two minutes to perform and doesn’t require anesthesia. Shortly after the procedure, the calves are back to their normal routine of eating, drinking and relaxing.
At this time, we also administer two vaccinations; Bovi-Shield Gold 5L5 and Ultrabac CD. Just like I take my sons to the pediatrician for vaccinations to keep them healthy, we vaccinate our calves to protect them from disease and illness.
Last Saturday, my husband, Lad, one of our employees, Josue, and my sons, Garrett and Jack, dehorned and vaccinated a group of 26 calves at our dairy.
|This is a calf prior to being dehorned - her horns are not developed|
|Lad explains to the boys how to bring the calves up one at a time|
|They lead one of the calves to the dehorning area|
|A calf enters the area where she will be dehorned and vaccinated|
|Lad places a halter on her head to restrain her during the process|
|Lad uses an electric calf dehorner|
|The process takes about one minute|
|Garrett draws a mark on her back with chalk when she's done|
|Josue administers the vaccinations|
|We use Bovi-Shield Gold 5L5 and Ultrabac CD|
|This is how a calf looks after being dehorned|
|Jack walks with one of the calves after the procedure|
|Almost immediately after the procedure, calves are drinking and eating again
|Jack has a snack with a recently dehorned calf|
|All these recently dehorned animals are content and eating|