Safety Practices for Removing Horns in Dairy Cattle - Cowsmo

Safety Practices for Removing Horns in Dairy Cattle

Removing horns from dairy cattle is an important farm safety practice because it prevents injuries to people and cattle.

Removal of the horn or horn bud is a painful procedure and can be minimized by disbudding/dehorning cattle at a young age with proper pain management. Ideally, disbudding/dehorning should occur prior to six weeks of age. After this age the horn bud attaches to the skull, and the procedure is much more invasive.

As part of Wisconsin Public Television’s University Place program, UW-Extension Outagamie County Dairy & Livestock Zen Miller and UW-Extension Dairy Intern Bethany Marcks discuss the results of their work to inform farmers of the choices for dehorning calves in the video Dairy Cattle Dehorning Practices.

For more information regarding dairy well-being, please visit UW-Extension Animal Well-being & Herd Health or for more information regarding managing dairy replacements, please visit UW-Extension Dairy Calf & Heifer Management.

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