Horns - Disbudding with an Electric Iron

To tell whether a kid has horns or not, feel the raised bumps between the ears on the top of the head. If they are pointed the kid will be horned or check for whorls of hair, this indicates horns. If in doubt leave the kid for a few days and investigate again. Make sure buck kids are done less than four days old otherwise there can be cases of scurs.

Step 1: Clip as much of the hair as you can from the top of the kid's head. The smell is terrible when it burns. It will grow back.

Step 2: Locate the horn buds. Skin will the tight over the site. Apply the iron to the horn bud and cut out a circle. Count the seconds; hold for 10 seconds for average hot iron. To keep the kid immobile during this operation, clamp the kid's neck between your knees, or use a dehorning box. It will help if someone can hold the legs especially if its a big kid. Be careful not to choke the kid. If you have to put your hand over its nose to hold it still remember to give him a breathing spell once in a while.

Step 3: If the horn buds are quite well grown (over 1/4 inch tall) they may be removed now quickly with a sharp knife, then the area cauterized with the iron. Rotate the iron to use the hottest spot. The whole circular area should be copper coloured.

Step 4: A cuddle and a drink of milk will restore the kid to its normal self. Apply charcoal powder.
...from NZDGBA publication - "Goat Notes"

Ice can be applied immediately to quickly cool the head.