Distinct floppy ears characterize the Nubian goat, which is valued throughout the world as a dairy goat. While horn-free varieties have been developed, most Nubians will naturally sprout horns unless they're dehorned when they are younger than 3 weeks old. Both males and females develop horns -- males' horns grow up to 2 feet long.
Nubians grow black or brown horns that grow backward along each side of the neck toward the body, eventually curling outward. Horns begin to sprout when Nubians are as young as 3 weeks old, and males' horns grow about 8 to 10 inches in the first year. Well-nourished goats will produce heavier horns that may be about 2 feet long. Horns become corrugated with growth rings as Nubian bucks age.
Goats that have been dehorned with a hot iron as kids can sometimes grow deformed horns around the edges of their horn buds known as scurs. Scurs can break easily when your goat indulges his natural urge to butt his head against something, and can injure a playmate with the deformed spikes. Have the dehorning process repeated as soon as you notice scurs beginning to protrude.
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Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.