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How to Trim a Goat's Horns

| Updated August 11, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Bone saw

  • Commercial disbudding iron

  • Caustic horn paste


  • Wear eye protection and gloves when disbudding or trimming a goat's horns.


  • Use a disbudding box to immobilize the goat. This box helps to calm and secure the animal during the horn trimming process. Keep antiseptics and medical supplies on hand when trimming the goat's horns. Stop bleeding immediately to avoid infection.

How to Trim a Goat's Horns. Trimming a goat's horns is a task that requires some finesse and a little help. Goat horns are actually part of the goat's skull and have blood vessels within them, so you must take care not to injure the animal during this procedure. Use the following tips to properly trim a goat's horns.

Feel the kid's head every day. Rubbing the top of the head helps to identify when new buds are forming on the goat. When a nub or bud is felt, it is time to disbud the goat's horns. The earlier the horn can be removed, the better.

Identify scurs. Scurs are partial horn growths but not the entire horn. These growths are very much like fingernails and must be trimmed when found. Use a bone saw to trim off in 1-inch segments.

Trim off only 1-inch sections of the goat's horns at a time. Trimming more may strike an underlying blood vessel, causing severe bleeding. Clean up any blood immediately and tend to the wound if the animal is injured.

Heat up a commercial electric disbudding iron to trim the goat's horns. This iron is available at most farm supply stores and farmer's depots. Consult with a veterinarian about the best way to iron down the specific goat's horns. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter.