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Disbudding Calves

Inge Engelen, Veterinarian

We all know that disbudding calves is a painful and distressing procedure, as well as an onerous task for farmers. We can help you with a fast, reliable and high quality service to dehorn your calves.

When?

Dehorning is best performed when the calves are young. Ideally when they are at least two weeks old and not older than six weeks.

How?

We will visit your farm and dehorn your calves in groups. This to ensure that the calves are not too old, meaning less burning causing less distress, and risk to the animals.

All your calves will be sedated and then given a local anaesthetic nerve block to provide temporary pain relief, during and after the procedure. The disbudding is performed with either an electric cautery gun or gas dehorner and antibiotic spray is applied to the area afterwards.

You can also choose to give the calves an anti-inflammatory pain relief injection which provides longer lasting relief. These calves will have less irritation to the wound site, less stress and will return to full feeding faster.

Advantages of our visit

At the same time as disbudding, we are able to perform a number of other routine procedures on the calves with ease. We like to begin the calves’ vaccination programme at this stage and can immunise against Clostridial diseases (Covexin 10 in 1).

Included in the price of dehorning is extra teat removal. We will check each calf for the presence of extra teats and remove these if found. The ID of these calves is recorded for future reference.

This is also an opportunity for you to take advantage of these quiet sedated calves and perform other tasks such as tagging or ear punching. A very simple thing to do when they are all sleeping.

What do you need to provide for us?

Calves. Of course

Power supply? We would like to know if we have access to power as we have electric dehorning guns. However, if there is no power available we can also use our gas dehorners.

No milk. Please do not feed your calves any milk in the morning if we are visiting before midday to dehorn. If we are dehorning your calves after 1 pm, you can give them a feed between 6 and 8 am that morning.

Shelter. It is important that the calves can go under cover after the dehorning if rain is on its way. If it is raining, or going to rain in the next 24 hours and you are unable to provide shelter for the calves we might have to rebook for another day.

Farmers that dehorn with us tell us that their calves never look back. They come back year after year to our service.

Our pricing is very competitive, so don’t forget to book early at your Vetora Clinic.