Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare :
- Freedom From Hunger and Thirst
- Free From Thermal and Physical Discomfort
- Free From Injury, Illness and Pain
- Freedom to Express Most Normal Behavior Patterns
- Free from Fear and Troubles
Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare :
Dehorning cattle is an act of removing horns, by way of or turning off the growth of horns in the early stage. Cutting the horns is important in several cases, such as the presence of horns that pay attention to the view, horns that point towards the head causing injuries, to the need for breeders to facilitate handling.
However, in some areas, the presence of horns on cattle, goats, or sheep has added value. In addition to aesthetics, in terms of buying and selling livestock, the horns shows that the animal is growing well.
Dehorning comes from the root word “horn”. In terms, de-horning or dehorning is the process of removing horns. The removal of horns in cattle is intended to prevent injury to the body. Horn cutting is done by various methods that are adapted to the age of the cattle. This is because different cattle have different ages for cutting horns.
The area of horn cutting in cattle is carried out at the base of the horn. Cutting must be done carefully to avoid excessive bleeding. Look at the following illustration to find out the best point for cutting horns in cattle :
While in calf, dehorning can be done by using a hot iron method that is attached to the place where the horn grows. Take a look at the following illustration to find out the best point for cutting horns on a calf :
There are various dehorning methods that can be performed, such as using chemicals, hot irons, saws, clamping pliers, and tubes. All of these methods are applied based on the condition and age of the cattle to be de-horned. Of course, each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The chemical method was applied in the dehorning process of calfs aged 1-3 weeks. Basically, the chemicals used can be in the form of a liquid or a paste, to prevent the growth of horns in cows. The chemical commonly used is caustic soda (NaOH). Its use is by applying it to the area of horn growth where the hair has been removed (cleaned).
After being smeared evenly, the head is covered using tape in a circle. After two days, the tape can be removed and the dehorning process is complete.
Dehorning using hot iron is effective for cows aged approximately 12 weeks. Dehorner used in the form of iron that has been heated. Heating can be done with a furnace, electric, or using LP gas. The dehorning process begins with removing the hair that covers the growth area of the horns, then cleaning with soap and wiping with a dry cloth. After that, the dehorner iron can be heated immediately.
Once the iron is hot, simply place the iron on the horn growth area for about 2 seconds. Sticking for too long can cause damage to brain cells.
After successfully pasted, sprinkle the heating area with antibiotic powder. Then do the injection of Tetanus antitoxin to avoid the occurrence of tetanus. The use of hot iron rings can also be done on young cattle. However, the horns do not completely disappear, but instead form a deformation called “Scur”.
Cutting horns with a saw is done on cattle (adult), because the horns are long and hard. Preferably, before cutting the horns, the cow is tied to a pole first so as not to rebel. Cutting is done with a sharp and strong saw carefully. Preferably, the horn is left 1-2 cm so that bleeding does not occur.
Cutting the horn with clamping pliers is done with large pliers and has a long lever to make cutting easier. This method was carried out on cattle aged about 8 weeks. Cattle are restrained using a clamp cage. Then clean the hair that covers the horns. After that the horns can be cut using pliers.
Tube dehorning can be applied to cattle around 8 weeks of age. This dehorning process is fairly fast and efficient. There are various sizes of tubes that can be adjusted to the size of the horn of the cow. The tube used can cut the horns and remove the cells that produce the horns, so there is no regrowth of the horns.
Also read article : “Types of Uterus in Animals”
There are many benefits to the dehorning process, from injury prevention to saving cage size. Because, some types of cows have very long horns, so they require a large cage. The dehorning process is a process that must be done carefully. Because horns are on the head of a cow, dehorning accidents will be fatal.
Therefore, the dehorning process should be carried out by experienced worker. Thank you for reading the article on dehorning cattle. For more information about dehorning cattle, you can read the journal about Dehorning of Cattle in the EU Member States: A quantitative survey of the current practices. Here’s the link for the journal.
Greetings breeders !