A new dairy dehorning poster by Aurora Villarroel, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Extension veterianrian at Oregon State University, can assist veterinarians in training their dairy clients and employees to effectively dehorn baby calves using dehorning paste with a minimum of discomfort.
Dehorning calves with paste is easy, effective and economical as well as low-stress to the animal. This poster is printed in both English and Spanish to assist dairy employees in the use of dehorning paste.
“I think the best way for veterinarians to use this poster is by showing farmers that dehorning can be done with minimal discomfort to the calf, in my opinion due to minimal restraint necessary to apply the paste, done at a very young age when calves are still adapting to the outside world and tired from the birth process and without the acute pain of a hot iron or gauge dehorner,” Villarroel explains.
“Besides the obvious point of avoiding inflicting pain on any creature, I think that avoiding the association of pain with human handling of any type is best for the calves. They will be around humans all their lives, so let's have them interact nicely.”
Villarroel says producers who have switched to using paste to dehorn calves at birth report great success with no complications, and they like that calves are “done” without showing obvious signs of pain. Only minor head shaking was reported.
“The main complaint I get from farmers who want to try it is that they think they will not be able to see the hornbuds that early (<2 days),” Villarroel says. “But once they clip the area they only use a marker for a few calves because it is obvious where they are".
Download the poster here.
For more information, contact Villarroel at firstname.lastname@example.org