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Dehorning Methods & Tools

Open bottle of dehorning paste

Caustic Paste Disbudding

The combination of caustic substances in dehorning paste cauterizes tissue and prevents horn growth.

Dehorning with Obstetrical or Embryotomy Wire

A long piece of wire is attached to two handles, then moved back and forth rapidly to saw through the horn base plus a ½-inch circle of skin.

Hand Saw Dehorning

In this method of dehorning, a hand saw is used to remove the horn along with a ½-inch ring of skin around the horn base.

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Hot-Iron Disbudding

An iron is heated to red hot, then held firmly to the horn bud for about 20 seconds, destroying the horn-producing cells and preventing further growth.

Keystone or Guillotine Dehorning

A keystone dehorner has two handles that move a blade downward against a plate or another blade, slicing through the base of the horn and surrounding skin.

A double-sided knife for dehorning calves.

Knife Dehorning

In this dehorning method, a knife is used to cut away skin around and under the horn bud, surgically removing the horn from the base tissue.

The Barnes or "Gouger" Dehorning

A Barnes dehorner is a hinged, closed set of sharp scoops which is placed over the horn against the base and surrounding skin.

Stainless Steel Tube Dehorning Tool

Tube, Cup or Spoon Dehorning

A circular blade is pushed into the skin around the horn bud, then rotated and tilted to gouge out the horn.

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