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Goats/Angora Goat both horns just came off

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QUESTION: My female 3 year Angora goat just had both horns come off today.  The first one broke off and I was not there to see what happened.  It seemed to have some damage to it as it had been growing down.  When we were medicating her for the broken horn someone grabbed the other horn and the whole thing snapped off like the first one.  When examining it we found the base to be pliable.  She has had a chronic flaky ear problem and we have treated her for ringworm and more recently for mites.  This seems to be more than a damaged horn issue.  Should I try to nurse her back to health or is something else going on?

ANSWER: Tami,
I would be wondering whether this is a nutritional deficiency that is affecting the skin as well as the horns. What type of mineral does she get? Do you give her copper at all? Also, does she get alfalfa? I had read somewhere that a protein deficiency could cause problems with weak horns. Let me know about this and when I get home I can do some further research for you.

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QUESTION: Currently I feed them (I have 3 goats) feedstore goat feed, grass pasture, yard trimmings and a mineral block.  Currently no special minerals.  The other 3 goats including her mother and younger siblings seem to be fine.  In Feb. she gave birth for the first time and it was dead when I found it in the morning.  She is very aloof and her mother gave birth soon after her and she was traumatized by the whole thing.  I have only had them for one year and she has had the flaky ear problem on going and worsening this summer. I noticed the area close to the skull on the horn growing down looked scaly recently.  We thought that horn had become damaged when shearing her in August.  I have been watching that horn hoping it would not break.  When it did and then the second horn which seemed healthy broke I was shocked.  She seems to be stabilized now but should I be considering putting her down?  A livestock friend came by and thinks she'll recover but I am afraid an underlying issue?  I put some blood stop on it and blue Kote spray.

Answer
I wouldn't put her down for that. I would still consider a nutritional deficiency. Goat Medicine says that zinc deficiency can cause the dandruff problem. You can feed zinc pills from any store to goats to correct this. I have goats just eat the whole pill, but you may need to mix them in something. It won't hurt to try. They suggest 1 g of zinc sulfate orally per day for two weeks, with the expectation that you would see a change by then.

Not every goat in the herd would be expected to have this. It could have to do with the individual metabolism.

The horn should grow back, but might be smaller or grow oddly.

Good luck.

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Cheryl K. Smith

Expertise

Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)

Experience

Publisher of Goat Health Care, www.goathealthcare.com. I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

Organizations
American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Publications
Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

Education/Credentials
BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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