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Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

A strong farmer or veterinarian and some skill, that is all that was needed to dehorn a calf in the past. However, some sedation makes the life of the farmer easier and calf welfare benefits as well. Sedation and anaesthetics can be administered to reduce pain and discomfort for as less as €1 per calf.

Photo

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    The veterinarian visits the farm twice a month, taking with him the essential dehorning tools.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    After being connected to a power supply it takes a good 10 minutes for the dehorning devise is hot enough to start dehorning.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    In the meantime the veterinarian prepares the syringes and fills them up with a sedative.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    The sedative is administered directly into a vein.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    After a short while the effect is visible, the calf is clearly dazed.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    After the first sedation a local anaesthetic is injected to reduce further pain.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    The dehorner in action.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    After treatment it is clearly visible where the horn was seated, it has been removed up to the depth of the scull bone.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    To prevent inflammation the vet treats the wounds with a betadine spray. Also he injects the calf with another long lasting sedative to reduce after pain.

  • Dehorning with consideration for calf welfare

    It only takes half an hour before the calf is on his feet and active again. The long lasting sedative works for another 72 hours. Research has shown after pain is the worst 44 hours after dehorning.

Fabian Brockotter

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