Tipperary farmers advised to always have a professional dehorn calves

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary farmers advised to always have a professional dehorn calves

As the main calving season is coming to a close the task of dehorning will be in full swing.

Dehorning or disbudding is the process of removing or stopping the growth of the horns of livestock using a special dehorning hot iron. Dehorning, should always be carried out by a trained professional.

Animals are often dehorned for economic and safety reasons.

Leaving the horns on the animal can often pose a risk to humans, to other animals, and to the bearers of the horns themselves.

Horns cause many problems for animals including getting caught in fences or preventing them from feeding properly.

All calves in the herd must be dehorned within three weeks of birth. The date of dehorning must be recorded in the animal events book.

The advantages of dehorning include:

n horns may cause injuries to handlers or other cattle

n horned livestock may require specialist equipment, such as feeders and cattle crushes

n in some breeds and in some individual animals horns may grow towards the head, eventually causing injury

n horns may become broken, causing blood-loss and potential for infection

n horned livestock may become trapped in fences or vegetation

Dehorning at an early age also has its advantages, including:

n dehorning calves at a young age minimizes hazards to the calf and yourself

n dehorning is less stressful on new-born calves

n alleviates animal welfare concerns

FRS provides you with a skilled operator to dehorn your calves using his own crate and specialised equipment.

We have all up-to-date equipment to carry out this process swiftly and with the minimum distress to the calf.

FRS can arrange for an operator to call to your farm on a regular basis (every 10 days or so during the calving time) to perform dehorning as the new-born calves arrive or provide a group of FRS operators to get the job complete within a specified time. Book your dehorning with FRS.

Join the New FRS Membership Benefit Scheme and get reduced farm services rates, sickness and accident support and death and capital benefit for only €295 – giving you peace of mind for only 81c per day. Visit www.frsfarmrelief.ie/membership for more details or call your local FRS office.

For more details contact FRS, Parkmore, Roscrea, ph: 0505-21166; or log on to www,frsfarmrelief.ie; or FRS, Carrigeen Industrial Estate, Cahir, ph: 052-7441598 or log on to www.frscahir.ie