Morris, NY (March 8, 2011) – With increasing public interest in farm animal handling practices, a new Website – Dehorning.com – has been launched to share science-based information and facilitate discussion about cattle dehorning. The Website is sponsored by H.W. Naylor Company, Inc.
“Consumers have shown a growing interest in how animals, especially dairy and beef cattle, are raised and cared for,” says David Lucas, president, H.W. Naylor Company, Inc., who grew up on a dairy farm. “When it comes to dehorning, however, there hasn’t been a place on the Internet for accessing credible research, articles and professional recommendations, and having a place to talk about it. That’s why we created dehorning.com.”
- An explanation of the difference between dehorning and disbudding.
- Photos and information about various dehorning methods.
- Dehorning and disbudding videos.
- Access to research articles, which visitors can vote and comment on.
- A blog about farm management practices and science-based research related to dehorning and early-age disbudding.
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
Visitors to the site can subscribe to the blog via e-mail and RSS feeds, and join Facebook and Twitter pages. The site also invites producers, handlers, food retailers, veterinarians, researchers, academics and others with experience and interest in dehorning to become a guest blogger.
“I’ve been raising dairy replacement heifers at our biosecure facility for more than a decade and we now dehorn about 2,000 calves each year,” says Jeanne Wormuth, manager, CY Heifer Farm, Elba, NY. “Dehorning.com is a wonderful resource and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in how dairy cows and beef cattle are raised and treated.”
About H.W. Naylor Company, Inc.
Founded in 1926 by upstate New York country veterinarian Howard Naylor, the H.W. Naylor Company, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of topical medications for livestock, equine and companion animals. The company’s products, marketed under the brand name Dr. Naylor, include Dehorning Paste, Udder Balm and Hoof ‘n Heel. Learn more at www.drnaylor.com.
All dehorning methods require restraining the animal and locating the horn bud. After that, paste application boils down to just five basic steps:
- Trim away hair on and around the horn bud.
- Lightly brush the horn bud with a wire brush.
- Apply a ring of Udder Balm or Vaseline®; around the horn bud, beyond the paste application area.
- Apply a thin film of Dr. Naylor Dehorning Paste to each horn bud.
- Allow the calf to rest out of rain and away from other animals.
That’s it. Now, some producers or veterinarians may choose to use nerve blocks and/or sedatives, and that’s fine. Just don’t skip any of these five steps. It’s particularly important that you contain the paste to the application area, and keep the calf out of wet weather and away from its dam or herd-mates until the paste has dried.
If you’d like to see the application process for yourself, take a look at the instructional video below. It shows Dr. Naylor Dehorning Paste being applied to a calf. It’s intended for cattle producers, but owners of lambs or kid goats will find it helpful as well.
What's been your experience using dehorning paste?
In 2008, when I was working on product development for an international milk replacer company, I had the opportunity to acquire the H.W. Naylor Company. This 80-year-old, upstate New York manufacturer of topical livestock medications is well known for its Udder Balm, antiseptics, hoof treatments and other products that improve animal hygiene and comfort. Having grown up on a farm, where I learned to do hot-iron dehorning, and having worked in the dairy business for more than 20 years, I was familiar with most “Dr. Naylor” products, but not its dehorning paste. So, like anybody buying a business, I did some research. What I found baffled and concerned me.
I was surprised to learn dehorning paste was among the least popular methods of horn removal among cattle producers. Dehorning is a necessary animal management practice, of course, and, aside from raising hornless (polled) animals, the vast majority of producers dehorn their cattle. But most choose hot-irons, saws, Barnes, keystone dehorners or obstetrical wire for this procedure. Why, I wondered, were these more invasive, labor-intensive methods preferred when paste seemed so much easier?
I was also frustrated by the scarcity of dehorning information on the Internet. Pulling together the various research papers, articles, guidelines, statistics and professional recommendations took many hours. If there was a central online clearinghouse for all things dehorning, I couldn’t find it.
Around the time I was researching the dehorning market, the animal welfare movement was gathering steam, particularly in respect to animal handling practices and food safety. Food, Inc., a blistering documentary on commercial farming, was playing in theaters. Several national food recalls were going on. The American Veterinary Medical Association was updating its Animal Welfare Policy regarding dehorning and castration. Then came the hidden-camera exposés of, among other things, dairy farm workers burning horns off animals that were clearly too old for that procedure. All these incidents only served to fan the flames of mistrust in a culture where 98 percent of people no longer have direct ties to agriculture.
I realized a product like Dr. Naylor Dehorning Paste – which offers a bloodless, yet effective method of horn removal – might be an attractive alternative for livestock producers looking to adopt more humane animal handling practices. And keep their farms off the evening news.
While I personally believe paste disbudding is the best method for horn removal, I feel it’s important for others to learn as much as possible about the management practice of dehorning and draw their own conclusions. I decided to launch dehorning.com in order to:
- provide a comprehensive, science-based resource for dehorning information for both cattle producers and non-farm audiences;
- stimulate active discussion about dehorning among producers, veterinarians, consumers, food retailers, researchers and anyone else interested in the subject; and
- educate producers and others about the benefits of disbudding calves at an early age as advocated by the American Veterinary Medical Association and many other organizations.
Clearly, if more producers start using dehorning paste, my company will benefit. But it’s even more important for producers and consumers to know the facts.
So, let’s talk horns.
What do you like or dislike about this Web site?
What would you like to see more of?