Broken Horn (on Jersey) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My jersey got her horn broken off leaving a two inch nub.I used blue lotion spray on the wound. Should I put something different on the nub? I wanted to take that four inch horn off,but not in the middle of fly season.

-- Bettie Ferguson (, June 28, 2001


Hi, Bettie. It will probably be all right by itself. Horns tend to close off pretty quickly, at least with cows. You could still take the horn off now, since if the horn is bleeding from the end the whole thing is open to flies, anyway. I would definitely do that if the horn were cracked all the way to the skull, but that doesn't sound like it happened in this case.

Jennifer L.

-- Jennifer J. Lance (, June 29, 2001.

We had to dehorn cows a few times during fly season. The trick we used was as follows. Cut horn off with whatever type dehorner you have on hand. Then take large size calf poppers that have been sharpened with a rat tail file and remove any remaining bone and flesh until you have gotten good exposure of the blood vessels. Remember the vessels will form a ring at the base of the horn. You want to cut down to this ring or just below it to get the vessels to stand up for you. Take a hemostat (the ones they sell for fishermen are just fine) and grab the blood vessel. You may have to apply pressure below the exit of the vessel with your thumb or finger to get the blood to stop long enough for you to work. Clamp that vessel with the hemostat and begin to wind it on the hemostat just like you would spaghetti. When you have a few good wraps, place your thumb on the wrap and pull the vessel out. (Careful, at the base of the horn just above the ear, a nerve accompamies the blood vessels there and if you pull that, bossie yells and kicks alot.) When you have pulled all the pumpers, wipe the excess blood from the area. Now, take a milk filter and a pair of scissors and cut a circle big enough to cover the open sinus and overlap the edges of the bone a little. Don't make it too big or it will wrinkle and not seal down well. Now place this circle over the hole and tap it down until the blood left in the meat soaks the edge and holds it tight. You may even use a little liquid superglue to help hold it. It won't cause any infection. (The area has to be fairly tacky and without pumping blood for the superglue to hold until it sets up) It'll dry hard in a day or so and seal the sinus against flies until the sinus closes. If the cow rubs it off too soon, reapply a fresh piece with the superglue. This technique saved us many a maggot headed animal. In Minnesota we have flies galore in the summers and this was the only way we found that worked decently.---By the way, if you do get maggots anyway or if you get an infected sinus, here's the way we treated that. Snub the animal tight to a post or stanchion so they can't toss their head about and hurt you. Take a 35 or 60 cc syringe and fill it with peroxide and squirt it down the sinus. The peroxide will kill the maggots and get rid of all the dead tissue. Warning- foam will boil out of the sinus hole left by the horn and probably out of the nostril. When there is little or no foaming action produced by fresh flushes with the peroxide, the sinus is clean. You may at this point insert half a nolvasaan capsule. Makes the foam a pretty blue and at the same time sanitizes the site. When finished, reseal the sinus with a piece of milk filter. Hope this is useful to you all.

-- Sandra Nelson (, June 29, 2001.

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