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Use recommended dehorning practices for cattle

By DONALD STOTTS

STILLWATER – As horned cattle become less common in the industry, livestock producers need to practice recommended dehorning techniques to ensure their animals’ well-being, said Oklahoma State University experts.

“A successful dehorning plan can improve operational efficiency; it involves the use of a written protocol and skilled personnel,” said Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, OSU Extension veterinarian and director of continuing education for the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “Industry experts and veterinarians typically recommend dehorning take place as early as possible.”

The 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring Beef Cow-Calf Study, released earlier this year, reports that only 7.8% of U.S. beef cattle are still horned. The study shows a significant downward trend from previous reports. Historically, the dominance of traditional breeds led many herds to contain horned cattle.


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