Cautery disbudding is a painful husbandry procedure commonly carried out on dairy cow and goat farms worldwide. Disbudding can cause third-degree burns, subcutaneous tissue damage, inflammation, bacterial infection and in some cases death (Sanford 1989, Thompson et al. 2005, Wright et al. 1983). Physiological (e.g., cortisol, β-endorphins) and behavioural (e.g., head shaking) changes indicative of pain have been described in response to cautery disbudding in kids (Alvarez et al. 2015, Greenwood & Shutt 1990, Ingvast-Larsson et al. 2011), but still little is known regarding the acute and long-term effects of cautery disbudding on goat kid welfare. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of cautery disbudding on the acute pain response and weight-gain in goat kids. This study was part of a larger project investigating alternative methods of disbudding in goat kids.

MN, Hempstead, M Stewart, and MA Sutherland

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 77, Rotorua, 159-160, 2017
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