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Calf Disbudding

Calving. As quickly as it was over, it seems we are back into it! We're here to help make this busy time easier and inform (or remind!) you about our disbudding service. 

North Canterbury Vet Clinic offers an hygienic, safe and convenient service. Sarah McPhee and her Technician team disbud thousands of calves every year so are well trained in this area.

We sedate and use analgesia (pain relief) on all calves. These methods are proven to have a positive effect on calf growth rates as well as calf welfare. 

Remember that from 1 October ‘19 all calves being disbudded must have local anaesthetic used.

The preferred age at disbudding is between 2 - 6 weeks of age. Small horn-buds are easier to completely remove, leaving only a small wound. Larger buds may require more than one attempt and you can see increased re-growth if left too late.

Using a sedation during disbudding also allows us to carry out additional services such as:

   •  Remove supernumerary teats (reducing the risk of mastitis)
   •  Check and treat navel infections
   •  Vaccinate for Clostridial Disease
   •  Blood test for BVD
   •  Ear notch for DNA
   •  Bull calf castrations (rings)
   •  Additional tagging

We can disbud approx. 60-80+ calves/hour, although this can depend on the facilities.

A benefit for farmers is that they do not need to provide any assistance while the NCVC team is present! A great advantage during this busy time.

After our Technician team have completed the disbudding, you will receive a list containing the tag numbers of calves disbudded, extra notes and withholding information (based on the drugs used).

To make a booking or to find out more about what our Technician team can offer call Sarah - 027 889 9108

Click here to the link on what to do to prepare your calves for disbudding

About the author

North Canterbury Vets are a mixed practice which deals with dairy cows, beef, sheep, deer, horses and alpacas as well as companion animals. Our team has an ethical focus to assist in developing and growing our clients' businesses and providing quality health care to ensure that their livestock and pets live healthy and productive lives.

Our Clinics

North Canterbury Veterinary Clinics operates four clinics throughout the Hurunui region.