Those pesky horns

Trimming horns is a question that comes up with talking about Jacob Sheep. Often the question focuses on ewe laterals which can spend a few months going any which way. Should I trim? How should I trim? Where should I trim?

Luna was kind enough to donate a large top horn for educational purposes. This is the second top horn she has lost. To be honest, I didn’t much care for the growth pattern of her top horns and I didn’t shed any tears over the breaks. While not growing in a pattern I liked, they were definitely very strong horns and the breaks were accompanied by copious amounts of blood (not pictured). While these were breaks and not trims, the horn I saved serves well to illustrate what lies beneath the surface.

Luna – one broken – one to go

In this picture, she is a few months past the break of her right top horn and a month or so before the left horn break. You can see the strong regrowth of the first horn. Note the folded look to the left top.

The broken

She was 8 months old when she lost this second top.

The other side of the horn

Note the folded area. This is not a fused horn. This is normal folding of the keratin before the core comes in. The folds are on one side only. There is no core or blood supply under the folds.

The core area measures 1 1/4″. You could safely cut to that point without hitting blood.

So now we wait for those pesky horns to regrow! Raising horned sheep requires much wait and see and much patience.

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