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Disbudding of red deer stag calves to prevent antler growth
  1. WJ Hamilton,
  2. DJ Kyle and
  3. MG Robson


Red deer stag calves aged five to seven months were disbudded with a standard cattle disbudding iron as a means of preventing antler growth and development. Two sizes of iron, one 2.2 cm in diameter and one 1.5 cm in diameter, were compared at disbudding in November or January. Disbudding in November and January with the 2.2 cm iron had success rates of 97 per cent and 92 per cent, respectively. Treatment with the 1.5 cm iron was less effective at both times. There was no significant difference between the liveweights of the treated groups and a non-disbudded control group at turnout in the spring or at slaughter in November when the stags were 16 months of age.

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