Schoiswohl, J., Stanitznig, A., Waiblinger, S. et al. 2020. Suppression of horn growth in cattle by clove oil and isoeugenol. Journal of Veterinary Behavior 36, 1-3.
The purpose of the disbudding of cattle is to decrease the number and severity of both deliberate and accidental injuries to other animals or workers caused by horned animals. The most commonly used method is thermal disbudding of calves. There is increasing animal welfare concern for this method, which has resulted in research into alternative methods. The objective of the pilot study was to evaluate an alternative disbudding method, to determine if injecting clove oil or a synthetic analog (isoeugenol) into the horn bud of calves would suppress horn growth. In this study, 12 Simmental calves of both sexes, aged between one and three days of age, were treated with three different volumes (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mL) of clove oil or isoeugenol. The pilot study showed that the success of this method is dependent on the dosage. Twenty-one weeks after the beginning of the study, three of the four calves, which were given an injection of 1.5 mL of clove oil or isoeugenol, did not show any horn growth. The fourth calf that got an injection of 1.5 mL clove oil died during the study in week ten from bronchopneumonia, but at that time, it did not show any horn growth. The other calves injected with lower doses of clove oil or isoeugenol developed slight or moderate horn growth.