Goats Born with Folded Ears
(The bad ones)

Anyone who had been around Boer goats has noticed that sometimes the ears of a goat are folded up on the end at birth. I have heard this is due to lack of space inside the doe; but sometimes you see it in a single birth, and that shoots a hole in that theory. Folded tips are not a problem; you can show with them; they are not a medical problem. The goat can live its long, enjoyable life with folded tips.

The problem we present here is when the fold is down the middle of the ear from the head to the tip (note the goat to the right). Since we have been in goat, we have had only 3 with this problem. Many people say this is a genetic fault, and it well might be. This kidding season we had 2 with different sires. Both sires have produced numerous kids for us, and this was a first for both. One kid was a quad; the other kid was a triplet; and in neither case did the siblings have a problem.

This horizonal fold is considered a cull factor (fault) because there is no protection to the inner ear. Air can get in causing ear infections. In addition, the ear becomes a haven for parasites. Parasites can get in that ear, and it's very hard to treat because of the tube-like structure at the base of the er. If there is no tube-like structure, the fold is most likely caused by uterine molding and be corected - looking normal afterwards.

We have tried several things to ‘FIX’ the ear, with little effect. I heard a major goat producers say "Put a button ear tag in the crease, and it will cause the fold to go away." We have not tried that but do not see how it will clean up the fold. Last winter we had a buck with a folded ear, and we tried super-glueing the ear to a piece of wood cut to the form of the inside of the ear. Our thinking was that when the super glue wore off, the ear would be fixed. No such luck. It held less than 24 hours.

What did work was cardboard and duct tape. We cut two pieces of cardboard in the shape and size of the ear and used duct tape to hold them in place, one piece on the top and one piece on the bottom side of the ear. The duct tape was wrapped around the cardboard, to include a little above the cardboard that stuck to the hair of the ear. After three or four days, we removed the duck tape and cardboard pieces, and the ear was no longer folded.

One of the goats had to have the tape and cardboard replaced a couple of times. He kept shacking his head, and the tape/cardboard would come off. That is when I started putting a little tape on to the hair above the ear for a better hold.


Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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