Polycerate, meaning "many-horned", is a term used to describe animals with more than two horns.
Cattle can have as many as six horns, and occasionally more. Because horns are no longer widely utilized by humans as drinking vessels, musical instruments or in jewellery, farmers prefer to raise polled (hornless) cattle. The lack of horns reduces injuries to humans and other cattle.
Polycerate sheep breeds include the Hebridean, Icelandic, Jacob, Manx Loaghtan, Boreray and the Navajo-Churro. One example of a polycerate Shetland sheep was a ram kept by US President Thomas Jefferson for several years in the early 19th century in front of the White House. In the spring of 1808 this ram attacked several people who had taken shortcuts across the square, injuring some and actually killing a small boy. Because of selective breeding, polycerate sheep are increasingly rare in the British Isles and Spain, but some breeds can still be found in Asia. One example is the blackfaced sheep of Tibet.
There have been incidents of polycerate goats (having as many as eight horns), although this is a genetic rarity thought to be inherited. The horns are most typically removed in commercial dairy goat herds, to reduce the injuries to humans and other goats.
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