Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Goat Hoof Trimming

Goats hooves grow continually like fingernails do on people or horse hooves do.  In their natural environment they walk a lot more to forage/graze and wear them down and they don’t get fed huge amounts of grains as we feed them here and that puts more hoof on them as well.

So goats hooves need to be trimmed.  Some people say trim every 6 weeks some say 8. I observe my goats a lot just because I like to watch them and it relaxes me.  It also ques me in if one is not acting normal and I can address an issue before it might become a big deal.  So I trim a goats hooves when I see they need doing.  Usually every few months.  Some goats hooves grows faster than others.  Bluebells grows way faster than Twinkies so needs trimmed more frequently.

I am not an expert on goats at all.  But I will try to show you how we trim hooves here at Sanctuary Farm.  Try it at your own risk and be careful.  I have scraped a knuckle or two really good on the rasp before.
These are actually hoof trimmers for sheep or goats.  I got them at my local farm supply place.  Also Hoeggers carries them.  Some people say they use pruning sheers with good success but I tried it and they didn't do nearly as good of a job for me.  So here is what I use when trimming full sized goats hooves.  I don’t need to use the rasp on the Nigerians as they have such small easy to trim hooves. They are paper thin compared to the larger goats.

If you look at a baby goats hoof when it is born it is usually perfect.  That is what you are trying to trim the adults to look like.  The bottom part they stand on is perfectly parallel with the coronary band at the top of the hoof.  It looks something like this.

In order to trim hooves well you need to see what the goats hoof looks like now and see in your head what you want it to.  Where those parallel lines are.  Take off anything that is over those parallel lines.  You might have to push back some leg hair to show the angle of the coronary band well.   
On this goats hoof the toe is a little long. But.......
If you look at the hoof from the bottom you can see how the hoof wall has grown over the bottom of the hoof.  

First take the end of your closed hoof trimmer and gently use it as a hoof pick and pick out all the mud and stuff so you can see exactly what you are doing.
Gently trim away all that has grown over the bottom of the hoof.
Now remember the parallel lines?  Look at the sides off the goats hoof and start to trim anything past those lines.  Take off a little at a time. As you don’t want to hit where the blood vessels are.  If you hit pink hoof.  Stop and wait a week for those blood vessels to recede and go at it again.  Make sure you look at both the inner side and the outer side of the hoof so it is not trimmed higher on the inside than the outside and give the goat trouble when walking. If you do quick them and make them bleed you can use any kwik stop/styptic powder.  Or I have just used plain house hold baking flour or spider webs from around the barn in a pinch. But I try to avoid cutting them to short by taking my time, looking from the side, removing a small amount and looking at the side again, and removing a small amount. 

This goat had the heal of the frog grow to long so I nipped them off even with the rest of the hoof and I trimmed up the toe that was a bit long.

Goat hooves do not grow even so there are a lot of pits and dents.  High places and low places on the hoof bottom.  So as the final finishing of the hoof I like to use the rasp.  I hold the hoof tightly so that both halves are exactly even as if the goat were standing (as in the above picture) and then rasp straight across from heal to toe. 
 See how much smoother the bottom of the right half is now.
From the side now everything is very neat and parallel. 

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.


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