Goat Hoof Trimming
One of the tasks that every goat owner will have to do is trim goat hooves. Trimming hooves is something that takes practice. Your skills will improve the more you do it. The process is simple, if you have the right tools and if you regularly maintain your goats hooves. Overgrown hooves make a fairly simple job, very difficult!
The main tool you need is a good set of hoof trimmers. You can buy them from feed stores or on-line sources of suppliers like Jeffers Livestock or Hoeggers. I have read that some people will use garden trimmers for the job. I tried that once and found they got dull quickly and I was purchasing new ones often.
The other tool or piece of equipment needed is a goat stand or milking stanchion. This is not a must have, you can just tie the goat to a fence post. I have found that the goats struggle less and are easier to work with if put in a goat stand.
To trim hooves put the goat in the stand and give her some grain to eat to help distract her. Then pick up one foot and with the end of the trimmers begin by cleaning out any rocks or dirt that has collected around and between the hoof walls.
Then starting at the tip of the hoof you begin cutting away the extra growth and tissue; stop trimming when you see pink. Work your way back to the heel. Continue clipping and trimming until the hoof is flat.
Go slowly while trimming and be careful and cautious not to cut too deeply and cause the hoof to bleed. This is something that all of us have done before and if it does happen to you can apply blood stop powder or cornstarch.
If you are a more visual learner then you can go to this website and see pictures of a hoof being trimmed: http://www.goatworld.com/articles/feet/footcare.shtml#photos The tools used are different from what I use, so you will be able to see other options for this.
On the Homestead
Crystal Miller, 2007 All Rights Reserved
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