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How to Trim Goat hooves the right way

The following article is a excerpt from Raising Meat Goats for Profit by Gail Bowman. Do not reproduce without express written permission.

Hoof Trimming is an acquired skill that takes quite a bit of practice to perfect. The tools you will need include a good pair of hoof shears. Do not try to save money on this particular tool. My favorite is called a "sheep foot rot shear". Hoof trimming shears are available in any animal supply house and come in many shapes and designs. You will also need a hand held carpenter's plane, the kind that looks a little like a cheese grater.
Goat Hooves that are overgrown will turn under on the sides and may even grow out in front like elf shoes.
The toes of a goat's hooves grow faster that the heel. Many people tend to trim goat hooves at the wrong angle.
but definitely stop trimming for today. (It is not a bad idea to brush a little iodine on it before you set it down in the manure.) ?

Sometimes, the heel is the part that seems to grow too fast, causing the goat to walk on the back of the hoof above the heel. In this case, be sure that you trim the hooves more often, and that you are not leaving the heel so long that the goat is walking on ‘high heels’. If the hoof was drastically overgrown, and you didn't get it into the right shape, it is better to come back to it later than to make the goat lame, or risk serious bleeding and infection, by cutting too much at one time. Try again in one to three weeks. If it still isn't right, come back in another two or three weeks. Sometimes it takes a while to whip a goat's hooves into perfect shape.

Goat's hooves need to be trimmed regularly (and don't forget the bucks!). That will mean different things depending on your ranch and conditions. If your goats have plenty of rocks to walk on, or are in a large herd that travels over many acres a day, you might be able to escape this chore for four to six months. Some people even build low platforms of rock and cement for the goats to play on to help them keep their hooves in shape. In most cases, when the goats are walking on grass or in pens, hooves should be trimmed every four to twelve weeks.

 

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