Trimming goat hooves

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Trimming goat hooves

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    03-28-2010, 09:26 PM
Green Broke
Trimming goat hooves


So as most of you know, I got a goat this past fall. He is an aged Nubian/Boer (we think) with HUGE horns. Haha. So, Buddy was basically feral until I got him so he did not know how to pick up his hooves to let me trim them. Now, I can pick up his front feet no problem. Some problems still with his back feet but we are slowly working towards our ultimate goal which is trimming them.

So, now that he is getting closer and closer to being able to stand on three legs, I DESPERATELY need to know how to trim his feet. They are horribly, horribly long and need to be done ASAP.

I know I can find it online, but I wanted to know how you do it or your favorite site guide on how to do it. I definitely don't want to do it wrong.

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    03-28-2010, 09:44 PM
My goats were not handled at all either when I got them. I just picked up their feet and did it. I didn't put up with any nonsense and the goat only weighed 60 lbs so it was pretty easy.

I used a very sharp utility knife to trim their hooves. Some people I know used cutting pliers, but I found that they tore more than they cut. Just be very careful with the knife, not to cut yourself or the goat!

Much like a horse, their soft tissue should touch the ground. I'll see if I can find a pic for you.
    03-28-2010, 09:57 PM
OK -- no pics anymore. But what I did was trim off the excess wall that had curved first, then trimmed down progressively until the wall colour changed to a pale pink. I never touched any of the soft tissue. And remember that a goat's hoof is much more upright than a horses; do not try to compare it to your horse.

I think I did mine every couple of weeks, because I had the time, but once a month is probably enough.

I'm sure if you search the 'Net you'll find lots of good sites that will help you out.
    03-28-2010, 10:51 PM
Green Broke
Thanks for the input! I am just worried I will hurt him so all the advice I can get is great!
    03-29-2010, 10:52 PM
If you cut only the wall, you'll be fine. Some places told me to trim the heels, but I never did. They looked after themselves.

If you are not comfortable with a utility knife, maybe you can find some trimming shears in your area. I couldn't, so I made do with the knife. Very good heavy scissors, or small pruning shears (like for roses) might work too.
    03-29-2010, 11:07 PM
Green Broke
I'm going to try trimming shears just because I'm not comfortable using knives in the house, let alone on my animal! Haha.
    03-29-2010, 11:47 PM
Green Broke
I always cut either side of the hoof wall to the level of the sole - the sole doesn't seem to grow out with the hoof.

My favorite goat supply has hoof trimmers:

Hoegger Supply Co. :: Grooming and Tattoo :: Hoof Care :: Hoof Trimmers

But you know, I always used a regular set of garden pruners on my goat's hooves.
    03-30-2010, 08:28 PM
Green Broke
I use an old (but still sharp) pair of kitchen shears.
    03-30-2010, 11:45 PM
I use special goat hoof clippers. Depending on what you get, they aren't too expensive.

Stanchions are awesome for clipping hooves – if you don't have one of those (first of all, put it on you to-buy list) you could resort to flipping the goat and clipping his hooves lying down.

Here's a good tutorial on clipping hooves: End of The Line Farm | Raising and breeding Nigerian Dwarf goats in NJ
    03-31-2010, 03:02 AM
I have showed goats and lambs for 4 years now and if you search "show goat supplies" they have hoof trimmers and some also have hoof rasps where you can just file them down without worrying too much about cutting the soft heel. Good luck! Goats are ridiculously stubborn sometimes lol.
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