Trimming hooves

Part of goat care includes trimming their hooves. It doesn’t sound like a big to do until you add in the fact that most goats see this as a type of torture to be avoided at all cost. I have attempted trimming hooves in a variety of manners. They include coaxing them gently to their shed and then tackling them in a corner while they scream for mercy while I chop away at their dirty little feet. Or you can also try to get them across your lap and use your legs to scissor them to avoid their wriggling so you can do the job without cutting you or them. No really.

The most effective way has been restraining them in the milking stand while I use my body to help steady them and pull one hoof up at a time with good lighting to see the little crevices and areas needing trimmed.


A few words of advice:goat hoof trim diagram

Trimming after they’ve been on a damp or wet pasture for a few days to soften things up is much easier than if they are in dry conditions all the time.

Study what you should be trimming or watch Youtube videos to help you get comfortable with the process.

Use a sharp trimmer to avoid needing to go back over the same places repeatedly.

Leave a flat surface when you’ve finished.

Good lighting is key. Dusk and dawn are bad times for this task unless you have electric in your barn.

Cursing neither improves nor impedes the process. Do what you have to do.

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Give them a bit of grain or a treat to occupy them while you work away at their hooves. In my case I am trimming Nigerian Dwarf, so they have a daintier, but no less difficult hoof.

My girls do not enjoy the process but seem to tolerate it much better with a bit of grain, pressure from me against their nursery wall and the use of a sharp trimmer that accomplishes the task quickly. 

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Keep the hand holding the hoof steady pulled back far enough so that you do not nick your knuckles while trimming.

Other goats may wish to help.

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