I trimmed hooves today!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jillis, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    First time. I have a friend who was a farrier who showed me how when he came out and trimmed them eight weeks ago. I was putting it off a little too long because of the horrible mud.

    I was only going to do the ND mama. She was trimmed right before we got her, and she had been bred. Then (I know, shame, shame) no one got trimmed for a long time, because I had all those babies, and they got sick from the milk replacer and on and on. I just had a long winter of learning to manage my goats and was working on solutions to a lot of other things.

    When my friend trimmed their hooves, we didn't really go too far with the ND because she was a few weeks from birthing and we didn't want to stress her.
    Also, 2 of my adults were at another farm to be bred, and they did not get done either. Because we have big climbing rocks in their pen, they do wear their hooves down considerably on their own, which is a blessing, but the pg ND wasn't climbing...

    So her feet were BAD. I went into her pen and my sons held her while I trimmed. I didn't have any of the hesitation and fear I had when Gary was showing me how to do it. It went really well and I felt better because I knew it was irresponsible to let it go so long...they still need a little more to get them back in perfect shape, but I didn't want to do it all the way first shot.

    Then, since it has been so warm and dry, and it will be raining tomorrow, I decided to do the other adults that didn't get done---they were bad, but not terrible bad, because they do a lot of rock climbing. Okay, now I decide to do 2 others. They were easy, because they had been done 8 weeks ago.

    By this time, I've got a major crick in my back and the barn still needs to be cleaned out. So I'll do the rest next nice day.

    I'm just proud of myself! That's all!
     
  2. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    I have never trimmed a hoof. Is this somthing I will need to worry about? We only have one goat and look to get her a friend. We walk her (she loves to be on a a leash). She dose walk on all types of surface. Even concrete.
    Are hoof trimmings common?
     

  3. happyladybug

    happyladybug Well-Known Member

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    yep - hoof trimming if necesary - the last goat i got - her feet looked fine until you picked up her foot and looked underneath.. they were curling under..

    but trimming is easy - my husband uses a felco pruner - i prefer something like a scissors..

    and just remember a little off at a time - and i don't trim the pad in the back..

    i trimmed my goats for the first time two weeks ago - and it was scary - i
    didn't want to hurt them.. but once you start - it's easy - and i was sooooo proud of myself... :dance:
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you do have to trim hooves on a regular basis. I've found that goats with white hooves need a bit more attention than goats with dark hooves - the white ones are just softer and seem to grow faster.
     
  5. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Yes, it is neccesary to trim hooves because there may be something, such as hoof rot, that you otherwise wouldn't notice till the animal is lame. The same can happen if a rock gets in between the sole of the hoof and the overgrown, folding hoof wall. It's not hard and even if you cut the quick a little, it's no big deal. :)
     
  6. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I believe you should trim hooves every 6 weeks or thereabouts.
    My ND does toes were very long and it can cause their leg muscles to get strained if they have to walk weird due to the shape of their feet. When they are really bad you have to do it in stages so that you don't strain the mucles the other way.
    I had this guilty feeling because I let it go too long.

    I feel much better now.

    I also cleaned the barn real good.

    I am tired!
     
  7. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations! :bouncy:

    I got these really nice clippers that look like rose pruners and are teflon coated. They were so sharp and easy to use that I cut myself and didn't know it.
     
  8. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I bought my hoof trimmers from Hoeggers Goat Supply. I think they need to be sharpened already.
     
  9. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I thought I was the only one that felt intimidated about hoof trimming. :eek: Hearing similar comments from all of you really is comforting. My big buck Judd (saanen) seriously needs trimmed, he has some huge "elf shoes" going on. I put him on the stand last week, and he is just too big for me to manage, so I have a ferrier coming next week. But the does are very happy to get in the stand, and eat a little grain and they will tolerate me trimming their hooves, until the grain runs out. I was so intimidated by the thought of trimming hooves that I procastinated the first trimming for over a year. Now I am try to do it a few at a time as the weather gets nice, so that I can get them all on a schedule. I was curious does anyone hang a calendar in the barn to keep track of these things?

    Anne,
    Cowgirlracer
     
  10. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Get up on the stand with them and grip them between your legs with your knees. Don't be hesitant when you're trimming; they notice really quickly that they can escape if they kick hard enough, so keep a good grip and if they get kicky, give them a smack or a jerk, but not hard enough to hurt/scare them.
     
  11. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Yep, mygoat, that's what I did---straddled them facing backwards while my son restrained them at the front. None of them have used the milking stand yet so I didn't do that.

    BTW, daytrader, go to Fias Co. Farms online and they have a great step-by-step on hoof trimming.

    They all settled down when they realized they couldn't get away. My Nubian tried the hardest.

    The ND doe cracked me up. She was the one with the really bad hooves and I reckon she thought I was taking waaaaay too long for a trim. When I let her go to so I could grab the last one she sat down with all four hooves tucked under her body! We never saw a goat do that before and we thought it was so funny of her to do that! Meanwhile all her babies were jumping on my back while I was bent over trimming her hooves, which my dd thought was hysterical. Good thing they don't weigh too much!
     
  12. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    One of my Nigerian does screams like she's being murdered when I do her hooves - it's quite funny, because she has her mouth full of grain at the time! :p The other Nigerian doe just cowers a bit, but she's the better of the two - she's still very shy and unsure about handling, but she's getting better. The Nigerian buckling has been handled since birth so he's pretty good, I just do him by straddling him - I don't think the stanchion would hold him yet!

    The worst to do is my Saanen - her hooves are pretty hard and she can kick like a mule! Her hooves were in good shape when I got her, so it's not like she'd never had it done before. :viking:
     
  13. TAdkins

    TAdkins Member

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    I experienced hoof trimming for the first time after a friends goat starting limping and we started checking all the goats feet. Some had grew under. The best thing I've found is do a little at a time and don't trim the heels. There must be where they get their sure-footedness. This part seems to be like soft rubber and will bleed if trimmed. We now check ours every time we worm or more often if we see a problem. It will take a few trimmings to get them right, just have patience.
     
  14. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    You can trim the heel of the hoof if it is overgrown, but be careful; At the first sign of pink stop trimming. The heel doesn't often over grow unless the goats are being housed innapropriately, are lazy, or have fast growing hooves.
     
  15. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Most of the heels were okay. Some of them seemed to have a little too much. The farrier friend who showed me how to do it said that once you trim the hooves, the heel pad usually wears down. One of my Alpines whose feet were a little long but not in the direction of elf shoes had a very built up heel. I trimmed it a little so she wouldn't feel like she was wearing high heels.

    No bleeders yet.
     
  16. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    If you let them go beyond a couple months it's a tougher job obviously. And when it's been dry for awhile really tough because those hooves feel like rocks. All goats are different - some slow growing, some fast, some perfectly shaped, others you have to do a "corrective" trim. It seems my nicest goats give me the toughest time and I have to play bucking bronco!
     
  17. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    It really does make the job easier if you can wait until they've been on wet ground for at least an hour or so. Last summer I actually watered their pen really good, inside and out, because their dry hooves were so hard I couldn't do anything with them! (We get almost no rain during the summer, so it wasn't any use to wait for rain.)

    I got tired of goat-wrassling while I trimmed hooves (even on the milking stand, with old does who'd been trimmed regularly all their lives and should have known better) and started just turning the goats upside down and 'sitting' on them (barely enough weight applied to keep them down) while I trim. It's a little tricky when I have to get up and turn around to do the other end, but it's a lot easier on my back. Only watch out for flailing hooves in the face!

    I just bought Hoegger's really good hoof trimmers and have to say that they really do work so much better and easier for me than the less expensive ones I already had. I'm really glad I spent the money.

    Kathleen
     
  18. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Turning them over and sitting on their tummies...hmmm....flailing hooves...sounds interesting...it just might work...
     
  19. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    :baby04:

    Actually, it really does work. I throw them by catching two legs on the same side of the goat -- it works best if you can lean over the goat and get the two legs on the side away from you, but I'm not really tall so I usually just get the legs on my side. Then I just tip them over and straddle while I work, squatting enough to keep them pinned but not enough to hurt them. I don't know how this is going to work when my Oberhasli buck is full grown (he's ten months and big for an Ober -- probably be 250 lbs. or more by the time he's three), but it works fine right now.

    The hardest goat I've ever thrown was a FAT little pygora doe that someone I know had bought and thought might be pregnant -- the only way we could see her udder to check for development was to turn her over (none, she was just the fattest goat I've ever seen!). She was so wide and low to the ground that it was like trying to overturn a tank!

    Kathleen
     
  20. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Great visuals, Kathleen!

    I wasn't being sarcastic, btw...the thought of not cricking my back is very appealing!

    I thought my poor goats were getting little annoyed and haughty about my constant peering at their nether regions. Wait til I try this on them! Maybe they'll stop mobbing me when I climb the fence!


    (Cackles with evil glee while glancing furtively around and rubbing hands together)