Hoof Trimming Dairy Goats

Hoof trimming is a necessary skill to learn for everyone raising milk goats. There is lots of fluctuation of hoof growth between goats with different colors of hooves. The darker the hoof, the slower the growth rate; the whiter the hoof, the faster they grow. A general guideline could be once a month. Another factor in the frequency of trimming hooves is their environment. For instance, hoof trimming can be done less often if the pasture they are on has large rocks, boulders or stony soil. Cement steps are also good to have in the goat area as cement will also help keep their hooves trimmed, and you won't have to trim them quite as often. Keep an eye on their hooves to make sure you don't wait too long between trimming because if you wait too long, they could get a hoof disease such as hoof rot.

The only goat supplies you will need for trimming their hooves is a good pair of hoof trimmers. Some people use air-powered trimmers if they have large herds. This type of trimmer helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome which could be a problem trimming so many hooves.

While they are on the milk stand getting their hooves trimmed, we provide edible distractions. During the summer, we fill a wheelbarrow full of blackberry clippings or maple leaves and feed it to the goats while we trim their hooves. In the winter we feed them evergreen tree needles when we trim their hooves. Make sure, however, that you don't feed them yew needles since these are toxic. After you trim your dairy goats hooves, mark your calendar for the date you need to trim their hooves again.

 

“Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.”  (Proverbs 27:23)

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