Sometimes All You Need is a Little Trim

Up on the Stanchion

One of the scheduled maintenance chores around here is hoof trimming for the goats. We do it about every 4-6 weeks depending on the growth. Unfortunately Sedona was a bit overdue. Well, actually she was really overdue. Because she’s pregnant we were holding off so as not to stress her out too much. Since she still hasn’t kidded we decided we just couldn’t wait any longer.

Tom first learning how to trim hooves

We do our trimming on the stanchion, though you can also do it without. In the photo above you can see how Tom is holding the goat (not our goat but rather Novella Carpenter’s goat during her goat class). We like the stanchion because it helps keep your pants a bit cleaner and the grain bucket keeps them preoccupied.

Sedona was in serious need of a trim

The goal to trimming the hooves is to remove the overgrown hoof walls that have a tendency to curl under. They can trap mud and manure up against the sole (frog) which can cause hoof rot. You’ll want a good pair of hoof trimmers which you can get at various feed stores.

Trimming the tip off of Bella's hoof

Scrape out any dirt that’s up against the sole and trim off the excess tip of the hoof. This is easy to see as you want to cut just to the sole.This also makes it easier to trim the hoof walls.

Trimming the hoof wall on Bella

Now you can trim the hoof walls. Trim the walls down so that they are as even with the sole as possible. Trim both the outer and inner edges. Don’t worry if you can’t get close enough. You don’t want to hurt their feet.

All cleaned up

I don’t even think Sedona noticed that we were actually trimming her hooves. But I’m sure she felt a lot better afterwards.


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  1. Amy Barnett says:

    I have found the best time to trim hooves is after a rain. The moisture softens the hooves and makes them much easier to trim.

    • Great advice! Thanks for sharing! I wish in the summer months it rained more so we could utilize this all year.

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