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In Reply to: trimming hoofs posted by Kimberly on August 17, 2001 at 08:42:25:
For trimming hooves for the first time it is best if you can have an experienced goat friend come show you how, or maybe a 4-H leader. (even someone with sheep could help you out for the first event). Its hard to trim feet following internet instructions, or a book :-)
I tell people that for the first ever trim, you want to be a bit on the cautious side and not get too agressive with the hoof shears. I personally prefer to get a nice hoof rasp and plane the hoof level - this way you avoid gashes, bleeding, ect.
Please have blood stop, or cornstarch, flour on hand in case you cut the hoof too close to the blood supply. I like to cut untill I see light pink tissue - then stop!! If the hooves do bleed, apply a little blood stop and then rest the foot on the ground - the pressure will stop the bleeding.
Basicly, in short you need to have a cooperative goat that is well restrained. I prefer to have the goat against a building or wall if you don't have a milkstand. Its easier to use your body against the goat to restrain it. (a two person job for the first few times) While wearing a thick leather glove on the hand that is holding the hoof, you firmly hold the hoof and begin to pick the dirt off the hoof. Next I take the shears and snip off the long walls so it removes any overgrown and curling growth. I'll then snip a bit off the heel, and a little snip off the toe. By this time - the hoof should look almost level. This is where the hoof rasp comes into play. Take the rasp and draw it across the hoof. It takes a few strokes depeding on your rasp and when the hoof looks nice and smooth,level for the most part.. all good to go!
I use a small Stanley wood rasp that you can buy at most lumber and tool stores. Its cheap, and sure takes the hoof down fast.
Its really not hard to do, you just have to be careful with those shears - i've stabbed myself so many times now that I wear gloves :-D and you learn how far you can trim and it becomes easier each time. Also - a tip - wait to trim feet after a nice rain. Goat's feet are easier to trim when they're nice and soft.
-Nat's Little Bit
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