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Old 04-02-2011, 08:34 PM   #1
Little Moon
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Default Hoof Trimming ??'s

OK I will admit it - my girls have terrible hooves and its my fault. Life has been extremely chaotic between Tom's health and the trips to Mayo, work and the move that started a year ago. Not making excuses just want you to understand that it's been a rodeo here. Now that being said I have been trying to get caught up on some LONG overdue hoof trimming and I realize that I stink at trimming hooves. I can't quite get the toe right, they re still too long in the toe. I watched a couple of youtube videos and know what they should look like I just haven't been able to master it. I know I am going for a "new kid" look, but the toes are just all wrong. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Anne



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Old 04-02-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

Trim a little at a time. It is going to take some time to get them back to where you want them to be. A tip I learned is to look at the hoof as she is standing on it. Is it tipping forward, needing some trimmed off the back. Or is she walking on the back, needing some trimmed at the front. Try to keep it even and trim a little at a time.

Hope that makes sense.



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Old 04-02-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

I so don't look it like that. I think the best teaching tool is to shave the hair around the 4 hooves, this way you can see the coronary band, you then trim off the hoof growing under and make it flat with the hoof (this is where most fail, they stop, thinking they are done, leaving the hooves way to long and soon you have does who have tilted hooves). Hooves should be short and compact, letting them as they age get longer feet so they can grow more toe, to support elderly weight and the breakdown of the leg and shoulder. But most folks hooves on their goats are way to long. So after you trim the part around the hoof, then using a plainer if you are squeemish and can actually spend the kind of time a plainer takes to use, I simply use a utility knife and take off long thin layers, keeping the toes tightly squeezed together with my gloved hand until I see that the next layer would give me blood. Start at the heal and make sure your stroke is even, don't go from heal to toe in an upward motion or you will have does walking on their heels.

Alot of does grow their heels together, you can make verticle cuts with your hoof trimmers to cut out that buldge, so the heel and toe come together in the middle.

It's why I try to trim once a month, because then it is this tiny little manicure without a limping doe and blood. But trimming a little here and a little there is never going to get you back to what you want, a short, blocky hoof that is level with the coronary band.

Have your disbudding iron turned on for jobs like this, to immediatly stop any bleeders, and make sure the girls are up on the tetanus vaccinations. I would rather have a doe limping for a few days than walking around (especially your growing kids and pregnant yearlings) on jurrasic hoofs. On young doe it can ruin their legs.

And don't let anyone fool you, we all have had times in our lives where our goats feet are embarassing! Just get on top of them now. V

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

Already some great advice so I can't add much. But this is how I go about it.

Look at the front of the hoof and how it turns into the toe. If they are long, there is a point where it just starts to flare forward. If you have to do some drastic hoof trimming, try and follow the straight line and cut off the flare. Sometimes you can hold it up the light and see where it starts to get dark: that is the quick. Try to stay away from that. I start by cutting off the toe at a point where I think it will more or less match the line of the hoof in the front of the hoof, and yet stays in front of the quick. (Hope that makes sense!) Yes, sometimes you will quick them. Just do like Vicki says, have your disbudding iron there, or some blood stop, and put it on and say "I'm sorry" and life will be good again. Then I turn the hoof up and trim each of the toes even with the sole, and then I put the two hoofies together and even them up.

A carpenter's planing tool is a great suggestion. I use this thing called a rider's rasp http://www.ridersrasp.com/index.htm which is a handy dandy little tool for just taking off a small amount. Sometimes it won't take off the sole if it is really soft. (I live in an area where the humidity is typically 16%!!) So it might depend on where you live whether that works well. But it will certainly work on the hard hoof wall.

When I was a kid our farrier showed us how to trim goat hooves, and told us, "Just practice." I have found that to be good advice!

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

Something easier is to take a good goat hoof nipper and clip all extra wall, then take a good rasp, (I use a save edge or hellar ledgend from NCTOOL.Com, and rasp the hoof flat from heel to toe. Trim them on concrete to see if they are tipped up in front, etc. If so, take that rasp and hit it some more. No need to make blood. Often on overgrown hooves you'll see blood pockets which are bruises and contusions from being too long. You can usually rasp through them without creating bleeders. The iron being hot is a good thing. Trim every month. The rasp is your friend. With it, you'll rarely create bleeding because you can take small layers off at a time. Sharp is essential.
Good luck!

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Old 04-03-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

Thanks you all for the quick and informative reply's. I have come to the conclusion that this will have to be a series of corrective trims before we get to the hoof I want I did call a past president of WDGA who has a daughter that lives in the next town. She thought her daughter may be interested in giving a clinic to me and a few goat friends that live here. I am so excited. Just like disbudding I have never had anyone "show" me just do the best I can from pics & reading. Then a few weeks later I would haul them to the vet and have my mess surgically removed. This year I actually got a disbudding lesson and so far it has seriously paid off! Owning goats is a journey, not a destination!

~Anne

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Old 04-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

Watching someone do it is most certainly an easier way to learn than reading about it!

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Old 04-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

I'm sorry, I think perhaps I was misunderstood. When I said to trim a little at a time, I wanted to get across that when hooves are left unattended the blood vessels are up there and will bleed if trimmed too much when you begin to correct over-trimmed hooves. Also when I mentioned to look at the hoof when they are standing on it, I wanted to say what Vicki so nicely mentioned that the bottom of the hoof should be on a level plane with the top. (Coronary band?)

I knew I wouldn't say it right.
Sorry I messed up on what I was trying to say in my first post.

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Old 04-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

I too have a bit of trouble trying to convey my thoughts - whether out loud, in writing or online. Each format is missing something that the other format has but I think I understand/stood.

Thanks again everyone

~Anne

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Old 04-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hoof Trimming ??'s

Thank you.


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