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Trimming Hooves
11 years ago
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For instructions on trimming with pictures go the following link

Onion Creek

Many foot and leg problems in goats are either caused by a lack of trimming or improper trimming techniques. The amount of time between trimmings depends on many factors, such as type of terrain, the goat's age, level of activity, nutritional level and even breed. Goats raised in relative confinement and on small acreages may also require more frequent trimmings than goats raised in vast pastures. Generally, foot trimming should be done on an as needed basis. Once you become familiar with how the hoof is supposed to look, this will become obvious to you. A properly trimmed hoof should look like that of a newborn kid.

The tools for hoof trimming include: gloves, a set of hoof shears and a hoof knife, both with sharp edges. Optional items include: a rasp, some iodine, turpentine, copper sulfate, and a blood stop product.

It is always easier to trim feet after the goats have been outside in wet grass, as the moisture is taken in by the hoof walls, making them softer and easier to trim. There are also commercial preparations that may be used to harden or soften the hoof if one feels that this is necessary.

There are several ways of holding or restraining a goat in order to care for hooves. The best method is whatever works well for your particular situation. One method is to place the goat on a milking stand.

(here is a link to milk stanchions you can build)

There are two on this page. Scroll down under the pvc stand for the Wood Goat Milking Stand

However, most meat and mohair goat producers do not have access to a milking stand nor would their stock stand quietly when placed on such a stand. Therefore, a more practical method might be to merely tie the goat to a post or fence with a halter or have someone hold the goat while the feet are being trimmed.

 (I tie mine up in the stall. This way I have a wall I can lean my body against their body, so they are pinned against the wall. I trim one side, turn them around and then do the other side. You can probably trim this way against a sturdy wood fence too)

Hold the goat's feet in the same fashion as a farrier works on a horse. Another method that can be used involves placing the goat between one's legs in the same position used for shearing; that is, the animal is in an upright sitting position. This method has the advantage that if the trimmer must work alone without the aid of a milkstand, he/she still can restrain goats better than when they are tied somewhere but do not like to stand still. This method works best with angora and mohair type goats, since they are shorn in this position, however; dairy and meat goats unused to this position may fight quite a bit.

(Another method if you have someone to help, is to have the person sit in a chair or on a stool, put the goat ‘over” their lap. They can securely hold onto the goat [it helps to have their halters on] as you trim.)

The first step in trimming is to clean off the foot, so that it is free of dirt, stones, rot and manure. Besides being easier to see and more pleasant to handle, a clean foot will not dull a knife's edge as fast as a dirty foot. The next step is to remove any rim or excess growth from the walls of the foot. The wall may have grown and folded back under the foot. In this case some of the overlapped toe will have to be cut back so that the rim of the wall can be removed properly. The trimming of the wall and toe should be done with the shears, while the heel and sole can best be cut with a hoof knife. When using a hoof knife, always cut away from the goat and yourself. The sole should be trimmed down in thin slices until the heel, sole and wall form a flat surface upon which the goat should stand at a correct angle of about 45o. Stop trimmingas soon as the sole begins to appear a pinkish color. Any further trimming goes into the ''quick'' and the foot will begin to bleed. In that case, a disinfectant such as iodine should be used. Turpentine will harden the sole and may also be helpful. In many cases, the weight of the goat itself will put pressure on the cut and stop the bleeding.

If the goat's feet have been neglected for some time, and the toes are very long it is usually not practical to try to bring them back to normal in one trimming. It is generally better to trim the feet a little, then gradually bring them back to proper shape, size and angle with frequent trimmings. A general rule to keep in mind about trimming goat's feet is that the hoof's hairline should be almost parallel to the ground and the more often trimming is done the less time and energy per trimming it takes, and the more well behaved the goats will be during the trimming. Also, there is a smaller chance of the goat developing foot problems such as hoof rot if the owner is working with the goat's feet regularly and frequently.

One of the most common problems is the development of foot rot. This disease is caused by a mixed infection of two bacteria, Fusobacterium necrophorum and Bacteroides nodosus, which are brought into an area by way of contaminated feet. Wet soils and filth increase the possibility of disease outbreaks. Also, injuries to the feet enhance the transmission of foot rot, although it usually does not occur when the soil temperature is less than 40 degrees F (4.5 degrees C). Generally, this disease starts as an inflammation between the toes of the foot, later spreading under the horn. As it continues, it causes a separation between horn and skin, causing varying degrees of pain and lameness.

The foot rot bacteria require an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment to survive. Therefore, in order to correct this problem, the hoof must be trimmed back to the point of separation so that the area will be exposed to the air. This also rids the hoof of a potential "pocket" in which dirt and manure could contribute to an anaerobic environment. The foot is then treated with antibiotic spray, or soaked in a 10% formalin, copper sulfate or zinc sulfate solution and kept off contaminated fields or muddy yards for at least two weeks to avoid re-infection. A walk­through foot bath filled with saturated copper sulfate or zinc sulfate solution will also aid in maintaining sound, healthy feet; provided the foot bath is kept free of contamination from manure, rain and run­off.

An added benefit to proper hoof trimming is that some foot and leg problems can be ''cured'' by corrective trimming. If the hind legs are postlegged or too straight, leaving the toes a little long may help give the leg more angle. Vice­versa, a sickle­hocked leg will benefit from trimming the toes short to a greater than 450 angle. If the legs toe out, trimming the total inner claw shorter and lower on each foot will help. If hooves have spread claws, then cutting the inner walls more than the outer walls, is good corrective hoof trimming, provided it is done frequently and in short intervals. (Excerpt taken from Goatworld)

We have wood benches the goats climb on, [ or you can make a wooden ‘frame’ of wide ( 2X10 planks) for the goats to run up and down on ]…..then cover these with asphalt shingles, (we had left over roof shingles from our chicken coop built last year)  this helps pare down the hooves also.  Since using the shingles, I don’t have to trim nearly as often, in fact I think I can go about twice as long as I have had to prior to using shingles. Of course we allow our goats to come up to (and in) the house, so we have shingles nailed down on the steps of the porch also.

To purchase trimmers, rasps, planers and other hoof trimming supplies go to this link



Blood Stop and Iodine

11 years ago

WOW Sharon... what a great, in depth write up about trimming goats' hooves.  You left out one important part of the story, however....

HOW to catch the rest of the goats once they get wind of the fact you're "working" on the first one!!

My herd was smart. They saw us catch one for whatever reason, and the rest became quite difficult to convince that the procedure was for their own good.  We came to call "Hoove trimming" our "Goat Rodeo" day!  We also would double up everything else that needed to be done once we caught them:  Any necessary shots, and their wormer stuff.  No use going thru the rodeo part too often.  We had to get smart and use extra loose fencing to box them into one end of their pen - thus less space for them to run away from us.  

I have an older son who came to visit us on one Goat Rodeo weekend and he said he'd help... after all? How hard could it be.  I laughed myself silly at this 6'2" young man getting constantly outsmarted by the 4 legged critters.  I still wish I had a video of that day

11 years ago

Ha ha ha aren't 'kidding' when you say the others are alerted to 'something going on'. I bet the one you caught was bleating its head off.....definite signal to the others they might want to make themselves scarce. lol

I usually put their halters on as they have their heads in their feeders, keep them in the stalls, which are not that large, until I've completed trimming. But it appears to me many of you have large wire pens instead of individual stalls. That would surely make it more difficult to round them up, especially if you have a good size herd. I only have 6 at the moment.

If you have a larger herd, then it only makes sense to do all the other necessary work.....worming, shots etc. at the same time. Mine, however, are easy. lol You just have to shake food in a feeder and they come running into the stalls where they are 'trapped'. Of course, if I am having the vet out, I need to do this before he arrives because the little buggers know him and his truck on sight, hide under the porch and are not very cooperative.

11 years ago

I had a herd of 18 at the most...  16 were permanant until I had to sell them down to my favorite 3.  The 2 were kids adopted by my neighbor, who took in my favorite 3, plus another kid that was born. Her herd became 8 when she took mine in.  I love it because she still keeps me informed on how spoiled they are and what kind of tricks they're up to lately. 


What a wonderful idea
11 years ago
We have ramps for our goats to run on.  I never thought about putting roofing on them to help with their hoofs.  Its make sense but I never thought about it.  I used to paint the ramps and pour sand on them before the paint dried.  That helpped but the sand never lasted very long.  I can't wait to fix their ramps.  Thanks for the wonderful idea.
Catching a goat
11 years ago
Our goats sit on my lap while my husband cuts hoofs.  The best part of the whole event is watching him catch Larverne when its her turn.  She always lets him get really close and then takes off.  He always makes up his mind she's not going to win, the rest of us (the goats and me) just love watching the show. 
Love the shingle idea
11 years ago
Do you ever have a problem with the goats eating/nibbling on them?  That would be my one concern about that, but if they don't... !!

When I had a stanchion, I used that for trimming, and fed some grain at the same time, which at least got them happy about being caught. ;>D
I used a lino knife and rose trimmers, which worked pretty well.  The lino knife is that curved claw of a blade, which really helped with leverage on tougher hooves, and could be used as a pick, too.  The rose trimmers (or metal snips) were available locally, so that's what I used.  One goat, dear Shezzam, had a tendancy towards hoof-rot, but it never got out of hand, even without chemicals.  I just kept her trimmed.

Great tutorial, though!!
11 years ago
So far none of the goats has nibbled on any of the shingles, but I don't guarantee that will be the case with every one of your goats. Some goats might like the taste of asphalt. One of my babies did like to eat the creasote off one pole that was here when we bought the farm. NOT A GOOD THING. So we removed it, but she didn't seem adversely affected by that. One thing you may have to watch out for is if you nail them down to wood ramps, steps or what have you, to periodically check (actually I do this everyday) to be sure none of the nails is coming up loose. Don't want a chance of them ingesting a nail. But other than that, the shingles have worked great for us. Maybe you can glue them down using whatever they use to tack down outdoor carpeting.
11 years ago

Oh and yes!!! a stanchion!!! that would be a dream lol. I have to get my boyfriend to build one soon. (in fact I emailed him the stanchion links....hint hint)  Even though I do tie them in the stall and let them eat out of a feeder as I trim, it is murder on the back. Something which a stanchion would remedy! NO BENDING OVER! that would be wonderful!!

Spa night
11 years ago
We call hoof trimming night "Spa Night".  The goats come in one by one, have their feet soaked in peppermint and rosemary.  They drink peppermint tea and munch on apples.  The girls love spa night and don't fight hoof trimming.  They line up on the back porch and look in the window until its their turn.  I love rubbing thier knees with my homemade joint rub.  I think the night is more special to me than them. 
11 years ago
Oh Michele, you kill me!!! I wish I could make hoof trimming a "spa night" for my babies, but they don't really like peppermint 'tea' although they will eat loose tea leaves (regular black, green and many herbal teas) and only one really likes 'apples'....although they ALL like to eat our apple tree's leaves and branches. And even if I COULD get them to stand still while they eat...once they gobble their food down, they get antsy and quit cooperating!!! Little brats. The only thing they really stand in line for is to get brushed, petted and loved on. I would include 'treats' but they don't really stand in line but rather take turns jumping up on me to get their portion!! LOL 
hoofs and spa night
10 years ago
We bring the goats in one at a time and they lay accross a chair (cushioned of course).  They get their feet soaked in warm water with tea tree oil.  We clip their hoofs then use a small hand sander to do the final foot treatment.  Of course apples and warm peppermint tea is served.
10 years ago

Lino knife! I hadn't thought of that! I have been looking for a knife to use, as my goat has hoof issues, and I must cut his hoof back well in areas according to my veterinarian. It is impossible to do it correctly with just shears. Why I didn't ask where he got his knife, well I was too busy watching just what he was doing, I suppose. Since, I haven't found a knife that was sharp enough to cut and feel like I had enough control. 

I too use garden shears. I tried hoof trimming shears when I was taught how to trim the hooves when I adopted one of my goats. They were big and awkward in my hands. I have found I have more control with the garden shears I bought.

The goat I have to do most often tries to sit on me. The easiest time I have had is when I have gotten him to lie on his side. OH, so much better than his 150 - 175 pound body trying to rest on me! He other favorite thing is of course turn his head and rub me, poking me with his horns. Tennis balls or dog toys help with that. I haven't found a solution for something permanent to protect his friend from those horns. They are too big for the garden hose. I must think of something else!

Welcome Dorothy!
10 years ago

The goat I have to do most often tries to sit on me.

Ha ha....I know just what you mean. Some of mine are such babies, they always sat on me when small, now they have grown they still want to be mamas baby!!

Yes, defintiely way easier trimming hooves whn they lie on their side, but mine don't always want to be still for that. Impatient to be off playing or whatever.

If your boys horns are too big for garden hose there may be some kind of rubber tubing/hose at the hardware/Lowes/Home Depot with a larger diameter you can use. Or I am sure there are larger rubber hoses/nipples/fittings etc to be found at the automotive store! But I would still securely duct tape any 'hose' you use to the horns, otherwise you'll be replacing them when your goat rubs them off!

Is he the only goat you have?? Have you considered another goat rescue as a buddy?? What breed is he and color etc?? (pics??)

My goats friend
10 years ago

He is a Saanen (sp?) that I got from a shelter and a few months later I returned to take home a Toggenburg that had been there for a year and was not a very good adoption candidate.

I will tell you more than you ever would like to hear about them later!

They also have a horse that lives with them, though they have an area they can escape to when they want to go to bed or relax in the sun etc. without his company. They goats and horse have bonded very closely, more so than I expected.


10 years ago

"I will tell you more than you ever would like to hear about them later!"

LOL....Dorothy, brag to your hearts content! We all love our goats and could fill pages with stories! Love to hear some of yours!

goat hoof triming
10 years ago
I'm sending you a couple pixs of goat triming. This is Thelma and she loves being whilpooled before triming.  A dish of fruit helps too.
Thema soaking
10 years ago
thelma soaking2
The proper way to soak a goats feet on spa night
10 years ago
thema soaking
Thelma falls to sleep during soak
10 years ago
resting during soaking.jpg
10 years ago

That is soooo hilarious I almost died laughing. You sure work some miracles with your babies. I could never in a million years get mine to stick their hooves in water, leave them there and 'like' it.

Those pics are priceless.

Todays Test of the Linoleum Knife
10 years ago

The linoleum knife worked great with my goat with the problem hooves! I have the areas of separation cut back as well as the veterinarian had shown me, when he did it. 

My boyfriend had brought home the knife for me and I was so excited to attack those hooves that I went ahead on my own, with no assitance. I have a 3 point tattoo from pokes of a goat horn. I saw Thelmas covers for her horns. He gets those before next time. He doesn't even do it very meanly! Just rubs.

I finally have to do the Toggenberg. He had been abused before I got him. THAT IS GOING TO BE LIKE DOING 20 GOATS IN ONE! It took 3 people holding him, for one person to do the feet before I took him home. At the shelter they would not allow you to adopt a goat until they were happy with your ability to trim the hooves. Thank goodness I am used to hanging onto naughty horse hooves that want to get away!

He is neurotic in many ways. I have helped him greatly and assisted in him gaining new behaviours that never existed when he FEARED humans greatly. He exists, more so than any goat, to escape (when his soft hearted mother his out). It is not so exciting when the straight arrowed boyfriend is feeding etc. It is even too hard to eat many times if I am too close to the gate. He has to concentrate on being close enough to do his bolt for freedom. Now when free, he won't leave sight of the gate. Not 10 or 20 feet of it, depending upon the direction. When he has gotten out on his own, he has come to the kitchen door. That is where he wants me to go when he gets out. How do you out run, out smart a goat that spent the first 5 or so years of his life avoiding humans because they were mean to him? He got Twizzlers one day from the kitchen. He saw the Twizzlers come out that door. Now he does EVERYTHING to avoid being caught until he gets a TWizzler, for which he will nicely (like a drug addict) follow you  back into the paddock. Heaven forbid someone stands inbetween him and the kitchen door, except for me and my boyfriend. I suppose I should stop giving him the Twizzlers to get him into the paddock. I am a sucker. I look at him and think, "oh you had such a horrible life, and here you just live for running for the kitchen and getting me to go in and get you that Twizzler."


10 years ago

Dorothy, so glad the lino knife works great for you. I use shears and it is not hard except on my back! LOL i am having my boyfriend make me a stanchion this spring so I won't have to bend over so far to trim hooves! Yippeeee!

I feel for your poor Toggenberg, but he's a lucky goat now with you as his new mommie. I acquired 3 goats that weren't really 'abused' but the children always chased them and when i got them they were terrified if i came anywhere near their circle of comfort (about a 20 foot radius!!)

It took me a year to completely earn their trust. i wasn't going to press the issue. I figured they should learn to trust me on their own schedule. I can now pet, trim hooves, even gently reprimand when necessary and they no longer fear me. Took awhile....but well worth the wait. Certainly wasn't due to lack of treats though! At first, they learned to come snatch the treats then run away! But now they are so friendly they practically knock me down for handouts! LOL

And no you are not 'a sucker'. Poor boy did have a horrible life, and deserves all the Twizzlers you can give him! He needs some joy in life and sounds like he'll come around eventually. How long have you had him?

Mr. Twizzler
10 years ago

I have had him maybe 2 years now? He follows me everywhere. Did so very soon after I got him. He totally thrived on the consistency and routine of his surroundings. Any upset and he would get upset.

He lets me pet him, and did fairly quickly, in fact did so at the shelter when I spent about 45 minutes sitting quietly near him the day my sister was adopting "Goatee" (who is  now mine lol).

HE HATES TO BE "CAUGHT" PHYSICALLY.  Whether on a collar or halter. He hates his coat put on, though sincerely shows comfort when it is on and does not try to rub it off or panic in anyway once it is on. It goes over his head and has two straps underneath.

I am fairly strong, though he is a big goat. Without perfect traction (the right shoes and no mud or snow or ice etc.) he can pull me over. He isn't doing it being stubborn, it is panic when he does it.

On the other hand, just following me, he "panics" if we are outside of his paddock (without his buddy of course!) and I am not close enough. That mental leed or fence is better than a physical one. When flowers aren't in bloom or starting in the spring, he can come out with me when I am doing things around the yard.

If I am extremely patient (and I am on my own) I can "trick" him by putting a leed in a big circle over his neck as quietly and quick as can be while he eats his Twizzler or latest MOST FAVORITE TREAT. It must be at the first bite when he is in bliss. Then it is a drag back to the barn.

Goatee on the other hand did a Christmas parade, being led around through a town a mile or more with motorized little kids cars behind him and all sorts of things going on in front and people all around the streets. I think there is a picture of him in his costume from that day on my profile-account page.

I promised myself I would work on their distruction of the gate that I started yesterday and other barn projects. 

My boyfriend is a finish carpenter. He can do anything of this sort about 20x as fast as me. He went snowboarding today. ahhhhh

All of the tools have every safety device removed and are heavy duty construction ones that he thinks I will drop on my feet etc. once they have cut the wood I need.

Maybe I will go start now and he will help a little when he gets home in order to spare his tools.  


I am wondering what are others best escape stories?


10 years ago

He totally thrived on the consistency and routine of his surroundings. Any upset and he would get upset.

Yup, goats are truly creatures of habit and are very cognizant of their surroundings. Anything new or different and they are suspicious and even get a little distressed. Could be as simple as a new water bucket of a different color, or moving an object from one place to another.

Mine can tell the difference between my truck and my boyfriends car and they KNOW who the driver of each 'should' be. It really throws them when they see me get out of the driver's side of my boyfriends car whenever I use it . LOL They'll look at me/car then look at my truck and back at me as if to say what are you doing in that car? You belong in the truck! It is funny.

HE HATES TO BE "CAUGHT" PHYSICALLY....He hates his coat put on

Most goats do not like to be caught or restrained in any way, even very tame ones. Possibly because some associate being caught with trimming hooves, worming/shots or other less then pleasant events. But I think it is the nature of goats to go into 'flight' mode since wild goats do whenever their is potential danger or predators.

I have to trick catch mine too. When they are preoccupied eating with their head in a feeder I have to halter mine with lightning speed! As for the coat thing, when i have had to blanket mine (which is rarely unless it's super windy and sub-zero temps), they definitely do not like the 'putting the coat on' process, but they like their coats once they are on.

I am fairly strong, though he is a big goat. Without perfect traction (the right shoes and no mud or snow or ice etc.) he can pull me over.

Ditto on that. Sure I can throw around 70 pound bales of hay with ease, but it is a different story when it comes to dealing with two of my goats who are half Boer and weigh a good 150 pounds each.!! Soooo much easier once they are haltered.....but sometimes getting them haltered is most of the struggle!

he "panics" if we are outside of his paddock (without his buddy of course!) and I am not close enough.

Poor boy gets out of his safe zone all alone! Gotta be scary for him!

Goatee on the other hand did a Christmas parade, being led around through a town a mile or more with motorized little kids cars behind him and all sorts of things going on in front and people all around the streets.

He sounds like a real people friendly, attention seeking goat  He probably loves all the fuss.

All of the tools have every safety device removed and are heavy duty construction ones that he thinks I will drop on my feet etc.

My guy is a mechanical engineer who does woodworking on the side. The problem is he is really into this one computer game he plays every second he isn't at the stanchion I want him to make....yeah....I'll probably end up making it myself! I am no stranger to tools. I have made several items of furniture and helped my uncle remodel his bar. Of course, that was before I got goats and other animals, run a rescue and do wildlife rehab. Now i don't have time for hobbies outside of the goats/animals! But that's OK. I love my babies. 


Escape stories? Our entire property is fenced solid, so no way the goats can get out unless they jump over. 4 1/2 foot high and we have all Pygmys (except the two half Pygmy/Boer) They have never shown any inclination to go over. (I should never say never!)

The bottom rung of the fence is low enough (and the wood fence is also re-enforced with wire fencing) they can't go under. hmmmm.....some of my goats know how to unlatch the i had to install another latch on the OTHER SIDE of the gate that they can't reach! Haven't really had any 'escapes'. The goats have it too easy here LOL.

Oh wait, when i first got Piddles, I was out in the garden and she was so small she snuck through the fence (which has since been replaced) and wandered around the ditch. I about had a heart attack. Had to hop the fence and grab her before she decided to run across the road.

The only other escape was due to the boyfriends absent-mindedness. He came home from work and forgot to close the big gate by the road! I later heard honking and looked out to see Piddles already in the middle of the road and Buddy making his way out! Luckily it was the neighbor guy so he got out and helped me shoo them back in. I hate to think what could have happened. Sometimes cars fly down this road 60 MPH or more. And the farm across the road has YEWS, RHODODENDRONS and other poisonous plants in their landscaping.

Anyway, tthat whole problem has been remedied. We fenced the drive and the big gate off from the goats, so they aren't able to get anywhere near the road anymore. I sleep easier now not having to worry and no linger having to monitor when my boyfriend comes home making sure he closes the gate behind him!

sending plants to neighbors and more
10 years ago

A few bushes from my home, found new homes where the goats could not get them even if they get out.

My fencing is 6 foot post and rail, lined with electric tape for the horse and to keep it from being eaten and when the goats came wire mesh was added from the GROUND UP.

They had a large wooden cable holder, the round ones you see cable companies and electric companies rolling wire off of. It was SO VERY VERY VERY far from their gate. They pushed it to the gate so they could reach the top hook with their mouth. Trooper is the intelligent hook, door handle, s snap etc. opener.

There was a door to the garage, a regular door, off the side of the paddock they can get into though the horse can't. Trooper broke the lock on one handle. WE installed a new one and new wood around the lock when he bashed it in. We gave up on the door there when he just bashed the whole door down after he realized that that was an opening to the fun garage, where he can get another door open to then come to the kitchen door, and just put up a nearly solid partition. The garage is mostly animal supplies, so I still can toss rakes etc in and shavings etc. out.

I often found my horses stall door open. He has two stalls in a shed row. There are two doors in each. I keep one door open in each and the other shut. If both doors are open he can get into the goats, horse free zone. I caught Trooper opening the bolts on his stall doors. It stopped on its own. I think he realized that Ted, the horse, would eventually come from his paddock and then enter his "home". He would take a fit and panic when he was in there and take off for the other side of the paddock. Goatee would call me, in his "things aren't right, come fix them" tone.

There is no way they can ever get stuck any where, even if they open a stall door etc. There is a long section of eledtric tape they run under though Ted can't, which they use to go in and out of the big paddock. Ted is now so attached to them that he calls and calls to them if I take one of them out. Goatee has even gotten so brave as to try and sneak bits of TEd's grain on nice days when Ted is fed in the paddock. Trooper wouldn't dare. He is much more cautious!

When I said Trooper panics if he is away from me outside the paddock, it is more that he makes sure he stays with me. I don't leave him, without calling him to follow and he comes. When I let him out, he knows we are having our "private time". For instance last night, I tied Goatee while he ate. I put him on a panic bolt that is old and gives away easy. Also I am within 10 feet of him and he is in my view. He doesn't panic if he finds himself stuck. He stands still, like a statue. Then if you assist him, he shakes and walks off, almost embaressed. Trooper I would NEVER TIE TO ANYTHING FOR A MINUTE! I think Goatee must have been taught to tied during the summer animal camp for kids at the ASPCA he grew up at as a baby.

Last night, Trooper came out with me as I worked on the gate. I tried locking him in the dog area, where he was just 2 feet from me. He was terribly upset. So I let him free and he just stayed happily by myside, so content. If I went to the garage, he followed and waited at the door and followed me back. He loves doing anything with me. He was quite suspicious of the wire going up on the gate though. My boyfriend fed this a.m.,  I don't want to face Trooper. Rediculous, but I feel like he will know I am the one that ruined his ability to put his head through the post and rail gate (where he has spent 2 years working on the old wire).

I never Goatee out with Trooper and I. Trooper will have another choice for a "safety" pal.

Ted's farrier has to come soon. I have have him do Trooper's hooves, while I hold him with Twizzlers (if possible). Other farriers haven't wanted to do goats, but he did Goatee before. Troopers feet are really tough and his tools he has for horse feet would make it go really quick! The best for my poor Trooper.


10 years ago

They had a large wooden cable holder, the round ones you see cable companies and electric companies rolling wire off of. It was SO VERY VERY VERY far from their gate. They pushed it to the gate so they could reach the top hook with their mouth. Trooper is the intelligent hook, door handle, s snap etc. opener.

It never ceases to amaze me the level of a goat's intelligence. Sometimes they are too smart for their own good, the little snots. I know mine watch me intently when i am doing something (like opening up things in particular) I just KNOW their little minds are working, figuring.......calculating..........

Trimming the hooves...
9 years ago
Hello.  My husband and I are new to the goat business.  We went to an auction and I bought a goat as a pet.  We soon discovered that it is better if he had friends and now we have a small herd...The problem is that we have a difficult time trimming their hooves.  The "milk stand" is a good idea.  Does anyone have a step by step procedure to build one?  We have tried everything, but they refuse to stand still, lie still, or be held up to the side of the barn.  Help.

9 years ago
I'm not sure how heavy your goats are.  When we get a new goat we put the goat accross my lap and I calm it while Alan trims the hoofs.  After a few times they cooperate by laying accross a chair while their hoofs are being done.  I found a bowl of fresh veggies in front of them help. thelma and apples
9 years ago

Here are a few websites that have plans to build your own milk stanchion.

It takes time and patience to get some goats to relax enough to trim their hooves. Most goats don't like being restrained/held for trimming hooves, shots, worming etc. Mine stand still for it now, although it was a real fight in the beginning. I like Michele's Spa Night idea.....but my goats wouldn't stand it if i stuck their feet in water!! Still is a cute pic of THelma with her hooves in the whirlpool!!

goat hooves
9 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions.  Food does work for the older ones, but the youngs one don't want anything to do with it.  Will try the goat stand and see if it works.

8 years ago

Thanks for all the info on hoof trimming.  Having had a horse I know what the cost can be, but I am glad to hear that you can trim goat hooves yourself if you learn how. 

I guess the lesson here is to start training the goats right away that getting their hooves trimmed is a fun thing to do!!!  I love the goats soaking their feet.  That is a great example of treating them exactly how you want them to act.  I've seen a lot of people with not so smart pets and when you pay more attention you realize that they expect the pet to be dumb so it is!!!! And vice-versa!

fainting due to trimming!
8 years ago

  God was good to me!  My 225lb wether Ezra passes out when he gets trimmed.  Then it hits him, that he truly is in no harm, then lies back and chews his cud, letting me get on with it. 

Hoof trimming is not one of my favorite chores!

8 years ago

Wow! HI!!  I am soooo enjoying reading all these posts!  We have had goats for about 2 yrs now.  We raise & sell pets only.  Ours Does are Pygmies & our Buck is a Nigerian Dwarf who is naturally polled (no horns) he threw 5 out of 6 polled kidds!!  Just recently sold 2 sets of twins - our first sales - I didn't cry, which really surprised me - lol!!  We bring them in our home every night for the first few weeks & even bring them visiting Grandma & Grandpa & GiGi, so they are really people friendly goats.  Gotta love em!!

Anyway - back on topic - sorry - lol!  I try to start out the trimming as soon as possible with the kidds, even if they don't need it - just handling the feet - just to try to get them comfortable with it all.  I lay them across my lap & just hug & trim.  Haven't had much luck with my older ones - they weren't babied when young & were all over 6 months when we got them.  I try but it's WORK.  We have concrete blocks around that they can jump & play on & it helps them trim their own too.  I plan to get some concrete steps - like they use on mobile homes sometimes - they just love playing around & jumping!  Ours have even used my son's Little Tikes slide!!  Too funny!!

I have a question....can you trim too much off the heel?  I am OK with the rest but leary to trim the heel too much.  Especially the younger ones that have such soft heels.

Thanks so much for all this - I am SOOOO glad to find this group!!  Working on my page to put photos up, too!  OK I will stop for now - lol!!

8 years ago

yes too much can be trimmed off the hoof. Actually, the hoof heel acts as a cushion so you do want 'some' padding there. You see this heel 'padding' even on your youngest kids hooves since goats are born with it. Trim the toes first as they grow the fastest. You only want to trim enough off the heel so that the bottom of the hoof and the hairline above the hoof are level as shown in the illustration below. In other words, the hoof's hairline should be nearly parallel to the ground.


If you trim too much off the toes or heel the line will be at the wrong angle. This can lead to walking on the pasterns or other problems and lameness. The angle should not be like a horses. Goat hooves are different.


 You can also trim the dewclaws a little at a time if they are getting too long.