There are many schools of thought regarding hoof care for goats. When goats live in rough, rocky climates, mother nature herself can tend to take care of some of the hoof care needs by breaking off and smoothing rough edges as goats move about. Here in Kansas, we provide a good trim whenever “it’s time”! Our goats are processed for various health care needs several times throughout the year, giving many opportunities for inspection. When goats and newborn kids are released from kidding pens in the fall, a good one-on-one inspection is given and hooves can be trimmed before release from the pen. In late winter and again early spring, everyone receives a CD&T toxoid vaccination. This second round is often coupled with deworming and administration of a Copasure bolus to the adults.
Mid summer calls for a look at eye membranes and determination as to whether to deworm again, with Copasure optional. Since we pride ourselves “multi-taskers” (or maybe we’re just tired), we try to combine hoof trimming with a slow work day. Younger kids won’t usually require much in the way of hoof trimming for at least a year or two.
When trimming, follow the natural lines of the hoof, trimming just a small amount of hoof with each cut. When using a good pair of hoof trimmers, hooves are quite easy to trim through, so there’s no need to go too deep at once. When you see that you are nearing the blood line, do not trim any further, as you are into the active, healthy tissue. Lori H