I do my goats’ nails. I call it goat pedicures.
Goat pedicures are an important part of goat care.
Not to the extreme – they don’t get to pick a color. But, I do trim them up and make them look pretty.
Trimming their hooves keep the goats healthy and from foundering.
Goat’s nails grow like our our human nails grow. Sometimes, they grow so much that the outer nail tends to grow around the hoof. This can make walking difficult for the goat.
Nutrients from minerals and protein based feeds along with genetics can cause goats’ hooves to grow in length. Basically, this growth is the edges of the hooves. Mud and other ground debris can get inside the hoof, so before you start, clean the hoof out. This will expose the amount of hoof you will need to cut.
This was one of the first skills I ever learned after we started raising goats.
Trimming the hooves are usually very easy to do. The goat you are trimming should be contained safely. We use a goat stand and restrain the head.
You can also have someone help you by holding the goat still.
How to perfect goat pedicures:
All you need is a sharp pair of trimmers. You can find hoof trimmers for goats at any farm store in your area. If you do cut too much and cause blood, Koppertox works great to protect the cut from infection.
Using the sharp trimmers, cut a little bit of hoof at a time until the hard outside hoof part (wall) is even with the center pad (sole). As you can see in the picture, you do cut the soft heal as well until the hoof is flat and the goat can stand easily.
Keeping your goat’s hooves neat and trim will help them to walk easily. It is a common practice we monitor so the herd goats can walk long distances to find their next meal and the show goats can stand square in the show ring.
After the goat’s hooves are uniformly shaped and they are standing square on their feet, they are ready to go back to their pen. You can paint their hooves with the green Koppertox is desired.
Unfortunately, Koppertox only comes in the color green.