Thursday, May 27, 2010

How to trim a goat's hooves.

1. Gather your tools. Hoof rot shears and a hoof knife work ok, but I prefer a pair of wire cutters and an old horse hoof file.


2. Put on sturdy gloves if you are going to use a file or knife.

3. Decide how to restrain your goat. Being as how i do not yet have a milking stand this means holding on to them by a leash while i trim their feet.

4. Catch goat. I recommend not carrying your trimming tools with you because a) goats are smarter than they look and they will KNOW and b) if you do catch them with your hands full of tools and they figure out what you are up to they may use the tools against you.

5. Take goat somewhere that other goats can't get to you, otherwise your buck may think you are holding the doe still so he can romance her, or the other does may think the one you are working on is getting special attention and try to head butt her into next year.

6. Pick out any dirt or crud and take a good look at the hoof. If it has been kept up with much at all it should look sorta like it has a long toe nail around the edge. Just clip this off like you would your finger nail using the wire cutters.

7. After goat snatches her foot away and sends your wire cutters across the yard go retrieve your tools and pick up her foot again.

8. Pull the tail of your shirt out of the goat's mouth.

9. Pick the foot back up.

10.Remove both of the goats front feet from where they are tangled in your shirt after she reared up and tried to climb you.

11. Retrieve wire cutters from half way across the yard.

12. Pick up goat's foot again.

13. Trim hoof.


*image found on internet in several places, if you know where it came from please let me know so i can give credit where credit is due!!*

14. Use file to smooth edges.

15. Lift goat's belly off of the file and remove it from underneath where she laid down on it in protest.

16. Finish using file to smooth edges.

17. Move to next foot and pick foot up.

18. Hold on while goat rapidly kicks and spins in circles trying to get foot away.

19. Catch goat.

20. Retrieve tools from several areas in the yard.

21. Pick up foot again.

22. Repeat steps 18 to 21.

23. Repeat steps 13 to 17.

24. Attempt to get goat back on it's feet.

25. Give up and trim remaining two feet while goat lays in it's side screaming like you are skinning it alive.

26. Return goat to pen, and catch next goat.

27. Repeat steps 5 through 26 until no goats remain.

28. Store tools someplace where they won't get rusted.

29. Apply ice to shins where goat kicked you during steps 7, 10 and 18.

30. Apply antibiotic and Band-Aids to places where your file or hoof knife went through your gloves during those same steps.

31. Administer strong spirits internally (to yourself, though you can share with the goats if you really want to. I prefer rum and I prefer to keep it to myself because after all that I am not convinced they deserve to share it).

32. Repeat every 2 to 4 weeks.

Special note: Choose a place where your other animals can't see you. They will encourage the goat and mock you given the chance. This also applies to spouses and children. Especially if they have a camera in their cell phone.

I'm convinced my horses are still laughing at me. The goats are, too.



  1. I love how my good big wire cutters have been claimed for goat hoof trimming. :)

  2. They work great, too! *MUAH!*

  3. I'm late to the party here, but your final step should be:

    Buy or build a milk stand, trims hooves in relative ease!


  4. I enjoyed the humor, thank you.