Goat Hoof Trimming Day

Idk about the rest of you, but trimming hooves wears. Me. Out. Something about the physical resistance coupled with the mental focus required is exhausting.

I had a podcast playing on my phone to help me focus- I know… Makes no sense… – and still it took over an hour.

Granted, I’m much more confident doing it now than I had been the first time. I had no clue what to look for or how to trim to the correct length- what is too much, what is not enough.

But here are Miss Luna’s feet

Before

After

So the first time I trimmed up the girls, I actually marked their hooves with a black sharpie so I would know when to stop trimming and make sure that the hoof was parallel to the coronary band.

This time I didn’t need my sharpie lines.

You can sort of see in this picture that her feet are standing flat and the bottom of her hoof is parallel to the coronary band (the line where fur meets hoof) and her toes aren’t splayed wide or rolling out to the side.

We have the goats largely in our woods to help us maintain and clear brush. It works wonderfully, but the ground is too soft to wear down much of their hooves naturally. So it’s on us to make sure they stay trimmed and neat. It’s also fairly damp here in East Tennessee; we’re technically in a rainforest, (though not a tropical one) based on annual rainfall. So the danger for our goats is that they get crud trapped in their hooves if they become overgrown and hoof rot, injury, or what have you can set in.

It had actually been longer than I’d prefer since their last trimming. I like to operate on an every 2-4 week schedule. And it was more like 4 or 6 weeks. So, my apologies, goats.

So that got done today.

Here’s a look at how they’ve done clearing for us

This is our back treeline. We started them on the right most side and are gradually moving them east (left).

They worked over here for about a week

And we’ve had them here for about 2 or 3 days.

This is where they will be moved in another 2 days or so.

The longest we’ve kept them in one spot is a week, and then we move them so as to keep a rotational grazing system going. So they have eaten a TON of kudzu and seem to love it as well as sassafrass and maple saplings, and hooray for us- they eat up poison ivy.

This is the first time I’ve ever been able to see through the treeline. I figure I’ll let them eat all they want to of it before autumn really hits and all the leaves drop.

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