Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Goats 101 again.  I am still struggling with this.  I still have too much hoof in depth or so it seems.  How much can I safely cut off at one time?  I dont seem to have enough strength in my hands to get a good bite by holding the clippers flat against the bottom of the hoof.  I have kept the side walls trimmed and the heel, but never have gotten the front end of the hoof cut to the "parallel" line with the back of the hoof.  One of the does is kind of standing down on her pasterns.  Any suggestions?  Sometimes they kind of look like a crescent moon on the bottom.  Room day an actual video on hoof trimming would be awesome!!!  There are some on youtube - but they arent very good most of the goats have walls that are completed covering the bottom of the hoof - yikes.

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bottom of hoof - see the side edge of the heel?  how do I get that so she is standing flat on it??  yep, I'm frustrated.  If only I could trim it in that position I might have better luck.  when she is standing and I am holding her foot - it doesnt look that profound.
see in the last pic how the outside section of the hoof is like turned out?  this isnt too bad but that I dont know how to address either.  Or maybe I dont need to.... ?  But the real problem is the hoof that has a heel with no flat portion.

I think you can cut until you see pink, at least that is what I do.  Just do small cuts and not huge chunks so you can see when it starts to turn pink.

Deborah, do you trim the dew claw or the heel?

I don't trim the dew claws, and I rarely touch the heel. I only cut off excess hoof material, and there isn't usually much excess heel. I'm nowhere close to being an expert on hooves though. I just don't want them to have excess growth that curls under the hoof because then their feet slide around on the milk stand, and they can accidentally kick over the milk bucket. So I approach it from a pretty practical standpoint. Since they're on pasture all the time, and it is far from level, I doubt they notice if their hooves are not perfectly square. At least, I hope that's the case. My oldest is now 12, and she's still walking around.

Kare at Chaverah Farm said:

I think you can cut until you see pink, at least that is what I do.  Just do small cuts and not huge chunks so you can see when it starts to turn pink.

Deborah, do you trim the dew claw or the heel?

I have to say I agree with Deborah.  The hooves look very nice.  I don't think it's your trimming that's at fault.

I haven't read that anyone's said anything about a hoof plane.  I LOVE my hoof plane.  I find that after trimming the hoof wall I can very easily get a nice flat, level surface with the plane.  It's great for taking off only a bit at a time, and eases my mind as far as causing bleeding.

when you say hoof plane - do you mean a flat instrument or the rasp?

Here's a link to the one I purchased.


I have a doe that I got this summer who had a bad trim that took off too much heel.  It was very uneven, and she would rock back on the heel and stand on that.  That  seemed to wear off more heel and let the toe grow more.  I've done about four or five corrective trimmings, using the hoof plane to plane what was supposed to be the bottom of the hoof as flat and smooth as I could.  It's finally getting there.  She's not "rocking" now, at least.  She's got a pretty firm footing and the heel is growing out.  I haven't cut hardly any heel.   She also has white hooves, and it does seem that the white hooves are softer.  I have another doe with a couple of white hooves.  All the white hooves seem softer and the back of the hoof seems to grow over the heel in a strange way.   If you cut away all of that growth, I think it would be too much.   I think that's what happened before I got her.  I don't know if this helps at all.  It's hard to describe in words, and I'm pretty new at all of it.

Melissa Johnson said:

I have been trying to "see" just how this all works.  I am noticing that the heel seems to wrap around back to toward front of the toe.  I read recently that you should make your cut in trimming the heel sideways.  not back to front as I have read.  I also read that people tend to cut the heel too short which makes the goat down on his pasterns.  And have also read that if the heel is over grown is makes the foot rock back.  I noticed one of my doe limping not long ago on her back foot.  I took a look and saw that the heel had become so narrow she had nothing to stand on.  She was trying to walk and what she was actually trying to stand on was the back of her heel - the part that should be vertical.  I tried to get something flat there and have been trimming her toe area a little at a time every couple of weeks trying to get that back down.  I just dont understand how you get that straight back cut on the heel especially when it has become so narrow.  I'm going to post a pic of the bottom of the hoof.
Shepherdess said:
Why is that wow? I think I read heard rumours that folks don't like white hooves, but I'm still a newbie. :)

Melissa Johnson said:
wow, white bottom hoof - wow.

Shepherdess said:
First picture is of Winterdust, the mother of the baby whose hooves I also took pictures of. Just a week ago her hoover were twisted and very long, she was standing on her tiptoes, and here is one of her hooves from this morning. One still has some correcting to do from twisting etc but they are MUCH better then they were!

The baby is 9 weeks old on Saturday, and I have trimmer her hooves twice. Each time only trimming the part of the frog that was overlapping and was raised and the hoof walls.
all I can say is it's not as easy as some think for all of us, anyway.  I have stigmatism in both eyes, so when I think something is straight - it is far from it!  When I look at the hoof from the back - one of the heels will tend to be sponged over and kind of standing on the edge - my son told me I had one side too high - so it was causing the heel to rock over on the low side.  sigh....... he told me to leave them alone - and he would do it - yep - that's what he said anyway. lol
yes, that is the rasp I bought also -

hello again on hoof trimming.... My goats have back hooves in which the it continues to loose width.  The toe and heel are very narrow. 

The biggest problem is the back hooves - the heel area is "very" narrow and the inner heel pushes over misshapenly into the other one.  Hard as I try to keep the muddy clay covered with straw or wood chips - it gets in between the heels and rubs until it rubs a deep indentation or hole.... sigh....... 

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