Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats



Alright, so it was that time again. My least favorite part of  goat ownership....Hoof trimming.


I do this every 2-3 weeks since we don't really have any rough surfaces for them to wear their hooves down. Generally speaking someone will get a booboo during hoof trimming around here and its usually me. I have clipped a goat before...usually a little dot here or there...Little blood stop and everyone's dandy.

I started with Catcher my buck. his feet are always a sight. He makes me think of Swartze Peter ( Black Peter) The main character in a German children's book that has these ridiculously long nails. If you have ever seen Even Almighty...the part where he shaves his beard and as soon as he looks up into the mirror he has a beard again... that's catcher's hoofs for you...  I just can't get the inside of his toes for the life of me.  It sure doesn't help that I am entirely left handed and all the trimmers I have ever seen in this wide world are made for righties! when he kicked I stabbed myself with the trimmers.

Then I did my 9 month old weather. Who has perfect feet... God willing he will always have perfect feet. he's easy to trim doesn't ever need much work at all, but always gives me attitude afterwords....he get all stiff and HOW DARE YOU!!

I should mention that no one cares to eat once I start trimming.


So on to the whether's mother Isabel. Her back feet are fantastic but her front hoofs are Swartze Peter hoofs, but not nearly as bad as Dream Catcher's. First leg, nothing unusual. It was one of her better hoofs so I didn't need to do much. Second was a front one, but it pretty level, and just needed "a little off the top "  The third was the other back one and It didn't need much either. On these feet I try to make very small decollete cuts, but she shook her leg at just the right instant and out it came... my goodness.

Now its all over and I know that it wasn't was bad as I thought it was, but obviously I hit a blood vessel.

I have always feared this and so David is always nearby when I do this.  But of course this one time he was inside. He had been outside for the first two, but for some reason decided he didn't need to be outside anymore So the first thing I did was cover it in blood stop powder, which is all I had right there. I ran inside and called for David to come out and help. Then I went back out and held her foot. Thinking David was coming right out with the first aid kit...which he didn't, so I started hollering and probably woke the neighbors and he comes out in his bathrobe, and asks.

"What's going on?"

No first aid kit in hand.  By this point I have blood all down my arm and all over my jeans and I'm cussin' like a sailor...

" Call Dr. Leonard, NOW!! and get yourself dressed!"

A couple minutes later ( time passes a lot slower when you're in the middle of a crisis)  he mozy's out with the phone...I talk to the front desk, she talks to the doctor, and I have to bring her in. I figured as much. Well while I get the first aid kit myself I'm thinking David is getting the car! Hes still in his bathrobe, and just come out of the kitchen. I went out, grabbed the goat and wrapped up her foot so she wouldnt gush all over the car and secured it with duct tape because that is the first tape I saw. .And now David is finally dressed, and he says.

"did you get the car ready for the goat?"

"NO!! Lets just go!!

"Why can't we just leave that on the goat?" Referring to the hastily made bandage.

"Because I just cut her and I can't stop the bleeding..."

" You probably shouldn't have cut her then."

" It's not like  I did it on purpose! Lets GO!!" 

" why do I have to go?  You're the one that cut the goat"

"It's easier with 2 people!" 

If I had been thinking clearly at the time I probably would have said something like " You've known me for 20 years, do you think I'm emotionally stable enough to drive right now??"

I had a last minute thought before we go and I grabbed some extra bandages in case they need changing on the way.  Thankfully only one small part soaked through enough to see. I sat in the back with her all the way.  She complained quietly a bit but made the ride ok. The 20 minute ride felt like an hour... but I was able to get my emotions under control.  Drank some water, ate a banana...

When I opened the door to the vet office David was carrying her. ( probably because I gave him an option to carry my purse or the goat) and  a guy said.

" oh my God, their bringin' in a horse!"

Under normal circumstances I would have thought that was kinda funny.  Because if you have seen elsewhere on this forum Isabel has always been my skinny goat...No matter what I do, she's just skinny. The only time she looks good is when she's pregnant....although she still is nursing the baby at 9 months even thought I haven't been milking her....looks absolutely nothing like a horse

Within a few minutes a couple of high school kids came and took her to the back,  another few minutes...lots of dog barking but no goat screaming later, they brought her back out bandaged like nothing happened.

"Ms. Camron, That'll be $85..."

thinking on it now I probably could have cauterized it myself with the disbudding  iron in far less time, and I have tetanus anti-toxin in the fridge.  Of course the doctor wouldn't volunteer that since he want's to make $85 for 5 minutes of work....but as I said before I wasn't thinking very clearly. David could have been, but he was too busy being a jerk because he couldn't eat his chicken Cesar salad.  ( That's what he was doing in the kitchen). MEN!

Isabel is doing fine, and so am I. The whole thing was over in about an hour but it might as well have been the better part of a day... Just had to vent to someone who would understand me.

Tomorrow I will finish her other foot and Indiana, who has big fat cow feet will need her's done too, but I am done with it for the day.




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Comment by Lyn Adams on February 9, 2012 at 7:50pm

Wow, that was terrible, glad to read that all is well. My husband and I both trim hooves. We also have a board out in the pen that we put roofing shingle on the goats run up and down on it, it helps a little bit.  Good luck with future trimmings. 

Comment by Adrienne on October 9, 2011 at 2:24pm
Isabel Update. Yesterday she was walking alright, but to day she is limping a bit. she is still moving alright, and eating. The hoof will probably be uneven for awhile while until the toe grows back into its normal shape. I hope after a few days it won't bother her overmuch.
Comment by Adrienne on October 8, 2011 at 10:22pm
Thank you Janel, I am glad she is ok too!
Comment by Adrienne on October 8, 2011 at 9:06pm
You're right Deborah, I wasn't even invited in. Not my favorite vet, but the best of the 2 choices available. And even that I have to drive to MS for. The closest vet that will see goats in Louisiana that I have found is LSU in Baton Rouge which is 2 hours away.
Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on October 8, 2011 at 8:45pm
Wow! In the future, you might want to stay with the goat so you can see exactly how they handle it. Then you'll know what to do next time.

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