Goat and Sheep Hoof Trimming

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Hoof care is a significant part of raising livestock. Horses need their hooves done every 4-8 weeks, dairy cows yearly, and sheep and goats every 3 to 6 months. This critical step is often overlooked or forgotten, leading to lameness and infections such as foot rot.

How often hooves need to be trimmed depends on the environment in which the animals live. Sheep and goats that live in softer environments such as pasture or sand will need more frequent hoof maintenance. However, when they live in environments that have more rocks or climbing material, they will need less trimming because they will wear down more quickly. If you have a goat play set, adding shingles or nonslip steps will help wear down the hooves, increasing the time between trimmings. 

Preventive maintenance will reduce the amount of overgrowth, allowing the animal to walk correctly. When trimming, the hoof should be shaped so that it is flat on the bottom, side walls, and heels and follow the same angle as the hairline. While trimming, remove all manure, dirt, and rocks from the hoof.

Trimming hooves is a great time to check for abnormalities such as abscesses, foot rot, stuck materials, etc.