If you keep goats in the Northwest, you must trim their hooves.
The side walls to the goat's hoof grow faster than they wear down and so need to be trimmed. In nature, the walls would get worn and trimmed naturally by the rocks the goat would be walking and climbing on. When the side wall grows long, it curves around and over the sole of the foot creating a place where dirt collects and rot can start. The whole point of trimming the goats foot is to keep it rot free as well as comfortable to walk on. You need to trim away all the places where dirt and rot can collect.
How to trim a goat's hooves
Clean out any dirt with a hoof pick or the tips of your trimmers.
Trim the side walls of the hoof, and the heel down so that they are even and flat with the sole of the foot (sometimes referred to as the "frog"). You may trim the sole if necessary.
Trim slowly and carefully until you start to see pink. Once you see pink, stop, or you will cause the goat to bleed. Trim any excess between the two heel areas, if necessary.
If you encounter a dirty pocket, or the wall of the hoof separating from the hoof, you need to totally trim this out/off until it is open and clean. Leave no dirt, or you risk "hoof rot"
You're shooting for nice, relatively flat sole with no dirty pockets.
Tips on hoof trimming
How often you need to trim depends totally on the individual animal. You will probably need to trim at least four times a year, but be prepared to do it more often if necessary. If you give your goats a large rock to play on, they may need to have their feet trimmed less often. This rock mimics the natural land a goat would live on and helps them keep their hooves in check.
To know when you need to trim, you need to check each individual animal. To check if the hoofs need trimming, look at the back feet. The front feet wear down quicker and may not need trimming quite as soon as the rear hooves. If you just look at the front, you may miss the fact that the back feet need trimming.
The best way to hold the goat as you trim hooves is to put the goat in a milk stand. Having the goat stand on the ground and you trying to trim standing up bending over them up is crazy and will kill your back. It you have goats, you should build/buy a milk stand so you can "work" your goats properly. Give your goat a little grain to occupy him and keep him happy. If it takes a long time to trim, have someone help by distracting the animal while you work
Wear gloves, or you will cut yourself and get blisters. Use a proper hoof trimmer that is sharp. I use the "orange handled trimmers". You can find them in most goat catalogs. Don't use garden shears. I have used those trimmers called "foot rot shears" on goats that are really overgrown. I also use a 4 inch grinder with a stripper pad to finish (It gives a nice smooth finish).
If the goat does not want to stand when you trim her feet and tries to lay down in protest, stick a rigid bucket under her belly. This will keep her from lying down. Make sure you have lighting that is as good as possible
Take your time. Trim just a little at a time. Every goat is different and some may need less trimmed than others. Be careful to look for pink; if you see pink, you are close to causing them to bleed.
On really bad feet, it is often better to trim "as best that you can" and come back and do a little more a few weeks later. It may take a few trimmings before the feet start looking "normal".
This wether needs his feet trimmed. Put your show goats on a
schedule and trim them every 30 days. This wether is walking with his rear hocks
turned in and his front feet splayed out because his feet are in desperate need
Large hoof trimmers (Burdizzo or Felco) are required for a job like this. This will be a difficult job with the small trimmers. Follow the growth lines on the side of the hoof to cut a straight path. Cut deep enough so the walls will be flush with the sole. Be careful not to cut too deep. Cut the sole flat, remove broken or unhealthy sole.
Trim the outside edge of the outside toe at a 45 degree angle. This will make him track wide and straight.
Notice how the hoof is level from front to back & the goat
stands flat and square.
Compare the way the wether stands before and after he has been
Trimming Mature Goats
This doe’s feet need trimmed.
Her hooves are overgrown and affecting the way she stands and travels.
The long toes allow for manure to collect and cause foot rot.
Large hoof trimmers are required for a job like this.
Make sure both toes are trimmed evenly and all dead tissue is removed. If you suspect hoof rot treat with Kopertox or Bleach.
Compare the way the doe stands before and after she has been
This doe lacks condition today, but she just had quads two weeks ago.GORGE-US BOER GOATS