Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Goat Manicure

Goats, like humans, need pampering.

Just kidding.

But we do need to take care of the goat's hooves, and trim them at least once during the time we will own them.

First, we start by getting the goat on the stanchion.




While they are being distracted with some tasty alfalfa, my friend showed all the kids how to trim.






The first step is to clean out all the dirt that might have collected in there. This makes it easier to see what you are doing.


 (Check out the next goat in line....he is so curious about what is going on. That is one reason why I love goats.)





Nice and clean.



And, if you know that you are looking for, you'll see these are overgrown.





With long cuts, you begin to trim down the outside or the wall of the hoof.







It is super important to always keep the blade flat against the hoof.


The two 'toes' don't really separate, so getting the inside walls is a little harder. One trick is to shift the toes in opposite directions....it only shifts an inch or two, but will make enough room for your cutters.


You clip a bit off the tip or the toe, making it even with the walls.


Next you clip the heel. This is the part where you really think you are going to hurt the little guy, but this is just like clipping human nails.



The main thing is to make everything level.


One way to test this is to put the goat's hoof on a flat surface and see how he stands.


The center of the hoof is called the sole, and you never need to cut anything there.


You can cut too close....if you see any of the white part getting even slightly pink, then you have gone far enough.




Here you can see a trimmed hoof and an untrimmed hoof.





Now it was time for the kids to try.....


We had to help the younger ones a little, but they all spent quite a while trimming their hooves.

4H is learning, being responsible for animals, and hard work (even in the rain).

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