Trying to trim the hooves of a complete herd on a regular basis can be overwhelming if not impossible. Some animals can have difficulty walking if their hooves are not trimmed regularly. Other animals seem to either not need trimming or nature seems to keep their hooves trimmed with no human intervention. The goat is very closely related to the deer. Have you ever wondered who goes out and trims the hooves all of the wild deer? Breeders have caused some of the requirement for the hooves needing trimmed. The more protein the goat is eating, the faster the hoof may grow.
We believe that the hoof trimming problem is a combination of maintenance and selective breeding. Here is the approach we will be taking.
Our animals main source of nutrition is from our pastures and not "high protein" feeds
We will only trim hooves on an exception basis coming from documentation from our Monthly Management Review
During our Monthly Management Review we will check and document the hoof status (1-3 value) of each animal
1 value indicates the hoof is in excellent shape with little or no excessive growth seen
2 value indicates the hoof is in good shape but showing some excessive growth starting
3 value indicates the hoof is in bad shape and in need of trimming.
5 value indicates the hooves have been trimmed.
Between this review and the next one, we will schedule to trim the animals that had a 4 value. This trimming and the date will be added to the animals health record.
Analysis will be done to aid in selecting animals that need the least amount of hoof work and the ones that require the most amount of work. The analysis will evaluate if specific bloodlines have a characteristic for better or worse hooves.
Analysis will be done on animals that have a 3 or 4 value but automatically revert back to a lower number on their own.
The results of this information will aid in keeping or culling and breeding match-ups. We would like to breed a buck with little or no hoof problems with a similar type of doe to see if the characteristic is passed on in the kids.