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Trimming your own... goats? And deer?

I have a friend who volunteers at a wildlife rehabilitation / sanctuary farm. He is wondering how feasible it would be for him to learn to trim hooves himself.

I believe there’s a mini, a bunch of deer, some goats, and maybe a few sheep. This would obviously be very basic, just routine keep-em-healthy trims.

Is this something that makes any kind of sense? What would be the best way to learn, and any idea how long it would take?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Most goat and sheep owners trim their own, so the best suggestion would be to try to hook up with a local goat club. Is there a 4H group in the area?

As for the mini, though - why not bring in a farrier? Minis are prone to hoof problems and laminitis, so may need a professional. At the very least I would say bring in a farrier and ask that person whether it would be possible to learn to trim the mini.

No idea if deer need to be trimmed at all. That’s probably a question for a trained wildlife rehabilitator - I hope that the organization has one.

There is a petting zoo/farm/orchard near me and their animals have terrible feet. It’s pretty horrifying to go there and look at them. I wish they would bring in a professional and really, given the success of their business - there is no excuse except being cheap or lazy. Domesticated animals need to be cared for properly, or it is just neglect.

Great to know on the goat and sheep!

I think they’ve had a farrier in for the mini before, but presumably would love to save the money if possible. I suggested they ask the farrier, too.

They definitely have trained/certified rehabbers, just no volunteer hoof-carers :slight_smile:

Any more input welcome! E.g., what’s the best way to learn to trim your goat/sheep? (Checking out 4H is a great idea!)

I think they may also have a llama… any llama owners around with foot advice?

When I was a kid, we had friends with goats. They’re not hard to trim–a youtube video would probably cover it. Sheep are probably equally easy? I was turned lose with trimmers after a five minute demonstration as a teen, and trimmed several for “fun” without issue. (Ah, the things we think are fun when we’re young :lol:)

I used to trim my own goat’s feet - there is a special pair of nippers that has the correct curve. The hardest part was getting them to hold still! I don’t think I did any special learning other than looking at the toes, and trimming carefully until they looked nice, being very careful not to quick them. Sheep are probably similar, but deer? They are a lot bigger/stronger and wilder.

Goats are pretty easy. A goat stand is a must unless they love to get trimmed. LOL. I used these trimmers and they worked well. https://www.jefferspet.com/products/shear-magic-trimmer There are videos out there.

Agree on the goat stand. The goat farm near me uses the stand for all trims. Regarding the mini, you really need to

learn how to trim full sized horses and then learn to adjust the rules to the itty bitty hoof. Not for the beginner. Mini’s

can get sore from careless, amateur trimming. Better to call in an experienced trimmer.

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Thanks again, all! I am passing all of this along.

Apparently there is also a horse there, and they bring a farrier out for the horse, so I will suggest the farrier continue to do the mini as well.

My friend is looking into the goat, sheep, deer, and llama options. I have suggested he start with the goats. :slight_smile: Much appreciated! Maaaa-ny thanks!

Goats are not difficult and I believe deer have similar feet. I trim my does without any training. A YouTube video and yes a stand would be lovely but I also just tie up to a fence or tree and get it done. It’s hard on your back but it’s totally possible. There’s a great goat forum that I depend on called The Goat Spot.

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