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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had several farriers lined up to come out and trim my donkey's feet. Two have failed to show up for two or more appointments. One flat out told me he doesn't do donkeys. I live in horse country (within 30 minutes of the Saratoga racecourse), so I thought finding someone would be easy....guess not....sooo frustrated.

I've come to the conclusion I'll just have to do it myself. She keeps her forefeet in pretty good shape on her own. Part of our run out is pretty gravelly and rocky, and she seems to keep them worn down. I've been able to get away with just rasping them flat for her. The hind feet not so much. They are getting long enough that it's starting to affect her gait. Any advice before I take a pair of nippers to them? I don't want to mess her up any worse than she already is. I've watched farriers work on horse feet, but her anatomy is a little different....Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Goat Girl
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Donkeys trim pretty similar to horses, they just typically have more heel. When you clean the hoof out, I would just take the nippers and trim the wall all the way around, don't trim it flush with the sole though, you need to leave just a tiny bit of wall so that the donkey isn't walking on her sole.

The only other thing, does she pick her feet up pretty good? A lot of donkeys do not like to have their feet picked up, they feel trapped and unable to run if danger comes. A lot of donkeys are also mistreated when being trimmed, if you do find someone to trim her do not let them rough handle her, it only makes things worse. We have had farriers want to throw them on the ground to trim them, they were quickly told to leave.
 

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all our donkeys were a bit wild when we got them...and their hooves are real bad..Ive got them trusing me enough to clean their hooves..trimming is next..thanks for that video Kylee and info ptgoats...Im afraid to have some one come do it and set me back months of work on these girls..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
KW Farms- I agree! I would much prefer to have a pro come out and teach me, but I can't wait any longer. Thanks for the video and the links. The pictures at the bottom of the second link just make me cringe!

PT goats-Thanks for the description, that helps. Looking at her foot, I think I have a pretty good idea what I can take off. Hopefully I can get her to a point where she's more comfortable until I can find a farrier that will act like a professional! I've made it a point to handle her feet most days, so she has gotten pretty good about letting me pick them out. Trimming might be a different story, I guess we'll see. Don't you worry, I won't let anyone put her on the ground to trim her! That's crazy.
 

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Some farriers just see donkeys like non-goat people see goats. Just a donkey, stubborn mean and can't be trained. Donkeys are quite the opposite though, very smart with a very high sense of self-preservation. If you ever need any donkey training tips, health tips or anything Donkey, Meredith Hodges is like the Mule and Donkey guru. She is in Colorado and has been training donkeys and mules for many years, she has a whole video series on training mules and donkeys with the last two videos specifically for donkeys. She will answer questions and is very knowledgeable. Here is her website: www.luckythreeranch.com

We did have one farrier that was really good, he was rasping our donkey's hind hoof and she kicked, the rasp flew about 5 ft, he just laughed picked it up and went back to work on her hoof. He even asked her how far she could kick it the next time. lol
 

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The problem with donkeys is a couple fold. Usually people with donkeys have 1, maybe 2, most farriers aren't interested in doing a run for a trim on one donkey, they make their money in volume and putting on shoes, the cost of a trim might put the gas in the truck to make the run out to your place. A lot of donkeys are not trained to pick up their feet, sorry owners, this is your job, not the farriers. I AM NOT SAYING ALL OWNERS, but the majority speaks here and farriers know this. Thirdly, donkeys are back breakers for farriers, most donkeys don't make it past 13 hands, think about a 5'8" to 6'2" male crawling under that all day long and ones that don't know how to pick up their feet. No wonder why farrier's shy away from donkeys.

Now onto the problem at hand. If you would prefer to have a farrier trim your donkey, can you haul him into a training/boarding barn when their farrier will be on site? Most barns like this have a schedule for their farrier and as long as you clear it with everyone, farrier included, you can probably get your guy done that way. If not, do you have a couple of local friends that can get together to get the farrier to come out to do everyone? Three animals seems to be the cut off, when I had 3 I had no issues getting a farrier to come to the farm, when I dropped down to 2, it got harder, 1 is rougher yet. Secondly, does he really need trimmed? You said you have rock and rough terrain in your pasture, is it enough for him to wear his feet on without trimming? Sometimes, someplaces you can do this, others not so much. Lastly, donkeys trim like horses, but more upright, they have a tighter, smaller foot, with more heel.
 

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study up on donkey hoof trimmimg and then go from there
 

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I had a donkey a few years back. He was a bear when it came to trimming his feet. He was smart and quick. Once even tried to climb a fence to get away from trimming!!!!!:) quite a show.............
 

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I trim my own donkeys hooves. When I trim them, I cross tie them because, they can't move around too much and step on me. I always try to keep feed in its mouth so it isn't so focused on having its hooves done. I just take the nippers to them and the rasp. I just leave a little bit of the hoof wall to walk on. Donkeys have hard hooves anyways and it would be hard to mess them up.
 

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I got a minidonkey a year ago. He is not much of a guardian, but he is my grumpy sweetheart. I, too, have had several farriers cancel. So, I searched and searched online. I bought a 3 DVD set from a website and love it. http://www.hoofrehabstore.com/donkey-hooves-inside-and-out/
The DVD is great. I am still not comfortable trimming Mr. Max's hooves myself. I am giving a farrier one more try and he is supposedly coming Monday. I just want to see it done once. Then, with this DVD, and buying the right tools, I think I can do it myself.

Mr. Max will let me hold up all of his hooves to clean for about 15 seconds. Sometimes I can repeat and get him to lift the same hoof again, sometimes not. I don't tie him up when I do it. THEN, last Sunday, I decided I would tie him and try to file. WRONG. He was mad at me all week. My 14 year old son says I spoil Max. I tell him that's because he, the 14 year old, is too big to cuddle.

Dianne
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the input, and sorry for not updating sooner. We ended up having to move rather unexpectedly, and I was without internet access for several weeks.

I ended up not having to trim her after all. Long story short-someone came out to look at a buck I had for sale. In the course of conversation I mentioned my issues with finding someone to trim her. Turns out he knew one of the guys that no showed on me. He called him up on the spot, chewed him out, and I had a farrier at my place the next day. Just in the nick of time, as it turned out she had 2 pencil eraser size abscesses beginning to form. Abigail behaved herself beautifully, and we are now on a regular schedule every 3 months.

I just love goat people!
 
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