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I have the opportunity to work with wildlife and I have never seen any wild animal that has naturally worn their hooves parallel to their coronet band. If in the wild animals don't wear their hooves that way, why should we trim that way? It would make sense to me to trim similar to how hooves would naturally wear because animals evolved to have their hooves the way they are. I've attached some pictures I have personally taken of a bighorn sheep, a mule deer, and a mountain goat, and a few pictures of ibex hooves I could find online. None of them are perfectly parallel to the coronet band and seem to have more toe than heel. Are we trimming to an ideal that doesn't make sense?
 

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Interested to see the discussion on this topic.

I always think of young goats, like less than 8 months old, whose pasterns are MUCH more upright than the species shown in your photos. When the pasterns are that upright, then the parallel to the coronary band hoof shape makes more sense.

Perhaps it's the hundreds of years of domestication that have limited the climbing activities of goat breeds?
 

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I have never trimmed parallel to the coronet band and I've always thought that this teaching is incorrect. I have packgoats and it is imperative that they be athletic and comfortable on crazy terrain. Their hooves look almost exactly like the bighorn, mountain goat, and ibex hooves in your photos. Deer have a much sharper angle to their hooves and are not very similar to the other species.
 

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I trim my goats to the pad of their feet
It may or may not be a staight flat line. Its how their feet are . Now show goats are trimmed in a flat manner then the hoof is shined so the judge can see a nice shiny hoof. But as far as parallel to the coronal line...it would only be for show. Otherwise you could cause joint damage.
 

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I don't understand why anyone would do something for a show that could cause joint damage under normal circumstances. Shining hooves: yes. Trimming them unnaturally: No way!

Still, the most widely-distributed manuals on trimming goats' hooves all show to trim them parallel to the coronet band, and it doesn't specify "for show". It just tells you this is how it's done and I've never agreed with it. I trim the walls level with the sole like others here, but I will sometimes take a hoof knife and pare down the heels if I feel they are getting too long. Only a few of my goats ever need their heels trimmed. One of them is my packgoat Sputnik. His front heels get too long because he has poor lower leg conformation that causes him to walk too much on his toes. His front hooves are the most "parallel" of any goat in my herd and it's telling that he's got the poorest leg conformation and is the least athletic.
 

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Wow! I'll be changing how I hoof trim! I've been sorry with myself for trimming angled to the heel. I'll go back to doing it the way I first trimmed when I didn't know what I was doing. I guess it turns out I did know what I was doing. Thanks for this thread @deerlevi, and by the way, welcome to the forum. (highfive)
 

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I can see why wild goats would need the toe to point more for climbing purposes, also I can see how naturally it would wear in that shape.

My dairy goats are a different story than ibex or big horned sheep, they do not need to climb rough terrain. They also have been, in my opinion, inbred more than wild animals, so less desirable traits appear. In my dairy herd, for example, we have had issues with less than upright pasterns and while selenium helps, a proper hoof trimming, meaning taking toe off and having their hooves almost parallel helps keep them upright on their pasterns more.

I guess by thoughts are, what is their purpose? If you have pack goats then of course it makes perfect sense to mimic the hooves of the wild animals that climb rough terrain. If you have goats that we're bred for dairy or meat and won't be climbing any mountains, or they have issues with their pasterns then I feel it's best to trim them so they will be in best alignment for their joints/ intended purpose.
 

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Those pictures are interesting! It looks like a correlation between pastern strength and hoof angle. It makes sense they would naturally wear down depending on how strong their pasterns are.

I personally treat every goats’ hooves individually depending on the strength of their pasterns, and I rarely make the line exactly parallel. I see the coronet band as a guide more than anything.

That being said, I’d love to see some pictures of some wild goats such as the indigenous veld goats. Since mountain goats aren’t technically goats at all, and their purpose is to cup and grip rocks, I find it hard to use them as a comparison.
 

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I generally take off the excess toe growth and trim to the pad as well. I have a few with heels that overgrow badly, so I trim them level so they don’t get pockets in them where Bactria can thrive.
I wish I had more rocks and course surfaces to help but I don’t so it’s a necessity to keep their feet healthy. I think my boer wether is the best at trimming his heels but he also has the worst feet In my herd and is a real challenge to keep healthy hooved.(split and cracking)
 

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Interesting observation. I think hoof trimming should have a lot more to do with how the individual goat is built versus just trimming a certain way because we can. I trim along the sole and then I also look at the joints and how they hold their leg. What angle is needed to keep the joints and bones in the correct position? For me most of mine look like the big horns hooves. Not quite parallel.
 

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personally treat every goats' hooves individually depending on the strength of their pasterns, and I rarely make the line exactly parallel. I see the coronet band as a guide more than anything.
Yes..this^^^ no two goat are the same nor their environment. We taper the toe off and use the band as a guide. We have sandy ground..we provide play structure from logs but not much around here to wear those babies down. When trimming..I put the leg down often and see how the goat stands..trim.more based on what it needs..not looks.

Its a learning curve and when teaching newbies, can be hard. Having them work toward the band is not a bad thing..while reminding them it doesn't have to be perfect and to be sure to stop often and see how the goat stands. This can be especially hard when teaching is done via internet or books. Hard to get that across. Everyone needs a starting point. I used to be so hard on myself if I couldn't get that perfect trim...straight with the band. It took a while to understand its not a one size fits all. ;)
 

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Here it rains a lot during the winter so the goat’s pasture turns into a mud pit. To keep their feet healthy I trim to the pad. If I left any space or pocket where mud and manure could build up I’d have a bunch of unhealthy hooves. I give them a bit of wiggle room during the summer though because it’s so hot and dry.
 

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I've only had my Pygmy wether and doe for nearly 3months, they are 8 months, I've don even one trim when got them, and just starting to do little trim again now, they have such little hooves.
They have hard surface to walk play on, and I take them daily for little walk along Bank top which is tarmac, to help keep them trimmed, as Iam still a green mum, still learning too.
My doe won't stand now for trimming, she sits down, would it be okay to lay her on her side for short time to trim hooves, or tie her up near a fence, like I've read on earlier posts, but how would I stop her still trying to sit down, don't understand the restraint on her flank, (very green sorry)
Also I don't know how to start a new post
 

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I've only had my Pygmy wether and doe for nearly 3months, they are 8 months, I've don even one trim when got them, and just starting to do little trim again now, they have such little hooves.
They have hard surface to walk play on, and I take them daily for little walk along Bank top which is tarmac, to help keep them trimmed, as Iam still a green mum, still learning too.
My doe won't stand now for trimming, she sits down, would it be okay to lay her on her side for short time to trim hooves, or tie her up near a fence, like I've read on earlier posts, but how would I stop her still trying to sit down, don't understand the restraint on her flank, (very green sorry)
Also I don't know how to start a new post
I am not sure about laying her down on the side for trimming.
I distract mine with treats hidden in a tub of hay. They don't care what I do with their feet then. It does help to have them against a fence or wall.
To start a new thread, go to "Forums", scroll down to choose a forum (e.g. Health and wellness), then click "Post new thread" near the top.
 
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