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now that my boys are a year old and maybe 120 lbs., hoof trimming is becoming dangerous. I have to drop them and hold them down while I try to get the hoofs and avoid impalement at the same time. they especially hate their back hoofs being messed with.

how do y'all immobilize your goats for trimming?
 

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We use a stanchion, feed them a nice treat while we do it and give them lots of positive attention and stroking. We do this every two weeks, checking overall health and condition and spend time lifting and inspecting hooves even if we aren't trimming them, just to keep the positive reinforcement going while lifting and manipulating their legs and feet.
 

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Milk stanchion with head lock device and plenty of treats. Salted peanuts, sunflower seeds, and the like work great. You can use good old grass hay if you trim before you feed them a meal and you know they are hungry. My boys have to be tied up before I bring the stanchion out into sight or they will charge it and fight to get on first. My chow hounds will let me do anything if there is food involved. I'll try to get a picture for you.
IdahoNancy and the Oberpacker chow hounds.
 

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Hello,

is the overall attitude of your goat good? I have found that goats that tend to challenge you in everyday live - even a little - can get really cranky when it comes to hoove trimming.

I make it a habit with these goats to take them out every day just to pick up one or two feet (especially the hind feet), hold them up for a short time (extending this period) and praise/reward with a small treat when the do good. I also ask other small task from them, like stepping away, backing up, standing still when tied, follow nicely, etc. - to work on basic obedience and training.

Otherwise hoove trimming stays "a big event" unless you make it into something that happens every day aka boooring....
 

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Sanhestar is right that you should make a point of handling your goats' feet often if they are being difficult about it. But the first few times can certainly be a pain when they're dancing around and trying to stick you with their horns. Sounds to me like they're not very respectful, and I'm sure Rex can give you some tips about that.

Cuzco was pretty good with his hooves until he got to be about 2 years old. That's when several contributing factors came up that made our previously well-behaved goat turn into a little monster. It can definitely be a project trying to trim a goat who doesn't like it and isn't respecting you! We didn't have a stanchion, so I treated him just like a horse that doesn't want to get feet trimmed. Snub the goat up by his halter to a fence post. Snub him up short so he can't swing his head around to use his horns. Then use your body to push him firmly against the fence. You don't want to hurt him, but he needs to know you mean business, and he must NOT be allowed to squirm away! Pick up that foot and hang on for dear life. No matter how much he kicks or fights or tries to lay down, whatever you do, don't let go of that foot! Only when you're finished with it and he's standing quietly do you let the foot down. Never let go of a struggling goat because that teaches him that bad behavior gets him what he wants.

Goats are smart. It won't take your fellas long to learn that standing quietly makes the process easier and shorter for THEM. Make sure and reward them with food treats when they have been good. And certainly make sure you're not trimming too short. If you're hurting them, they have every reason to kick and struggle at trimming time. In fact, I think that's one of the things that got Cuzco started with his bad hoof trimming behavior. I cut him too short one time and he didn't forget it! It can take time to overcome something like that, but you must still be firm so they don't get the idea they can suddenly walk all over you. At some point you may have to treat an injury, at which time your goat had better know how to stand quietly even when something is uncomfortable or even painful for him.
 

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as for trimming hind hooves: I'm surprised every time how well a goat can stand on its two FRONT legs :)

Holding tight onto that leg until the goat calms down is one thing and I also check if I haven't lifted the leg too high (becoming uncomfortable resp. overstretching the hip joint and throwing the goat off balance) - something that can happen with the younger = smaller goats because I'm rather large for a woman and my comfortable working height is a bit too high for the younger goats.

Sometimes a second person can be of help. Someone who calms the goat a bit and gives it something to lean on until it has figured out how to keep balance on three legs while the forth is being manipulated. And all that Nanno said, too. Tie them short and against a fence or wall.
 

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We use a stanchion- pretty easy to build- sure makes my back feel better.
The only time they get any grain is while they are in the stachion and they don't care what I do as long as they get the grain.. There are no problems what so ever.
 

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Herb said:
We lay our goats down any time we trim hooves. Not only is it the easiest way to control a goat, it reinforces the pecking order, and the goat is not boss. Start when they are kids and it's no big deal when they get older.
Yes wish I would have trained them that way- My buddies Goat George lies right down- all 320# of him. But mine do know the pecking order- a few lateral drops when they were between 110# and 130# set that up rather quickly and there has been no ?'s asked since- maybe a playful push here and there but never anything that a glance and a cock of the head didn't take care of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
good to know that its okay to trim hoofs laying down. I think I'll keep doing it that way, we'll just have to practice more.

next question Herb: How do you get your boys down on the ground? wrestle? gentle persuation? or a simple command like, "play dead!", or "bang!"
 

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Well I've never got around to a command, when I go to trim hooves it's the whole herd and I'm just looking to get it done. My goats do not have horns.

I reach over their back, grab the two legs nearest me, so I'm reaching past the outside legs, give them a pull as I put my weight on the goat and over we go. The legs end up away from me, so if they kick for a bit, I'm in the clear. A goat can't get up without lifting their head or getting their legs under them. I can hold down the neck with my knee and trim away. If they put up a fuss, we just stay there until the fuss is over, then back to trimming. I usually trim by myself, it works for me.

I do have a couple goats that I don't flip, as they are willing to stand, but any issues and it's over we go. Once I had the UPS driver show up during a learning moment, a goat and I was down on the ground taking a break from trimming as we sorted out who was running this program. He was amazed that things were O.K., but soon the goat gave up, hooves were trimmed and everyone was happy. On to the next one....
 

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Well it was hoove trimming day yesterday- put the grain bucket in front of the stachion- had them jump up and locked them in- everything went as smooth as it ever has. Hardest part was getting their heads out of the grain bucket.
The instructions to built the stachion that were in the Goat Hobby Farm mag worked great and were simple to do.
 

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Packfish said:
Well it was hoove trimming day yesterday- put the grain bucket in front of the stachion- had them jump up and locked them in- everything went as smooth as it ever has. Hardest part was getting their heads out of the grain bucket.
The instructions to built the stachion that were in the Goat Hobby Farm mag worked great and were simple to do.
I can see it now.... you give them the instructions from the mag to get their heads out of the grain bucket... ;-)
 

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Bob Jones said:
Packfish said:
Well it was hoove trimming day yesterday- put the grain bucket in front of the stachion- had them jump up and locked them in- everything went as smooth as it ever has. Hardest part was getting their heads out of the grain bucket.
The instructions to built the stachion that were in the Goat Hobby Farm mag worked great and were simple to do.
I can see it now.... you give them the instructions from the mag to get their heads out of the grain bucket... ;-)
They had me flip to page 63------- pictures of the does :)
 

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That's fair game... after all, There is a website where Britney Spears teaches semiconductor physics.

I stumbled on it when I was looking for pictures of... um hmm semiconductors ;-)

Actually the guy who put it up figured he would get a lot more web hits.

http://britneyspears.ac/lasers.htm
 
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