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Read that some people use a rasp on the hoofs. How close should us new guys be getting to the pad? hairline is running with the floor, but still a "lip" on the edgers. 1/16 -1/8 inch.
 

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Rex,

I'm still wondering how to use a rasp on the pad. Maybe it's only our goats but the pad is so soft that the rasp won't "bite". I had the same effect using sanding paper like you suggested in your video.

Any thoughts?
 

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The rasp and heavy grit sand paper are more for shaping the hoof wall than working down the pad. They will work on the pad but the hoof needs to be totally dry like they get during the summer months. If it is wet it soaks up the moisture and gets too soft for rasping or sanding. Also the sand paper needs to be at least 60 - 80 grit and wrapped around a hard block to work. Honestly I don't use a rasp or heavy grit sand paper that often. When I do use the sanding block to flatten the bottom of the hoof I'm fairly aggressive about it. It seems to work better if you move it back and forth rapidly while applying firm pressure. Test it on your finger and you'll see what I mean. I mainly use the clippers for 98% of all my foot trimming.

I used to use a knife to trim their feet but a couple of bad cuts on my fingers from kicking goats convinced me to go with the clippers.

Though.... I did have to finish a hoof trimming job for a guy who snipped deep into his finger with the clippers as well. Seems sharp objects on a fidgety goat is going to be somewhat dangerous any way you look at it. Not much chance of "rasping" your finger to the bone so maybe that is a safer way to go during the dry months.
 

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Rex,

thanks, I thought as much. I use your clippers most of the time but sometimes I just don't get this "pad pushing" done as well as I would like. Thought I give the rasp one more try.
 

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I've been using a thing called a Sure-form plane. I read about it somewhere on a goat forum. It works pretty good. It looks like a small carpenter's plane, but instead of a sharp cutting blade it has a metal plate with lots of sharp holes, like a cheese grater.

I don't let my goats' hooves get very long past the pad before I cut the edges down to the pad. I have used this plane to reshape the hoof by planing down the pad in the toe area until I see pink. This has helped to get the bottom of the hoofs parallel with the hair line. I wasn't doing that for a long time, so a lot of pad built up that had to be removed. It took several sessions to get the pads and hooves at the right angle. The Sure-form plane took it right down. It certainly takes some elbow grease, tho. I only use the clippers when I want to remove hoof down to the pad. Then I switch to the plane.

Now that I've got the bottoms of the hooves parallel with the hair line, I don't have to trim their hooves more than every couple of months. My goats hike on rough rocky country a lot so that helps to keep their hooves ground off.
 

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Do all our trimming with the clippers.

While on the topic, I put all our goats down on their sides for their trim. It's a time to really show them who's "top dog" and very easy on them. Kind of funny sometimes who puts up the most fuss over being down for a trim. Quite often, the most dominate goats just lay down and some of the "in your pocket" goats will be crying as if their world has ended. Regardless, they learn that you have control and it brings them no harm, a good lesson learned.
 

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I have such a bad back that it is a great pain to lean over and trim the hooves.

The little ones I have put on their sides since I got them at ten weeks, so they expect it.

Diego has been in other herds and is a little temperamental, but this time, rather than tie him to a fence and wrestle with his feet, I just pulled him on to his side on my lap.

210 pounds of goat turns out was much easier to handle this way. As he was across my lap, my elbow could keep his head under control, and he just closed his eyes and accepted it.

I had a horn in my kidney, and thought it not a good idea, but he was so docile, I just did it. Next time I will wear a heavier coat as a precaution, but I'm sold on the on-side method.
 

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Since I have had back operations- I took a heavy duty bench table that the maitenance shop had built years ago and got rid of- I cut off the legs to about 24 to 28"- then built a wooden Stachion on the front.( 40 minutes) I hang a bucket of grain out front and since they never see grain they jump right up and feed away on the treat. I lock thier heads in and I barely have to bend over at all to trim the hoofs. They actually don't want to get off it when they are done.
 
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