Hoof Trimming
One of the more intimidating tasks for new shepherds is trimming hooves. I hope that the guide here will help if you don't have
somebody around to show you how to do it. I learned to trim from somebody locally who raises goats, and I am indebted to them for the
lesson. It's really not hard, and in fact, I'd rather trim the sheeps' hooves than I would the dogs' toenails. I highly recommend the orange
handled hoof trimmers (Shear Magic Small Hoof Shears) that are sold in catalogs like Pipestone, etc. They are anywhere from
$15.95-$19.95 and well worth the money. I also recommend you wear a pair of kid leather gloves, for their flexibility and lightweight
protection, as it is possible to slip and gouge your own hands. Sheep hooves grow at different rates, just like peoples' nails grow
differently. Diet and nutrition play a role in how quickly they grow. Anytime you are handling your sheep, check their hooves and have
your shears ready to give them a quick trim if necessary. Regular foot/hoof maintenance will help keep your sheep healthy.
For a very good explanation of hoof trimming, and
excellent photographs, please visit
Fias Co. Farm's
Reprinted from ALWMA Newsletter; Taken from "Pygmy Memo" Spring
'84; December 1990, The Sheep Producer