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How to Trim Goat Hooves

Home Animals How to Trim Goat Hooves

Want to know how to trim goat hooves? Trimming the hooves yourself is one of the next steps in become a self-sufficient homesteaders. Carefully follow the steps below.

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How To Trim Goat Hooves 2

How to Properly Trim Goat Hooves | Homesteading Tips

By Kathy Bernier

Goats are one of the most low-maintenance animals you can have, and one of the most delightful and rewarding. As with any animal—or even as with children—there are conflicting opinions on what must be done and the timing and techniques involved.

Goats: An Alpine Doe and her kid | How to trim goat hooves

This is Chloe, a beautiful American Alpine Doe, and her kid. Chloe will be our model.

However, one aspect of goat care is indisputable. Their hooves must be trimmed.

No matter if your goats are large or small, pets or dairy animals, or are allowed to free range or not, their hooves need to be done. While it is possible to hire someone to do it for you, most goat owners learn to do it themselves. If you are new to goats and a little nervous about getting started on hooves, here is a how-to to get you going in the right direction.

Step 1: Assemble Your Equipment

hoof trimmer and rasp for goat hoof trimming | Keep reading for how to trim goat hooves on

hoof trimmer and rasp for goat hoof trimming

You will absolutely need scissors of some kind. It is probably best to purchase specialty hoof trimmers from a livestock supply store or catalog, but you can get away with other types of scissors as well. I had very good luck with a pair of small serrated-edge poultry shears with blunt ends, but they broke after a few years of barn use.

You will need to restrain the animal. A stand is the very best way to do this.

If you do not have a stand, try tying the goat to a very short lead and attaching it to a wall or post. A corner is best, because the goat will back away from you and wedge itself into a corner, where you will have more control. If you have someone to help you limit the goat’s mobility, that’s better.

You also should have antiseptic blood stop spray or powder on hand. You probably will not need it, but it is important to have it available.

A rasp is a plus but is not necessary. Ours is a flat metal tool that looks something like a fine cheese grater and was purchased inexpensively from a hardware store. A rasp works nicely for keeping the hooves smooth. If you have only a few goats, it is easy to pop them on the stand every week and simply rasp their hooves without ever having to actually trim them. Think of it this way—if you use a file or emery board on your toenails every day, you probably won’t ever have to clip them.

It is nice to have a little tool with a small brush on one end and a pick on the other. You can use this to clean up the gunk inside the hoof, but it is not essential to have.

Step 2: Set up the goat on the stand

Get the goat on the stand, feed it to keep it occupied

Set up your stand in an area separate from the goat herd so that you can work with one animal at a time. Get your first goat up onto the stand, which will be easier if you have already trained it to do so.

HOMESTEADING TIP: Begin working with your goat as a young kid or as soon as you acquire it, teaching it to jump up on the stand and put its head through the stanchion for grain or treats. We have often worked stand training into our regular feeding schedule, teaching one goat at a time to eat its evening meal on the milk stand instead of in its usual spot. Then when it comes to do hooves or other treatments—or if it is a female you intend to milk at some point—the animal will hop right up onto the stand.

Give grain or hay and secure the goat in the stanchion.

Step 3: Do one hoof at a time

How to trim goat hooves | Basic goat keeping guide - read more at

Relax the foot backwards and examine it for cleaning and trimming

Pick up the foot and examine the hoof for injury, cuts, lameness, unusual texture, or anything out of the ordinary. Try to maintain the animal’s natural range of motion. Remember that the more stress or discomfort you cause the goat, the more it will fight your efforts and make the experience miserable for both of you.

Speaking of discomfort, rest assured that hoof trimming does not hurt a goat if done properly. Having badly neglected hooves can cause the animal to suffer, but regular hoof-trimming is just like cutting fingernails.

Step 4: Check the dewclaws

How to properly trim and clean out goat hooves - keep reading the whole guide at

gently trim off excess dew claw

These are the two tiny appendages above the hoof on the back of the leg. Many goats’ dewclaws do not grow out enough to worry about. Older goats tend to need more dewclaw attention than do younger ones. If they are a little long, or dry and crusty, give them a little nip with the scissors.

It is important to note that you should take very small bites with your scissors, especially when you are inexperienced. Take a little off at a time. You can always take off more, but you cannot put it back.

Step 5: Start on the hoof itself

hoof trimming

The part you want to focus on is the hard outer shell. When it needs trimming, it will extend below the bottom of the hoof surface like this.

Clean up the excess dirt in and around the hoof, using your brush and pick tool, or the end of your scissors.

Using the scissors, cut away the excess shell material. Do one toe at a time. Be sure to get all the way around the toe, including the area in between the toes.

hoof trimmers

Here’s what it looks like with one side done.

Step 6: Trim Rubbery Flesh

How to trim goat hooves - Keep reading for the full step by step process on

gently trim away any overgrowth

Next, trim the heel, the fleshy rubbery part on the back of the hoof surface. Again, take small slices. If the rubbery inner part of the rest of the hoof is elevated, you can trim that back too.

Your goal is for the bottom of the hoof to line up with the horizontal lines in the outer shell. I always like to joke that Mother Nature put those lines there just for me, to use as a guideline, but that might not be quite true.

If the hoof is badly overgrown, do not try to remedy it all in one session. Take off a little at a time and revisit it often. This allows the goat to become adjusted to the new hoof shape gradually, and ensures you will not inadequately injure the animal.

Step 7: Smooth the hoof

A smooth clean goat hoof. Post trimming. | Keep reading to learn how to trim your goat hooves

A smooth clean goat hoof. Post trimming

Your finished hoof should look something like this. You can use your rasp to smooth it out, but you don’t need to.

Notice there is a tiny bit of pink showing in one toe. It is important to watch for pink, and stop cutting when you see it. That is blood near the surface of the hoof, which is completely natural, but you do not want to go deeper and cause the hoof to bleed.

If you do get a little blood, do not panic. My experience is that a small cut does not bother the goat at all—often it will not even flinch. Spray the cut thoroughly with antiseptic spray, and keep an eye on it for a few days. If the goat seems lame or is favoring the foot, or if you see any signs of infection, call your vet.

When the hoof is done, it will stand all nice and flat.

hoof trimmers for goats

Trimmed hooves stand flat on the surface

trim goat hooves

All 4 hooves should stand comfortably

Once you develop a regular routine, you will be able to tend your goats’ hooves quickly and easily. It can become a very pleasant experience for all involved—your goat will enjoy the extra grain and attention, and you will be satisfied to know that you are taking good care of your animals.

Catch our full Goat Keeping Homesteading Handbook Here.

Want to see how to do it? Check out this video from TheGoatMentor’s channel:

Do you think you’ll give it a try? Let us know below in the comments!


Next Up: How To Ear Tag Your Goats

All You Need To Know About Goat Ear Tags



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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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