Trimming Goat Hooves with a Block Plane

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

This is our ninth year raising Nigerian dwarf dairy goats and we trim all their hooves ourselves. We've done a decent job, but as we get more involved with linear appraisal and goat shows, and really watch our herd over time, we've realized we still have some room to improve on our hoof care and maintenance. Specifically, we struggle with keeping the two claws of each hoof trimmed the same length and we'd love to be able to get the hoof more level. Each of these mistakes can compound on each other, and can result in hooves getting worse, rolling, weakening their legs and feet, etc. We adore our goats, and want them to be able to be comfortable and perform to the best of their genetic potential so I began the hunt for something that would help us meet that goal.

Let's try a block plane!

I purchased a 7" adjustable block plane. It is heavy duty and wide enough that the entire hoof can be trimmed at the same time, but it is small enough that you can use it as a hand tool.

We grabbed our stand, one of our junior does, Cassette, volunteered to be the test subject, and got started!

Cassette's front feet before we began trimming. You can see how much longer the toe is; clearly the angle of the hoof needs corrected!