Why is it so important to regularly trim the feet of sheep and goats?

Sheep, Animal Welfare January 30, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Hoof trimming is an essential part of sheep and goat management.  Flocks should be checked on a regular basis for hoof growth.  Overgrown hooves may make walking painful, predispose the animal to other foot and leg problems, and competing for feed difficult.  This may cause sheep and goats to stop eating and exercising.  Animals with overgrown hooves are also very susceptible to joint and tendon problems and arthritis.  Also, breeding animals use their hind legs during mating; mating and reproductive performance of a flock may seriously be affected if hooves of breeding males are not trimmed.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.