Foot care

Doe's feet:

Feet need trimming about every 6-8 weeks. In the wild goats walk around on hard stoney ground that wears down their hooves. In dairy goat situations their feet aren't worn down. This predisposes them to scald, footrot and skeletal deformities.


The cause of scald is wet environment (especially contaminated by faeces). Moisture softens the area between the toes, and then the bacteria (F. necrophorum-which is found in faeces) invades the area. If a second bug (D. nodosus) also invades you get footrot, if deeper invasion by A. pyogenes occurs you get foot abscesses.

Scald will spontaneously heal under dry conditions-there is a cure in sheep of up to 90% after 24 hours on dry ground.

Bucks’ feet

Bucks with footrot can have high temperatures. Bucks with poor foot conformation/overgrown hooves will have trouble mounting and mating does. Ideally you should have a look at all your bucks feet at least twice in the 2 months before they are due to go out with the does. In sheep footrot has a genetic component so consider culling any affected bucks, you also need to have them well clear of the disease before they go into the sheds.

Don’t forget your young bucks and kids feet either, these will be growing at the same rate as the milking herd’s, about every 6- 8 weeks they typically need a trim.


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