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The Pygmy Goat                  General Care            Teeth,Horns & Hooves           Scrapbook

Teeth, Horns & Hooves


When browsing the goat rips rather than bites. The goat has incisors on the bottom jaw. The top jaw has a pad. The food is then passed to the molars to be crushed. Assisted by the tongue the food is then passed into the oesophagus and on to the stomach. By the age of one the goat would have grown a full set of teeth. There are six molars on each side in the lower and upper jaw, and eight incisors on the lower jaw making a total of thirty-two teeth In all. At one year the milk incisors are gradually replaced by permanent teeth, by the time the goat is four and a half years old it is known as full mouthed.


We do not disbud or dehorn our goats. Horns on a goat act as a "cooling mechanism" that connect to the sinus cavities at the head. Our experience is that horns are mostly used to scratch with and are not used aggressively. Goats do use them to spar with each other during play fights but this does not lead to any injury. Horns are not used against people.We do polish horns with hoof oil at the same time as hoofs are trimmed  - this is mainly cosmetic.


Hooves need trimming every 4 to 6 weeks. This is a simple task to remove trapped dirt and stones and keep them in good shape.




Left is a picture of a kid's hooves that have not been trimmed yet. Note the soft pad at the back and how the outside nail is growing down.

Right is an older goat whose hooves need routine trimming.




I use inexpensive kitchen scissors. Scrape out any mud etc. so you can see and then cut off the nail.




Continue cutting off the nail all round. Cut off the pads at the back to make the sole of the hoof parallel with the growth lines. If the operation seems awkward leaning over the goat is a good option.




Finally take a cut from the front of the hoof. Should you draw blood with a clumsy cut (rare), spray on some iodine immediately


Remember trim hooves every 4 - 6 weeks and do not let them get into this state! (right)









   Living in the Fens it is inevitable our goats' feet are wet in the Winter months and rarely the odd goat shows signs of mild footrot - shown left as slight undermining of the heel.

Another mild condition is Hoof Scald which is a redness between the two halves of the hoof.

Check for this when the hooves are trimmed and use either flowers of sulphur powder or foot rot spray as a routine.







 Chris & Penny Renn, 134 Northorpe Road, Donington, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 4XX, 01775 822781  pygmygoatsuk@yahoo.co.uk  www.renn.co.uk