BY CODY W. FAERBER
Regular hoof trimming is an essential part of raising small ruminants. Depending on the environment the sheep or goats live in and the diet they are fed, some animals require that their feet be trimmed every 6 weeks to 2 months. A minimum of 2-3 times a year is essential for almost all animals no matter their diet or environment. Animals that are fed a high energy and protein diet tend to have hooves that grow more rapidly. Animals that have access to hard surfaces and play areas will naturally wear down the hoof and require less frequent trimmings. Some small ruminant owners will feed on a roughened concrete surface to help the hooves naturally wear down. Care should be taken to avoid trimming feet of ewes/does during late gestation.