Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 44

HOOF CARE From page 40 This debris, if not removed, will dull your hand tools and may hide injuries to the hoof. K Hoof knife. A hoof knife is for trimming away loose dried-out sole. Do not cut into live flesh or the sole will be sore and may bleed—not a good thing. The hoof knife is also used to trim off loose and ragged frog in horses. K Pincers. Pincers are used to trim the outgrowth of hoof wall from the hoof. K Rasp. Use the rasp to smooth and level the bottom of the hoof. Every stroke should go the entire length of the hoof. When trimming feet, avoid doing it at stressful times such as in hot weather or late in gestation. If you are going to do the trimming yourself, it is important that you ask your veterinarian or someone with experience to demonstrate how to perform this proce- dure. If you are dealing with a sheep, goat or pig, you will need a pair of hoof shears. You will also need someone to hold the animal while you are doing the trimming. The assistant must put the animal in a comfortable sitting position. Using the tip of the hoof shears, remove dirt and mud from the hoof. Determine the level of the sole of the hoof before starting to cut any of the wall of the hoof away. First trim off the point of the hoof of one claw. Then trim the outer side of the hoof. Finally trim the inner side of the hoof. Then repeat the process on the hoof of the other claw. Gradually trim the hooves down until you can see the white line of new hoof growth. When dealing with a horse's hooves, secure the horse first. Stand next to the horse's shoulder, pick up the hoof and hold it in place between your knees so you can use both hands to work. Clean the horse's hooves using a hoof pick to ensure nothing has become lodged in the hoofs’ natural depressions. Begin cleaning at the back of the hoof and work forward, removing any debris from the hoof. Include cleaning between the frog and the cleft. If the hoof needs trimming, use the pincers to trim away the excess hoof wall from the hooves. Make sure you have a hand on each handle of the pincers to get an even cut and make sure the blade of the nippers is parallel to the horse's foot while trimming. Go from heel to toe to ensure the hoof wall is trimmed evenly. This should only be done if you are comfortable using the tool, and are certain of your ability not to cut away too much. Then use the rasp to smooth and level the bottom of the hoof. Every stroke should go the entire length of the hoof. This will make sure there aren't any uneven spots or ridges. Use smooth strokes and apply equal downward pressure. Only use the rasp from heel to toe and never from side to side. Keep checking for levelness every few strokes or you might remove more than you intended and hurt the cow or horse. You should never file the sole of the hoof. Continued on page 43 42 www.sasmallholder.co.za