Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 45

From page 42 Check and make sure that the hooves are even and level. The hoof wall should be the same thickness all around the hoof. To remove rough or chipped edges, use the rasp once more to round and smooth the edges of the hoof but don't take off too much or you will weaken the wall of the hoof. It may not be possible to restore the normal shape to overgrown hooves at the first attempt. You may need to do this by gradually reshaping the hooves over a few weeks. Trimming schedules can depend on a variety of factors. For example, animals that are kept on pasture are less likely to develop painful foot problems than those living on hard or stony ground. It is a general recommendation that a dairy cow's hooves are checked and trimmed (if HOOF CARE Trimming of ALL livestock!s hooves should be an integral part of your management programme to ensure the animals are comfortable and healthy needed) twice a year, preferably in the dry period and 120 days after calving. The general rule for equine hooves is that they should be trimmed every six to eight weeks. Again, this can differ from animal to animal, as well as from season to season. Sheep and goats may be trimmed from once to twice yearly, although this largely depends on the conditions they are raised in and any health issues of the hoof. Pigs, especially elderly ones with limited mobility, need their hooves trimmed every two months, although some pigs require more frequent trimming and more active pigs require trimming only a few times a year. Learn what a pig's foot is supposed to look like and make sure that you are keeping it trimmed well, because foot infections, which often start with hoof problems, can be fatal in pigs. Because horses are primarily used for riding or driving, this puts a lot of stress on their 43 www.sasmallholder.co.za feet, leading to the need for added support and maintenance of their feet. This support and protection