"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hoof Hell

Well, we got through the hoof trimming this morning with only two small cuts, one to a goat and one to me. Homero cut the goat; I cut myself. No big deal on either count.

But man, my goat's feet are in poor shape. Each of them has at least one badly rotted spot, and some of them have spots on two or three feet. I just can't cut deeply enough to get it all out, I'll have to cut as deeply as I dare and wait for the foot to grow out more and then cut again. Some foot rot is inevitable, just like tooth decay. Especially in this climate. All my goats are healthy, they aren't showing any signs of distress or trouble getting around, so I'll just have to step up the schedule and trim every other week until summertime comes and dries the place up a little bit.

I hope!


AnyEdge said...

Wow. My only real experience with anything remotely similar (and it's more remote than similar) is clipping my tiny parrot's wings. You do have to be careful in case there are young feathers, because the rachis will still be and artery/vein if the feather is still growning. And it doesn't staunch naturally if it gets cut, so it will act as a siphon and bleed the bird out if cut too deeply.

Of course, once fully formed, a feather isn't like a hoof or hair. It grows for a while, and then stops until it gets too old, then falls out. A new feather is then stimulated to replace it. This is good and bad. If you cut too close, you can either with a half year until it molts, or pull it out, traumatizing your little beast, but stimulating new growth.

Delphi hates like hell having his wings clipped, and with cats in the house, I tend to leave him fully flighted. When I do for some reason have to tend to his feathers, he fights and bites, and little parrot jaws can cut to the bone. I have an array of scars on my left hand from him.

With parrots, there are two reasons to clip: escape and behavior. The first ought be obvious. The second is that if you have an alpha bird, as I seem to, he will be much more aggressive if he's a good flier. If he has to work at it (and I usually only clip a bit, so that flying is hard work, not impossible), and rely on you for transporation that isn't exhausting, he's much sweeter and less likely to chomp on your earlobe while shouldering.

Aimee said...

the behavior issue is interesting. Goats are much more aggressive if they have horns. Even if they have a little piece of horn, like Xana. She has one three inch long scur, but she knows it's there and she knows nobody else has one. She uses that little thing to boss everybody around. Hey! I'm thinking of an analogy..... ;)

AnyEdge said...

Three inches? THAT'S HUGE!

~ Denise ~ said...

Aimee...I'm laughing like crazy at your comment to AnyEdge. Xana sounds like quite a personality! lol