Friday, January 25, 2008

No picture, please

There is not, and should not be, a photograph for today's post. It was cold again today, so we decided on another "off-season" task: caprine pedicures.

For those unaquainted with nasty, overgrown goat's feet, let me tell you this. Yech, yech, and yech. Worse than your worst imaginings. Remember, these guys trot around in mud and manure pretty much all the time. Their hooves, like fingernails, grow constantly. And therefore need trimming at least twice a year. I do the Pygoras on our farm every time I shear them. (About every 6 months) I won't even venture a guess when the last time these diary goats were trimmed...but, back to the facts. Both the inner and outer walls of the hoof must be trimmed, any gunk present scraped away, and even the pad trimmed down if it is not flat. You go until you see pink tint in the hoof, then stop before you draw blood.

And although I have done this chore myself for several years, and read plenty of "how-to's", the essence of the job was revealed to me when my boss explained, "trim the hoof parallel to the hair line" for the best shaping. And, "keep the sole FLAT." It was just one of those "light-bulb" moments, when all that I had read and sort of understood just fell away, and the clarity and simplicity of her instruction hit home. Not to mention I had to repeat those instructions to myself 120 times. Yep. I trimmed 120 goat feet at work today.

So, instead of the photo of gnarly hooves, grimy hands, toe funk, nail trimmings, and the occasional pile of poo, I leave you with this:


Sunday, one of the barn kitties, was napping across the warm back of Purple Collar. (Not an incredibly interesting name, but these are production animals, and not pets...) She sat up for the photo - sorry for the alien eyes, but you get the idea.

6 comments:

Kathy said...

Great photo! And great advice for trimming caprine and ovine hooves!

Stay warm!

Karin said...

You, my dear, are a marvel.

And: hah, better you than me. :)

I look forward to another round of goat cheese.

Love that picture. (thank you for sparing us the other ones.)

sheila said...

this is great! The blog, that is. Sorry, I havent kept up lately but just spent the last hour really enjoying your writing. You are so funny. I LOL a few times, for sure : )

Kathy said...

There's something on my blog for you, Melanie. :)

melanie said...

Kathy-
what a nice thing to say! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet all these wonderful people through the world of blogging, especially my Shetland friends!

Now if science could only invent a way to spot visit them like that literally instead of virtually...wow! that would be living!

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

You an me both honey.
I'm not thrilled withthat part of goat breeding. It's on my to-do list next week. sigh.