Drenching Goats and Trimming Hooves on a Kalahari Goat Farm

wind chimes

Things were bustling at Citadel Kalahari this weekend as we rounded up our Kalahari and Kalahari Boer goats for drenching, hoof-trimming, and general check-up.

goats feeding

Our dear friends Ann and Neil came over from their farm to join the fun and lend their expertise.

After a hearty vegetable curry and story-telling on the back porch, we headed to the first paddock.

In the past we’ve had to rely on sheer brawn to hold each goat as we checked their feet for uncomfortable growth patterns or foot rot. But thanks to Robbie’s ingenuity and skill in building a new goat crush, we were able to use it for the first time.

No more sitting on the grass or wrestling with makeshift corrals for us!

how to trim goats hooves

Goats hooves grow like fingernails and need to be trimmed accordingly. When goats are living in their native rocky environs, the hard ground takes care of any trimming that is needed. But in places like Citadel Kalahari where the ground is soft and covered with vegetation instead of rocky outcroppings, regular trimming is needed.

While Ann and her son Alex herded goats into the crush one by one, I secured their heads so they couldn’t buck or cause a ruckus. Once they were in place, Robbie held their hooves up for Neil to do the trimming, hugging them closely to calm their jitters. Our efforts were disjointed at first as we figured out the new process, but soon we were moving swiftly like a well-oiled machine.

Once the hooves were trimmed, Ann and Neil’s daughter Katy and I did the drenching. A year ago I didn’t even know what drenching was, but I’ve learned a lot since then.

I’ve learned to lift their chins up so the drench stays in their mouths, slide the drenching gun nozzle over their tongue and squirt directly into the back of the throat so they don’t have a chance to spit it up. (It IS nasty tasting stuff, after all). Speaking gently and giving them reassuring pats makes the procedure much less traumatic for them.

We finished the last goat just as the sun was setting. It felt so good to know they wouldn’t have any trouble walking thanks to Neil’s trimming, and that the pesky worms in their system would be drastically reduced thanks to the drench.


wind chimes

Now it’s time to turn in for the night and get rested up for the start of a new week.

How was your weekend?