Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: First sheep..... foot trimming  (Read 2707 times)


  • Joined Aug 2012
First sheep..... foot trimming
« on: September 17, 2013, 10:56:47 am »
Got my first sheep last week, some Hill Radnor ewe lambs.

What are people's thoughts on foot trimming? Depending on who I speak to and what you read there are 2 camps, ones who routinely do it and others who only trim if there is a problem. There are no issues with mine, but I have to round them up for another injection in a few weeks and get all other husbandry done at the same time.

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: First sheep..... foot trimming
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 11:29:24 am »
why not pick up there feet when they are in and see what they look like. If they are massively overgrown and trapping mud, take off some of the extra hoof to make the foot flat. If not, leave them alone.

Its all down to you at the end of the day, personally  I don't mind once in a while picking feet up (normally pre tupping) and checking them as I want them at their best but I only trim after that if they are lame (only had 2 slightly lame in the last year)


  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Devon
Re: First sheep..... foot trimming
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 01:22:35 pm »
I only take off overgrown horn, making sure that the wall of the horn still bears the weight rather than the sole.  For frequency, it depends where you run your flock - if like mine they are only on soft ground then they may need a trim once or twice a year, since the wall often overgrows, going underneath the sole.  This isn't serious, but it does no harm to trim it back and prevents nasty infections hiding.

If they are lame, check the foot before doing anything about it.  Don't use trimming to treat scald or footrot; you need to use an oxytetracycline spray (IM injection if serious), bathe in a zinc solution and repeat weekly.  Then trim excess horn when recovered.
Carefully shearing small flocks throughout the South-West.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: First sheep..... foot trimming
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 02:05:14 pm »
If you lay the bottom blade of the foot shears along the base of the clee before snipping you'll leave the thickness of the outer horn on the bottom of the foot and not cut away too much.


  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: First sheep..... foot trimming
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2013, 02:11:56 pm »
Standard veterinary advice now recommends not routinely trimming off the excess horn.
Trimming routinely can cause the sole/wall to be shallow, predisposing to bruising and excess trimming can even cause growths called granulomas in the toes if cut too short.
The powers that be also advise for serious lamenesses such as footrot, to give antibiotic injection and spray with pain relief, and to trim a couple of days later to remove the dead horn once the animal is more comfortable.
I would tend to turn over any sheep that are lame, as soon as you spot them, to find out what is going on. If it is a deformity/serious overgrowth, then trim and leave, if potential infectious cause eg. scald or footrot, use blue spray, or add in injectable antibiotic if severe, then if still lame in a couple of days, check again, and if need be remove dead horn.
The most important thing is to treat any lame sheep as soon as you see them, because they are less likely to spread anything around, rather than doing all of them at once when gathering routinely.
Hope that helps


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