Hoof trimming is an important part of maintaining a healthy, happy pig. It is important to desensitize your piglets by handling and filing their hooves often when they are young. This makes the hoof trimming a much easier task as your pig grows.
If you are not able to manage your pig for hoof trimming we recommend that your vet or experienced farrier take care of this for your pig’s health and well-being.
Knowing the anatomy of the hoof is very important. Examine and learn what the hoof looks like from all angles. Notice what is hard tissue and what is soft. Watch the way your pig’s hooves grow and change. The more familiar you are with the anatomy, the more confident and comfortable you will be trimming and shaping them for your pig.
There are a few tools you can use to trim and maintain the length and shape of your pig’s hooves. With a piglet a hard wire cutter, large nail cutter, and high grit emery board will all work to maintain the hooves. As your pig ages the hooves will become thicker and tougher and sturdier tools will be needed. Goat hoof trimmers, horse hoof nippers, dremel, metal file or rasp are all great tools for trimmings.
Get your pig comfortable on his/her side with a belly rub and then check the hooves one by one. It is important to start them getting used to having their hooves touched and trimmed when young and often. Remove any impacted dirt from inside the front of the grown hoof. Once you can clearly see hard and soft tissue begin cutting away excess. Cut parallel to the heel and toe. Gently, but firmly trim down to level the growth with the heel or soft pad of the hoof. Use a file, dremel, or rasp to smooth rough edges. Pigs have two dew claws that will also need trimming while being aware of the soft tissue inside. Do not cut too short.