Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Show Clip a Nigerian Goat

I have had several folks ask me how I clip my goats.  I personally hate to see naked goats.  If one clips a goat with a 10 or 15 blade, they are naked.  My suggestion is invest in some combs and clip with a comb.  I wish I could get some combs for my sheep shears to control the length of cut with them in the fall.

Anyway, I use a 10 or 15 blade and depending on the time of year, either a 1/8th, 1/4th or 1/2 inch comb.  If it is fall, I use the longer combs so the goats do not get cold, but the hair is trimmed short and looks neat.  Baby goats have a tendency to be hairy and Bucks, well, we know about the mohawk thing they have.  Buck Nigerians have a huge Mohawk along their back, which they can make stand up when they want to look the "tough guy" part.  The bucks also need to have the front legs trimmed, which can be saturated in pee pee in the fall.  I suggest washing the stinky boys and allowing the hair to dry.  If you just clip off the pee pee, there is major clipper trauma and grundgy dull blades.  Bucks usually need a bath first, but the does are very clean and usually do not need a bath before clipping.
In the late spring and summer, I clip with a 10 blade with a 1/8th inch comb.  This leaves a nice, smooth clip and enough hair to make the animal slick and pretty and cover them so they do not get sun burned.  With this clip they can go graze and be a regular goat without being shut up until they grow back enough to not get sun burned.  Yes, a goat can get sunburned, even the dark skinned ones...  I like to use just the clippers without a comb for the hooves and legs and around the head.  Do not forget to clip out the ears so the tattoos can be easily seen.

I have an example of a non clipped goat above who is Oldesouth Galloway.  She is in the raw with her baby coat trying to shed out and the rough looking apparance.  One can see her topline and that she is nice, but she looks coarse and could have more dairy character.  Dairy character is basically refinement.  After clipping, Galloway is a new woman.  She is clean and her dairy character stands out to impress.  I used a # 10 blade and a 1/8th inch comb to clip her.  The entire body is clipped and the legs and hooves are done without the comb.  We leave the little poof for the tail and this baby girl is ready for the show...