Hoof trimming at an early age is important when parenting a mini healthy, happy pig. It is as easy as checking their nails and pads for any cracks, splits, or overgrowth regularly. Start with a nail filer to scratch the hoof’s surface to trim the tip of the hoof of your mini pig, moving all the way up to hoof trimmers or snippers. If your looking for the best goat hoof trimmers you can check out this article.
Desensitizing by handing or filing hooves establishes trust between the two, and the mini pig won’t be scared handing over its toe to you. Knowledge of hoof anatomy is also crucial. They might need some belly rubs, sedatives, or tasty treats as an incentive. Hence, you might need a peanut butter sheet to keep the piglets busy. Also if you happen to own a goat and are looking to learn more about hoof trimming you can check out our goat hoof trimming guide as well.
Why is it important to keep their hoofs trimmed?
Most pigs need a hoof trim when they’re six months or one year old. But, mini piglets need hoof trimming every third month as they’re growing fast. The housing environment also plays an important role in natural hoof trimming. The hoofs of your mini pig need frequent trimming as they are usually housed indoors with linoleum or tile surfaces. However, outdoors, their hooves will naturally wear and trim if they walk on rough terrains like concrete or gravel every day.
Untrimmed hooves can overgrow, curl or crack. This leads to pressure or pain in joints or soft tissues, impairs the animal’s walking, and result in abnormal gait. You can trim or file your mini pig’s nails at home if he’s calm and compliant.
A few tools can help you trim and balance your piglet’s hoof properly at home.
- ARS 140DXR Smooth Blade Trimmer
- Zenport Q140DX Multipurpose Q Series Hoof Trimmers
- Burgon and Ball Neogen IEAL Eze-Trim
- Hoof Boss Electric Hoof Trimmers
ARS 140DXR Smooth Blade Trimmer
ARS 140DXR are the best trimmers I’ve owned for years for trimming hoofs of our pigs. These red-handled trimmers qualify as excellent trimmers for shaping and balancing your pig hoofs. Since they’re spring-loaded, they don’t spread much and work best with all hooved animals like mini pigs, adult pigs, goats, and sheep. This feature makes them helpful when you need to hold your cranky/jumpy mini pig with one hand while trimming.
It has 2 inches long high carbon steel blades which makes them super-sharp and durable; it helps keep their edge. The chrome coating prevents them from oxidation and rusting throughout their life. The multi-purpose trimmers are sturdy enough to be used for trimming branches of plants in the garden. However, this makes the steel blade dull.
If you’re using them solely for your mini pigs, you don’t need to worry about sharpening your trimmer for at least three years. I’d highly recommend spring-loaded shears as it works well even with left-handed people as they can comfortably hold and use them. Since they don’t come with a strap, the 6.4 oz ARS trimmer might be tricky to use with an impulsive or jumpy piglet. They might cost you a hefty sum of your money, $34 (Amazon price), but are totally worth it.
Zenport Q140DX Multipurpose Q Series Hoof Trimmers
Another best hoof trimmer to help you with the hoof trimming of your mini pigs! Zenport hoof trimmers consist of chromium-coated, Marquench hardened smooth steel blades with a rounded tip to ensure structure and cutting durability. While the hard chrome coating provides rust resistance, the round edges ensure manure cleaning from hooves and prevent injury to the user or animal.
It is easy to clean and sharpen over and over again. Its non-slip soft PVC grip and solid steel core fit perfectly in hands and can withstand the toughest of trimming. Though 7 inches in length, the trimmer weighs merely 5 oz, making it easy to hold and operate for multiple purposes. This robust trimmer comes in white ivory or bright orange-colored grip handles and costs only $23 (Amazon price). These can also be used for other hooved animals like potbellied pigs, goats, sheep, and even pruning bushes or branches in your garden.
Burgon and Ball Neogen IEAL Eze-Trim
You’re looking for hoof trimmers that fit your budget, you’ll definitely love these pair of shears. Burgon and Ball trimmers come with 7.5 inches, high-carbon steel blades that are heat-treated to impart its hardness and durability. It can be sharpened easily and give the best hold on edges. One thing that interests you is that its blades come with a lock that keeps the blades closed when not in operation!
Unlike ARS trimmers, they come with a wrist strap which makes them easy to use. The spring is also adjustable, which means you adjust the tensile strength of the spring. The ergonomic rubber-coated handle allows firm grip even with sweaty palms. The only drawbacks with these trimmers are their hefty weight, i.e., 6.4 oz for 11 inches length, and non-stick or Teflon-coating that goes off with re-sharpening.
On the whole, I’d still recommend a premium quality, long-lasting ARS trimmers. However, Burgon and Ball trimmers are second runner-up on the list for their additional wrist strap and blade lock features. Like other trimmers, these, too, can be used for other animals.
Hoof Boss Electric Hoof Trimmers
This electric hoof trimmer from HoofBoss is an all-in-one hoof trimming set for trimming, shaping, and balancing the hooves of your mini pigs efficiently. The set comprises a 110V Hoof Boss electric trimmer, 8-foot power cord, one 8 Tooth Cdisc, 2 abrasive discs, safety glasses, and instructional resources, all packed in a canvas tool bag. This set would help you cut through the toughest of the hooves quickly and conveniently. The package contains a variety of sanders that help with the smoothing and finishing of hooves after grinding.
Everyone loves this regular maintenance electric trimmer, for it is safe to use with minimal practice and time-efficient. It also saves time spent struggling with single-handed tools. Though heavy on pocket (cost up to $300), these trimmers provide a pain-free, flawless finish on all kinds of hooved animals, be it pigs, goats, or sheep. Another con of the tool is the disturbing noise produced when operating that might scare your mini pig or potbellied pig.
Other Hoof Trimming products that we recommend
Once you have made your decision on a proper set of hoof trimmers, we recommend a few other items to make your experience better. Some of these items may seem to be a waste of money but you will find many instances where they come in handy in one way or another. Having all the proper tools for every situation will save your sanity and your time that could be spent with your family and that makes it all worth the money.
Our two top recommended Hoof Rasps
Rasps are great for fine-tuning and finishing touches. You can use the rasp to fix the chipping and splitting of the hoofs. Think of it as a nail filer but with a much more aggressive filing approach. Most farm critters will appreciate the extra care you take in making sure all chips and sharp edges are cleaned up before you complete the hoof trimming.
Wooden handle hoof rasp is our first recommendation. This particular rasp is great especially if you like the feel of a wooden handle or if you happen to have small hands. You’re going to find the Farrier Rasp a great form-fitting tool that won’t cause craps in your hands.
Our next recommendation is similar to the wooden handle rasp except this one has a plastic full grip. The rider rasp is budget-friendly and will get the job done just as well as the wooden handle rasp. So if the form fit handle isn’t going to be an issue then this is a great option.
Mini pig harness restraint
A pig harness is a good way to add some additional support and control over your mini pig while trimming their nails. Yes we know these are not pig-specific harnesses but their body form is the basic same shape. All animal’s temperments are different so one recommendation might not work for your particular pig. What we recommend is to start with a harness that you will be able to get the most use out of. If you take your mini pig for short walks it will be a great idea to use a harness as it will give you the most security and prevent them from getting loose. We always recommend spending a little extra on restraint as it will be something that becomes a multi-purpose use and you want to make sure you can get the most out of it. Higher quality material and thicker bands are usually going to be your best bet. That way you know you’re providing the most support for your critter.
Before you go
We hope that you learned something while reading our short little guide. We will be updating this article periodically with new products that we test out. Be sure to take a look back once in a while. If we could give you one last recommendation that would be to always reward your mini pig after the job is complete so here is a great product that is sure to make them happy. Also if you have time be sure to check out our pig farming for beginners guide.