Notice on the before picture how it's beginning to split apart. Other signs that your goat needs trimming are if the hoof starts sitting flat. The goat should be standing as if its on its tip toes (see after picture).
When a goat is born it has perfect posture. The pasterns (the part of the foot between the fetlock and the hoof) on a goat's feet are well formed and the feet are shaped properly. As the goat grows and matures its feet will grow much the same way as our finger and toe nails grow. Proper and regular trimming is necessary in order to maintain proper posture and to keep the pasterns from breaking down. Taking the time to trim hooves will make them more comfortable and increase their performance and longevity.
It is recommended to begin trimming goats feet as early as 6 months and to make time every 3-4 months to trim any new growth.
When proper hoof care measures are taken, instances of foot rot can be greatly reduced as well as premature arthritis caused by poor posture. Performance can be optimized because feed and water intake will be higher than in goats with poorly maintained feet.
At birth the hairline on the hoof will be parallel to the bottom of the foot. It is important to maintain this parallel line.
Check out this video by Dr. Gene Parker on trimming goats feet: