My local farm has some sheep that will be slaughtered soon. I'm challenging myself to find recipes (and non-food usages) of every part of their bodies, so that at least we'll not let them rot away.

I've managed to prepare ligaments and tendons for consumption, but I've never tried to eat hooves. Is it possible? Is it part of any existing cuisine?

  • Turn them into gelatin?
    – MSalters
    Sep 5, 2013 at 7:40
  • @msalters Cannot be done. Hooves are a like finger nails, and won't convert to gelatin.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Sep 5, 2013 at 11:43
  • Hmmm... calves feet can be used to make jelly, why not lambs? Sep 5, 2013 at 13:35
  • Apparently not: snopes.com/food/ingredient/jello.asp
    – Stefano
    Sep 5, 2013 at 13:42
  • 2
    I guess it depends how strict your definition of hooves is. If you're talking about the foot and ankle, then you absolutely can make jelly with them; I watched someone do it the other day. If you're talking just the hard, nail like bit, then obviously not. Sep 5, 2013 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


Hooves are generally not eaten directly but make great soup. If you Google 'trotter soup', you will find recipes from many different culinary traditions, most of them middle-eastern or from the Indian sub-continent.

This page has some typical recipes: http://www.khanapakana.com/recipe-search/s/trotter

Although trotter generally means pig's hooves in the west, it's used to mean any hooves in the east.

  • Trotter usually is the entire foot, isn't it? That would include the meat. If this is just the "hoof" portion, I'm not sure it'd be suitable for soup.
    – Matthew
    Sep 6, 2013 at 17:47

Ruminant hooves are essentially their toes, but the part that people think of is made from the same material, keratin, as human finger and toe nails. This is not digestible by humans in any manner. So no, lamb hooves cannot be consumed.

  • I was thinking of the whole toe (butchers remove the actual nails usually I think) but the clarification was needed, so thanks.
    – iwein
    Sep 6, 2013 at 11:09

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