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Wild Country
01-20-2013, 10:42 PM
I am looking at purchasing a few pack goats and would like to know what breeds you other goat packers think are best. With the online research I have done I am favoring togg's, kiko's, oberhaslis and finally alpines. I would like to know if you all think its better to buy a trained goat or go through the bottle feeding process....I am leaning towards trained due to being able to hunt this coming year but would like to hear your thoughts! I would like to hear anyones thoughts on any part of packing with goats.....poitive or negative. I know Montana packs with goats and I would like to know your thoughts most as you are the only one that I know that's uses goats for sure! Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Fink
01-21-2013, 06:04 AM
Pack goat = griz snack?

I would think it would take a bunch of goats to haul your stuff, might spend more time herding goats than hunting?

Never in Doubt
01-21-2013, 08:54 AM
Goats can smell strongly, need their hooves trimmed, need shots, medicine, etc etc. Prepare to spend time just taking care of them if you want them to do well.

elkmtngear
01-22-2013, 11:27 AM
From what I've read, and from speaking with goat packers, you should raise your own wethers from kids, because the whole point of packing goats is they will follow you wherever you go. They are like dogs that way, and they will always stay with you and the lead goat. The right breed can take around 50 pounds apiece. I have a buddy with a string of pack goats, they are all like his little buddies.
I have long entertained the thought of doing it for several reasons:

1. You do not have to pack in food for them
2. They can go places that are hard for horses to get
3. You can simply stake them out at night, they are relatively low maintenance

hardstalk
01-22-2013, 11:45 AM
From what I've read, and from speaking with goat packers, you should raise your own wethers from kids, because the whole point of packing goats is they will follow you wherever you go. They are like dogs that way, and they will always stay with you and the lead goat. The right breed can take around 50 pounds apiece. I have a buddy with a string of pack goats, they are all like his little buddies.
I have long entertained the thought of doing it for several reasons:

1. You do not have to pack in food for them
2. They can go places that are hard for horses to get
3. You can simply stake them out at night, they are relatively low maintenance

+1 bottlefeed them as kids and they are much worse than dogs. They follow you everywhere and jump all over you like a play pen. I would suggest females due to the stench of males. Not sure if castration of goats is a normality but that would probably cut the stench down also. That was my first taste of entrepreneurship. Bought a male and a female when I was about 11-12 years old. And would sell the offspring to the mexicans around town for 150.00 a piece. Another benefit is if you end up stuck and in a bad spot you've always got food:)

elkmtngear
01-22-2013, 11:58 AM
Not sure if castration of goats is a normality but that would probably cut the stench down also.

Most packers as far as I know, use castrated males for that reason, plus they get superior size and muscle if castrated, but are less beligerant


Best of Luck,
Jeff

hardstalk
01-22-2013, 01:38 PM
Most packers as far as I know, use castrated males for that reason, plus they get superior size and muscle if castrated, but are less beligerant


Best of Luck,
Jeff

We would do that on cattle, pigs and horses. There is a fine line of proper time as to when cutting/ banding should take place. After superior size growth and muscle growth. But before the dominant dic$(;ad stage.

Wild Country
01-23-2013, 08:42 AM
I am thinking i will start bottle feeding but am thinking of getting 2 or 3 trained to start with so I can hunt this year and then start the bottle feeding process once I have all the items to start the heard from bottle feeding. I will only use withers as all the research suggest this. I did not find much on how a mixed heard would be (trained & bottle feed) but that is my current plan. I was hoping the forum could do better then this but I guess we just don't have many goat packers here. If anyone has any experience good or bad with goats please share any info, thanks, again

Old Hunter
01-23-2013, 09:35 AM
Horses an be like dogs too.

http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh318/Res_Dog/meanwhile-in-texas.jpg

Ikeepitcold
01-23-2013, 09:50 AM
+1 bottlefeed them as kids and they are much worse than dogs. They follow you everywhere and jump all over you like a play pen. I would suggest females due to the stench of males. Not sure if castration of goats is a normality but that would probably cut the stench down also. That was my first taste of entrepreneurship. Bought a male and a female when I was about 11-12 years old. And would sell the offspring to the mexicans around town for 150.00 a piece. Another benefit is if you end up stuck and in a bad spot you've always got food:)

Hahahhahaha that's hilarious!

nebowhunter
01-24-2013, 05:41 AM
I have a string of 9 goats. they are very little hassle. It costs me less than $500 a year to keep them. They can carry 25% of their weight for up to 12 miles a day depending on the terrain. PM me and i will answer any questions you might have. I can also give you some ideas on how to aquire them.

Wild Country
01-26-2013, 10:45 AM
I have a string of 9 goats. they are very little hassle. It costs me less than $500 a year to keep them. They can carry 25% of their weight for up to 12 miles a day depending on the terrain. PM me and i will answer any questions you might have. I can also give you some ideas on how to aquire them.

PM sent but this was the first PM I have sent and did not get conformation it sent so let me know if you did not receive it!

Montana
01-26-2013, 10:38 PM
Ahh... Goat packing. I could go on forever.. Love'm. Go with Saanen, Oberhasli, or Alpine. Get a whether not a billy, because yes... they do stink. Newborn is a better man than I, I could never do that many. I have had as much as 3 but found 2 is better for me personally. But he probably packs with his. I mainly hunt with mine.4-5 days on the max end is all I do. But they are tremendous and great to have along. Let me know if I can help. I have always purchase previously trained goats, never went ground up.

Wild Country
01-27-2013, 02:57 PM
Ahh... Goat packing. I could go on forever.. Love'm. Go with Saanen, Oberhasli, or Alpine. Get a whether not a billy, because yes... they do stink. Newborn is a better man than I, I could never do that many. I have had as much as 3 but found 2 is better for me personally. But he probably packs with his. I mainly hunt with mine.4-5 days on the max end is all I do. But they are tremendous and great to have along. Let me know if I can help. I have always purchase previously trained goats, never went ground up.

So do you use them strictly as meat packers wit camp on your back or as decoys? Also, what's your take on horned vs. not? Thanks!

Montana
01-27-2013, 10:15 PM
Mine do not have horns, though it is supposed to be good for them, keeps them cooler I guess. Heat is not much of a problem where I am though and I have little ones, kids 6 and 2. Just didn't want to chance.
I guess when I say I use them for hunting I mean small pack trips. They usually carry 30-35 pounds and I'll Carry15-20. That way I can load them with a little more and I can carry the rest sound I have some luck. You've obviously heard about the decoy aspect. It's true and I must say pretty nice. I owe a few animals to them. But I guess they have cost me some too so it balances out.

Ikeepitcold
01-27-2013, 10:35 PM
So how do you pack gear or whatever on the goats? I assume there is some kind of bags like that are used on dogs.

Montana
01-28-2013, 08:52 PM
Oh no. I have pack saddles baby.... Lol. Crossbuck saddles.

Wild Country
01-29-2013, 03:42 PM
Oh no. I have pack saddles baby.... Lol. Crossbuck saddles.

During my reasearch I read that some goat packers (especially hunters) like using buckets with lids tied on not panniers. It was just in mentioning and did not give the pros and cons. Can you enlighten me?

Montana
01-30-2013, 10:30 PM
Boy... Sorry cant answer that one. I have not tries that.

Colorado Cowboy
02-02-2013, 07:32 AM
Interesting thread as I really didn't know much about pack goats. I just received my 2013 Colorado Sheep & Goat brochure and noticed something on page 3...it says "Leave your pack goats at home when hunting sheep". Seems they are concerned about spreading certain diseases from domestic goats to wild sheep. I knew about the problems with domestice sheep and wild sheep, but not about the domestic goats. Just thought you should know.

dying to kill
02-03-2013, 06:16 PM
never heard of this method be for sure seems interesting, it seems to be a method that would either be really good , or really baaaaaaaaaa d !!!

HuntWYODon
02-12-2013, 11:40 PM
Wild Country,
Have a friend that had goats and just bought 3 packer's. maybe you could pick each other's brains . Send me a PM and I'll give you his email address. He's not a forum member but would be interested in this thread .

Wild Country
02-14-2013, 04:38 PM
Wild Country,
Have a friend that had goats and just bought 3 packer's. maybe you could pick each other's brains . Send me a PM and I'll give you his email address. He's not a forum member but would be interested in this thread .

PM sent...Thanks!

AKaviator
02-17-2013, 01:03 PM
As a point of interest...Alaska has recently made it illegal to use domestic sheep and goats as pack animals. So far this only applies to those hunting Dall sheep, Goats or Muskox.
There was significant testimony that a real possibility of disease could be carried and transmitted to wild populations. The effects can be devastating.
We have had no disease issues yet but the risk outweighs the benefits. The risk is probably more obvious in the sheep and goat populations, I don't recall the specific risks to muskox as they inhabit a completely different environment.

nebowhunter
02-19-2013, 09:15 PM
The diseases that they are worried about they get from nose to nose contact. And the people that uses pack animals take care of their animals. so a perfect example of one bad apple ruining it for everyone. Sometimes it doesn't seem like a free country.

TrinityPackGoats
03-02-2013, 09:05 PM
The disease, that has the sheep world so scared is a viral for of pneumonia. Although they have done tests in the lab and have been able to cross contaminate from goat/sheep to wild sheep, there is no evidence that any of the die offs were caused by goats. But because its possible, they fear is there. And nebow is correct, they would more or less have to rub noses with an infected goat/sheep. There are other worries but not on a die off scale with other domesticated goat/sheep diseases.

Now as for pack goats, you dont need to bottle feed them to have them bond with you. Infact, I think its best they see you as a herd boss rather then their mama. Goats have a herd ranking system and if you're not at the top, then you dont stand a chance in controlling them. This is not to say to be mean or abusive in any way, but they need to know you are the one in charge because on the trail they need to have confidence in you. The more they see you as their herd boss, the easier it is going to be to train them. Make no mistake, goats are just as smart as dogs and pigs. You can show a goat where a treat is (say in your pocket, one time) and they will remember from that point on. They can be trained with whistles, or words or even random sounds. Just depends on how well you do the training. This is also another reason to get them right after they are weened. Usually at the 3 month mark. They cant take a saddle till about a year and a half (125 lbs.+) but as soon as a dog pack fits, they can start being trained to the feel of something on their backs. At 125 lbs, the typical pack saddle will start to fit well enough to wear. You still dont wanna put any weight over a couple of pounds in the saddle till it fits totally correct (typically 150+ lbs coming up on two years old). Equal weight is a must in the panniers that drape over the saddle. Each goat is different but if after a couple of miles on an average trail, you find the goat wanting to lay down and rest, then you are over burdening the goat. After 3 years to 4 years of age, is when a goat is at its peak weight. But like mentioned, you can start their training as soon as the saddle fits but wait till about 2 years of age before you put more then a couple of pounds on em. By doing this in a training manner you are conditioning that animals, not abusing it and it will last must longer then an animal that is not cared for. This also brings into the spot light, using them as bait or decoys. Most other hoofed animals will actually stop to get a better look at the goats. And often times will venture toward them. Making them amazing decoys for other pray animals. But NEVER use your pack goat as bait. The time, effort and money a true pack goat owner puts into their animals, this is an unthinkable act. If you wanna use one for bait, go buy a butcher goat and stack it up somewhere if that is the way you plan to hunt. A sever encounter with a predator can totally shut down an animal for the rest of its life and it will be skittish on the trail for the rest of its life. This is mainly because a goat can remember chit a long time and if not reassured, by the "herd boss" then it will just be to afraid to be effective. Granted, this is a rare occasion but its been known to happen. I know of someone who trained their goats to present their horns to dogs on the trail. It took a couple of years but by the time they were trail ready, they had no fear of dogs.

To sum it up, a pack goat is a great and easy way to pack out game or pack in supplies or just for hiking. But you must spend the time in training in that first couple of years so that you and your goats can enjoy the trail and have successful trips. If you are not willing to put the time in, then you will just regret it later on. Am also available for more info and contacts. Even a master hunter who uses a string of 8 to pack out bull elk.

http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

Wild Country
06-08-2014, 12:32 AM
The disease, that has the sheep world so scared is a viral for of pneumonia. Although they have done tests in the lab and have been able to cross contaminate from goat/sheep to wild sheep, there is no evidence that any of the die offs were caused by goats. But because its possible, they fear is there. And nebow is correct, they would more or less have to rub noses with an infected goat/sheep. There are other worries but not on a die off scale with other domesticated goat/sheep diseases.

Now as for pack goats, you dont need to bottle feed them to have them bond with you. Infact, I think its best they see you as a herd boss rather then their mama. Goats have a herd ranking system and if you're not at the top, then you dont stand a chance in controlling them. This is not to say to be mean or abusive in any way, but they need to know you are the one in charge because on the trail they need to have confidence in you. The more they see you as their herd boss, the easier it is going to be to train them. Make no mistake, goats are just as smart as dogs and pigs. You can show a goat where a treat is (say in your pocket, one time) and they will remember from that point on. They can be trained with whistles, or words or even random sounds. Just depends on how well you do the training. This is also another reason to get them right after they are weened. Usually at the 3 month mark. They cant take a saddle till about a year and a half (125 lbs.+) but as soon as a dog pack fits, they can start being trained to the feel of something on their backs. At 125 lbs, the typical pack saddle will start to fit well enough to wear. You still dont wanna put any weight over a couple of pounds in the saddle till it fits totally correct (typically 150+ lbs coming up on two years old). Equal weight is a must in the panniers that drape over the saddle. Each goat is different but if after a couple of miles on an average trail, you find the goat wanting to lay down and rest, then you are over burdening the goat. After 3 years to 4 years of age, is when a goat is at its peak weight. But like mentioned, you can start their training as soon as the saddle fits but wait till about 2 years of age before you put more then a couple of pounds on em. By doing this in a training manner you are conditioning that animals, not abusing it and it will last must longer then an animal that is not cared for. This also brings into the spot light, using them as bait or decoys. Most other hoofed animals will actually stop to get a better look at the goats. And often times will venture toward them. Making them amazing decoys for other pray animals. But NEVER use your pack goat as bait. The time, effort and money a true pack goat owner puts into their animals, this is an unthinkable act. If you wanna use one for bait, go buy a butcher goat and stack it up somewhere if that is the way you plan to hunt. A sever encounter with a predator can totally shut down an animal for the rest of its life and it will be skittish on the trail for the rest of its life. This is mainly because a goat can remember chit a long time and if not reassured, by the "herd boss" then it will just be to afraid to be effective. Granted, this is a rare occasion but its been known to happen. I know of someone who trained their goats to present their horns to dogs on the trail. It took a couple of years but by the time they were trail ready, they had no fear of dogs.

To sum it up, a pack goat is a great and easy way to pack out game or pack in supplies or just for hiking. But you must spend the time in training in that first couple of years so that you and your goats can enjoy the trail and have successful trips. If you are not willing to put the time in, then you will just regret it later on. Am also available for more info and contacts. Even a master hunter who uses a string of 8 to pack out bull elk.

http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

Trinity....just saw this in my profile. Thanks for the information. You have actually already helped me out a ton when my goats were bottle babies and with a two year old I bought and couldn't get him to work with me....the advice for the cough the kid had was gone in 4 days after the shot u told me to give him and the older goat now is working well and all I did was have to keep trying different types of treat...salty chips didn't a host of other treats didn't work but garlic and herb triscuts are the ticket for that him. That was on the old pack goat forum that's is now the goat spot!

MountainHigh
09-01-2014, 10:22 PM
I have used pack goats before. I like to call them my hunting "epic fail"! I used panniers and cross buck saddles build for them and the saddle setup was flawless. Pack goats have their place but I found that mine just do not have the same mind set as a mule and can not go as hard obviously. I bought two trained wethers and to be fair I probably took them too far the first time, but when they got lazy they always wanted to lay down. I am sure there are many people who use them with more success than I have had, but to me it just seemed like a great idea that didn't work out for me. I typically like to hunt 8-10 miles from roads with steep elevation gain and they just were not up for that even when conditioned. Maybe I needed more goats so they could carry less weight. Anyways this is just my experience with them, I may get back into someday and give it another shot. Goats are very easy keepers and my two wethers were alpine saanen crosses.

az.mountain runner
09-02-2014, 01:28 AM
When you get more info let me know I have been entertaining that thought also,