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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read the different recommendations on pack breeds.
The stock shows are winding down here in Texas, and there are tons of boer goats available. These kids(human kids) raised these meat goats for the show ring. Well many children either get cold feet, not wanting their pet to get slaughtered, or lack of meat quality, not all goats go to the show.
I have a chance to get some FREE boer wethers that are a year old and are already halter broke. The kids/ parents paid around $500 for these wethers.
Am I wasting my time using these guys as packers, or should I just try them out?
My main goal is to get elk off the mountain.

I also have 2 yearling obers that could care less about hanging with my 6 alpine wethers. They are never with the group. They seem to always be alone, each one, in the pasture. Is this going to be a pain on pack trips? I'm afraid they are going to wonder off, since they could care less about the group.
 

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I am not the expert goat packer at all, but I have four very diverse breeds of whethers who have all done five day pack trips with us in the Trinity Alps, Tahoe National Forest, and Wind Rivers in Wyoming. My first two whethers are a full blood boer and a boer mix now four years old. The full blood boer is named Gyro and he is an awesome packer. He is an exceptionally friendly and gentle guy, chosen out by the meat goat farmer I got him from because from the day he was born he liked people a lot. The boer mix would be great except he has weak ankles. Partly because he is fat/obese. That is what I think is the biggest problem with the boers. They are so food obscessed that it is next to impossible to keep them from putting on too much weight. Plus, the pack gear is not made to stay on top of their rotund bodies. They do O.K. once they learn to ballance the load, but it was a long learning process for them and me- the panniers have to be ballanced within a few ounces to not tip to the heavy side, that kind of thing.
My two other guys are dairy goat breed mixes. They are much easier to fit saddles to, and generally seem much more willing to leave the farm to go on walks in the neighborhood. The boers do great if they are loaded in the truck and driven to somewhere special, but they don't see the point in walking away from the farm- I have to drag them. I worked with them the same way as the dairy mix guys from day one, and as they grew up they just decided they didn't like walking on roads near the house, they want to go somewhere in the truck where there are no cars and it's scenic. then they are great.
So in summary, my boers are great at pulling carts, packing up to 40 lbs., they follow very closely, one is super gentle and has no vices such as digging, bark eating, horn rubbing on saplings, (the other is not so good). But I can see that the dairy breeds are far better at carrying the gear, not getting too fat, and being more naturally inclined to want to explore and go on walks.
Not that four goats is enough to make such huge generalizations, but that has been my experience.
 

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i don't have any experience with boers so i can't help you there. but when my family had a small dairy herd we had all the breeds except la mancha and they did fine. the pasture here is about 5 acres and we had 6 milking does (and the kids stayed in there after they were seperated and weaned and forgot about mom). at the time i hadn't heard about pack or harness goats. but they never stayed in a tight group but they usually stayed in sight of each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not uncommon for the one of the obers to be on the opposite end of 20 acres from the group. With the other ober being somewhere in between.

On the other hand the alpines are doing great. Threw a hand full of corn in the back of the truck and they jumped right in.
 

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I have 3 boers and they are great but hard to get a saddle to fit( I need to check with Rex) I just got a yearling ibex cross alpine.He is 29 inches tall and very tame.Anybody know if this will make a packer? How big do they get? I never heard of ibex goats
 

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must see pic of the ibex mix. That sounds exciting.
I have one of Rex's adjustable saddles for my boer because it can be flattened way out to fit his rotundity. It seems to work better than the standard issue wooden crossbucks.
 

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try again with the pictures. Be sure to make them really small or they won't post. (72 dpi, 6X8, kbs not mbs that kind of thing) Or as a last resort read the instructions on how to post pictures! We all really need to see them! Very exciting.
 
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