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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it was such a crazy busy pack goat prospect sales year that I ended up selling everything and didnt leave a companion for Legion. At first he loved having the whole pen to himself but got bored. So have been hunting for awhile now for a buddy that would be close enough in size, with horns and not a wuss. Legion ruled over his pen mates. Not a terror but they knew he was the boss. So I wanted to get a good fit that would be hopefully his equal.

Well a 4.5 year old Toggenburg wether came up for sale not 60 miles away and after seeing a full spectrum test result on him and more info, I decided he would make a good match. So after the morning hunting (final day of early season muzzle loader) that ended in success, I zipped on over and got to meet Lincoln :) He has been used for packing before and aside from being a bit over weight, is good to go on light hikes. Which we (Legion, Lincoln, my brother and myself) will be doing next Saturday for the opening of modern firearm season.

Introduced the two boys together and it only took one clash of horns for the both to realize, they would have a better time eating my trees :) A pic of that. I have them penned next to each other so they can start getting to know one another. Will get em on the trail as much as possible this week to see if they will work together. X fingers! Could of used them today. We stalked 8 shooter muley bucks today at least 3 miles in before we got one... that was a long drag out :)
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Was the best hunt I have been on so far :) We stalked and got into shooting position a total of 4 times before we were actually able to get one. Very limited range with a muzzle loader but it was a God blessed day for it. Cant wait to do it again next week :)

Oh and THANKS! :)
 

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Legion and Lincoln, I like that! :) Congrats on the hunt!
 

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Dave they look very well matched! I'm gonna ask you what may be a stupid question, but I ask it because I'm interested in pack animals. Why do you leave horns on pack goats?
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Most of us when asked about the horns will say things like: They are his defensive weapons out on the trail in case a predator should come or they are natural heat exchangers. There are lots of blood vessels in the horns and they help to cool the blood and keep the body temp normal.

Both of these are very true. But how likely is the average goat going to be able to fight off a predator? And with such a small surface area, how much difference could the horns really make?

No I think the main reason is because they make the animal look cool :) For me, Legion was my first goat with horns and I took extra steps in training him not to be bothered by me touching his horns. He doesnt flinch or jerk regardless of what I do to his horns. But, he is big and young and every once in while he will turn his head and bring it up at the wrong time and ill get a horn to the arm or side and I instantly thing, I shoulda taken those horns off...
 

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Hahahaha I gotta appreciate the honesty. Sounds like the justifications of us keeping horned goats. But it was just to damn expensive to keep fixing fence. We only have our horned buck left I will say I think it makes him look cool too. This is the first year of having standard size goats and I was thinking of keeping a wether as a pack animal for a 4H project, but no horn policy. I didn't know if being disbudded would deter a future buyer from purchasing. Every trained pack goat I see has horns.
 

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Congrats on your new family member !
Welcome Lincoln :)
Love the names too , they fit together so nicely.
Lincoln is very handsome too !
 

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I LOVE horns on a goat. makes them look so regal. i'm in the tropics...and it's always hot. my goats have their horns, and on hot days, you can FELL the heat coming off their horns, so I truly believe they help dissipate the heat.
 

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My boer doe is the only goat I have with horns. I must say I REALLY prefer no horns. They are just plain annoying! Lol.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A well conditioned pack goat of 3 years of age or more can carry 25% of his body weight. This is the max side. So a pack goat of 200 lbs could carry 50 lbs. But there are other factors an owner needs to take into account. First is conditioning. Just like any athlete, if that packer isnt in shape, there is no way he could carry that much weight. Terran is second. A flat, easy trail hike would allow for max weight. Steep trail blazing would be much more difficult and harsh on him with max weight. Distance and pace would be third. If you are looking to make good time, then a fully loaded pack goat would be counter productive. They will brows and snack on the trail with out slowing the pace but if your pack goat is maxed out then you will be making frequent stops to allow the packer to rest. The neat thing about the pack goats is you can get a feel for how tough the hike is by watching em on breaks. If they lay down instead of checking out the surroundings and snacking on all the tasty plants/trees, then you know he is working at his limit. A goat that lays down at unscheduled break is most definitely being over worked.

The basic idea of pack goats is to lighten your load on a hike. But a smart hiker will have evaluated and trimmed the fat off of their gear before hand and will distribute that weight accordingly. For instance. If you are packing in a hunting camp and you have 250 lbs of gear and 4 goats of condition and age. Then pretty much everyone including yourself is packing 50 lbs. Thats not a fun pack for anyone. But at least you will have a coffee pot and all that extra bottle water... Trimming the fat would be to have self filtering bottles and a camp that is located close to a decent water source and instant coffee packets that can be heated over a fire or small propane burner. OR if you really wanted to pack in all that extra stuff, get more goats :)
 

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Do you ever bring any extra feed out for them? I guess depending on the length of the hike and where you are at you wouldn't, but what if you are going to be gone 1-2 weeks and hiking a lot with quite a bit of gear? Would browse provide enough nutrients to keep them going?
 
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