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My woods are full of them . My goat wants to eat them . If he takes a nibble here and a nibble here is it going to kill him ? How can i stop him from eating every green object while on the trail?
 

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OK, I have a question. And I may get some flak over it.

But I thought one of the benifits of useing pack goats was so
you did not have to pack in a bunch of food for them?

Now I am hearing this is poisenous. And that is poisenous.
so you have to muzzle them. :?

When I take Sully out on his walks. He just seems to taste.
And some stuff he just smells and leaves. He only eats dibby dabbs. Most poisenous stuff seems to say they are starved to
it. NOthing else to eat basically.
The only time I ever seen him graze is the lawn has clover in it.
And when I put steer manure on the lawn. He basically said this
smells like *hit. And would not touch it.


Oh and about testing the water. what about on the trail.
Are we suppose to pack water from home for the goats?
Or can they drink from the lake?

I may have to get a pack horse for the water, first aid kit, shelter and food I will need for the goats.
 

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In my case I sold the camper to get the goats. My friends thought it should be the other way around. At age 50 most people are selling the goats and getting a comfortable camper. Kind of like Jack selling the cow for the magic beans. I was shocked to learn that half the plants in my yard and a third of those in the forest were poisonous or toxic. But I was so delighted with Stanley and Driggs my 2 little bucklings that I took them on their first pack trip at 5 months (no weight). That's when I found out it takes twice as long to get anywhere because everyone wants to stop and talk about the goats (especially baby goats). Of course that eased up when half way through the trip they started peeing on their faces in front of people. Not so cute anymore. It's four years later now and after many trials and tribulations I have grown to love the beasts. I do understand that it would have been cheaper and a whole lot easier to hire Sherpas flown in from Nepal to carry my stuff up the trail. But probably not as interesting. Of course just as they reached full pack age, Driggs my Saanen broke his leg this winter and I'm not sure he will be able to pack much. I'll be packing with a 230 pound "pet" that carries not much more than my potatoe chips. Solved that issue by getting two more goats. Could be an endless circle I'm thinking.
Of course they can drink water out of the lake - just remember to haul some gatorade to mix in with it so they will actually drink something. And don't forget to bring a tent repair kit as they may want to take a peek or two into your tent. Driggs did almost die last year from eating False Hellebore while in the back country so you do have to know your plants but usually there is plenty of good stuff to eat with only a few toxic plants and many of those they can eat small quantities of. And he loves going for the Braken Fern which is everywhere around our house - especially the past couple of weeks when the new shoots are coming out. The new shoots are easy to hit with a stick and break off. Just run in front of your goat and cut the braken fern and enjoy another relaxing hike.
Denise
Magic Bean Farm
 

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Well I was thinking. My grandmother had a recipe for deer repellent
that she sprayed on her garden. It was raw egg (rotten better)
mixed with water. She said she had to spray every 3 days.
More often if it rained.

I thought I would try it here in the yard to like the lilac bush.

I suppose you could take that with you if worried about them eating
something.

Thank you for not getting angry with me.

I use to raise and show rabbits. I used a stress vitamin
for turkeys in their water at home and at a show. That way the
water tasted the same to them.

I will have to look and see what is in it. I know salt was one thing.
 

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art in ny said:
My woods are full of them . My goat wants to eat them . If he takes a nibble here and a nibble here is it going to kill him ? How can i stop him from eating every green object while on the trail?
A nibble here or there won't hurt your goat. But if your goat is regularly exposed (as in has daily access) then you do need to be concerned. Bracken Fern would be considerd a chronic toxin, in that reports of death usually are the result of weeks or months of exposure.

Most literature also says that goats usually don't eat it unless there isn't other quality forage available ... but our goats seem to really enjoy it, so when on the trail and going through areas like in the photo below, we have begun to use a muzzle.

[attachment=0:31mgb43n]smallfern.jpg[/attachment:31mgb43n]
 

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ryorkies said:
But I thought one of the benifits of useing pack goats was so
you did not have to pack in a bunch of food for them?

Now I am hearing this is poisenous. And that is poisenous.
so you have to muzzle them. :?
I suspect it's a lot like watching the broadcast news, you get a disproportionate sense of violence when that is all they report. With a few exceptions, when we hike there is usually far more area where we don't worry than where we do. We find meadows where they can graze openly and overgrowth on the trail where they nibble as they go along. But there are a few things we have to avoid, and some are concentrated and seen frequently enough that we've decided to use muzzles in those places ... it's really not a big deal, the goats take to them readily and when not in use they can just hang on their neck. If we see them starting to chomp a little too much, on they go.

ryorkies said:
When I take Sully out on his walks. He just seems to taste.
And some stuff he just smells and leaves. He only eats dibby dabbs. Most poisenous stuff seems to say they are starved to it. NOthing else to eat basically.
This is largely our experience too, they mostly avoid the stuff they aren't supposed to eat because it often just doesn't taste good ... and nibbling is how they figure it out. Unfortunately, there are a few things that some goats do like ... ours all really like Mountain Laurel.

ryorkies said:
Oh and about testing the water. what about on the trail.
Are we suppose to pack water from home for the goats? /
Or can they drink from the lake?
Heh, I take the same precautions as I would for myself. I don't pack my own water, but I do filter or treat it most of the time. I haven't been motivated to actually look into it enough to determine if giardia or cryptosporidium is more or less of an issue for goats ... it just seems polite if I'm going to bother to filter my own water that I ought to do the same for them. ;-)
 

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I really don't worry on the trail at all. We are moving fast enough that no one is going to get more than a nip of anything. I couldn't stop the goats from drinking from puddles if I wanted to without muzzling them.

I worry more about my wife's reaction to the goats eating her stuff than I do about two or three of them being poisonous. They've already had nips of them all.

Mostly I am on day hikes, and I figure that with green pasture they don't really need to drink at all. In hot weather I will share my Gatorade with them.

When we go south on the 4th of July, we will pack water, just because it is a desert environment. I have two wine boxes that I filled with water, so I start with at least ten liters. They make cheap 'camel backs' for a goat.

I pack food for them as a treat and supplement. More for practice than necessity, since we are just gone for the day. I pack enough to give them a couple cups each for a couple days. Just for the practice of packing. I wouldn't expect to have to feed my guys but in the harshest environment.

It takes me ten minutes to load the goats in the minivan and about fifteen minutes to put on two saddles and the packs when we get there. We usually are waiting for the others in our party to get into the car, or get their kit on to hike.

We choose to stop or not with those we meet on the trail.
 

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I have a soft insulated bag that holds about eight bottles of water or green tea. I will usually throw four of them in the freezer the night before and the other four in the frig. Rarely do the frozen ones completely thaw in a day. So I have four chilled bottles that I use first, and four slushy bottles when I want them later.

They are empty when I fill them. No use wasting cheap wine on a goat ;-)
Although they still have a hint of the flavor the first time they are used.

They are remnant Chablis and Burgundy. I drink so little that it took me ages to collect them.

Before I had the goats my boss took two of us on a team building exercise. We were going to fish nine lakes in one day in the Uintas. When my wife asked me what a team building exercise was, I asked her if she remembered the movie 'Deliverance'.

So we got on the trail and the boss is using his GPS unit. It can't give direction unless you are moving. So he's standing there turning in circles trying to figure out which way to go. I suggested we follow the four foot wide trail we were on. He decided we needed to climb the cliff to the left. At this time I was still walking with two canes. So it was a Star Trek Day... to go where no man had gone before.

We did the day... brought home three limits of fish. But I was beat. My wife suggested that I needed to go fishing more often. I started thinking goats.

Then I had a case of beer in the back of the frig for the holidays and it sat there forever. My wife wanted the space in the frig back, so she told me I needed to drink more beer.

I thought, gee, she wants me to fish more, drink more beer... so I asked her if I could have a girlfriend too. That is probably more stupid than answering when she asks what's on TV, with "Dust".

Although I must say that having lived in Utah for 28 years she is warming up to the idea of plural marriage. When we first got here her response was "No way in hell." I used to introduce her as my first wife, till she started introducing me as her future ex. Now her response is "In your dreams."

I know I'll have her approval if she ever says, "If you get a second wife...wa, wa ,wa" ;-)

For you young-uns... We celebrated our 30th anniversary this year, so if you are thinking of getting married, and want some good advice... ask my wife what you may be getting yourself into.

I have no idea what this has to do with bracken fern, and I haven't even been hitting the water bottles.
 

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Denise,

Your note should be read by anyone complaining about the cost of a trained packer.
As with anything, it is usually cheaper to rent something the one or two times you actually need them rather than to buy and maintain them. And if any of us actually needed goats, we would have had them long ago.

For the $ I put into maintenance of the rototiller and watering systems I could stock a cave with food for 30 years. But it is the lifestyle. I recently traded in my weed whacker for a scythe. When the goats are trained to pull, I'll get rid of the rototiller for a blade.

I could be walking without goats. But I didn't and probably wouldn't. They're just plain fun and force me to get off my rear to get out and do something. I am sorry for the injuries to your goats. I lost one to stones. But they are family now for me.

Oh, and what's this about peeing on their faces? Mine have never done it. Do they start that when they are snipped later?
 
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