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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just contacted by a list member who was looking for goats. He informed me that he didn't want to pay more than $20 each for them, but he couldn't find anything in his area but Boers. He asked me about kids I would have for sale. I wrote back what my prices were and told him about the napga website for purchasing info and that he could got to his local auction and meet goat breeders there that might have suitable prospects in his price range.

When I responded with prices he went ballistic and rude and informed me that I was a money grubbing capitalist pig. And that when he looked back through my emails I came off as just wanting to sell goats.

Well, that's successful moneygrubbing capitalist pig to you. :) (Not the first time I've been accused of that, and always by someone who either can't sell goats or doesn't want to pay for what they are worth. And he also informed me that I couldn't guarantee that a goat bought from me would pack. Well, yes I can, if I replace goats that don't work out. I have even replaced goats that have gotten sick after they got to their new homes which was no fault of mine but I wanted the people to have a good goat when it was all done and said.

Now, I am not going to defend my sales practices. THose of you who have bought goats from me know that not only do you get a good goat, you also get lifetime tech support. That means middle of the night phone calls and emails when there's a problem. Many of you have called me for this service. I believe that if you bring a goat into this world you are responsible for it for life. And I sell out every year so it's not like I need to work to create a market. Also, I was taken to task for answering too many emails. Well, I am a moderator. :p

But, this does raise some interesting questions. What makes a goat worth more than dairy prices? At what point do you decide to upgrade to a quality packgoat bred animal, if ever? What is buying a good packgoat prospect worth to you individually?
I know for myself the answers to these questions but thought it would make a good discussion.
 

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I have contacted you for the price of a goat. It was a bit steep but the fact that you breed for packing and not dairy has to be looked at. The goat you sell are not just byproduces of the dairy goat world. I do not know one dairy breeder that would stand behind there weathers like you do. If money issues where not a problem for me I would pay the extra with out a second thought.
I do not think you can fine a goat from a good breeder for $20. Well then again if you do not mind sick animals with livetime illness then good luck with that.
 

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shellyborg said:
I do not think you can fine a goat from a good breeder for $20. Well then again if you do not mind sick animals with livetime illness then good luck with that.
Oh, I don't know. We got Cuzco for $25. It was the best $25 we've ever spent. And despite the low price tag, he's completely sound and has never been sick a day in his life. Plus, he's bigger, sturdier, and far more handsome than any of the $75-$100 goats we looked at before we found Cuzco. But sometimes people just get lucky. :)
 

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I'd gladly pay $75-$100 for a goat bred specifically for packing, especially if it helps avoid the loss due to stones.

I am not a commercial operation. Sitting in front of the computer for 10 years nearly killed me. I was unable to xmas shop at the mall because I could not walk without two canes.

When I got the kids, I started hiking with them, canes and all. I used the canes to keep them behind me or hook them if they were getting away. They stayed with me at my pace.

The two older goats were owned by a pack company but were not being used since they were less desirable on the trail than the rest. I got them for the cost of gas and an eleven hour drive, but are easily worth hundreds of dollars being experienced packers. They allow me to go hiking with stuff that I still wouldn't be able to carry.

Today I can hike without canes. I bought hay for $3 a bale delivered which will last through the winter and use less than a bale a week for four goats.

So the cost of getting in shape with the goats is far less than the $40/month I paid for a health club membership. I could pay $300 a goat and still be ahead.

Then they eat the weeds on my 2/3 acre... and the value of the companionship.

You can't buy dinner for two for less than $20. Try to hire someone to feed and care for a baby goat until it is weaned for $20. I suppose next they'll be demanding that having a pack goat is an entitlement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, yeah, I need a government bailout!! Why didn't I think of that?

$250 is the going rate for a kid under 12 months old from any of the packgoat breeders who have a name for themselves as such. In fact, if you breed goats very long you suddenly realize just how expensive it is to do it right, to provide a superior product.

I was selling my goats for less a few years ago and was taken to task by a longtime breeder who said I needed to charge what they were really worth.

Vaccines, feed for both the kids and their moms, medications for various upsets, sleep deprivation for months, freezing my butt off in the kidding shed, advertising, time spent in imprinting, all these things add up fast.

And then of course, there's the occasional unsellable dud, or in the case of this year, having to thin everything including the keeper kids so that I could have surgery. Now there were some deals! A few people got $250 goats for $50. These were the kids I liked and wanted to keep to sell as yearlings. SO, there's deals to be had but most beginners buy out of availability and emotion and not sound breeding attributes.

Sometimes you get lucky, but I hear multiple horror stories for every lucky person. You get what you pay for.
 

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Hello,

cheap doesn't equal economicly.

Based on this thread and the other one where I wrote about our experiences with "cheap" goats I started today thinking about the costs that we had with cheap goats (and others) since we started with goat packing.

I might have to add that I still don't have the option to buy from a reputable packgoat breeder as that would be me here in Germany - see the irony ;) ?

Let's see - I started with goats in the late 1990s.

paid 75 USD each for two does, mixed breed, age 3 months and 6 months
spent 6 months to tame the older doe without success and with a bit more success on the younger doe.
Had to stable them with a friend for two years after that, in that time the older one died on tetanus.

Took the other one back after this time and bought another doe to keep her company: two years old, mixed breed, not very tame. Can't remember what I paid for her.
Spent the next months to tame the two. Finally they became the basic for our goat herd: Saeta and Puenktchen (I add names now for better distinction).

Got a young toggi buckling for free but drove about 500 kms to pick him up, age 3 months. He was bottle-fed and a nice, tame guy. He never turned out to be a good packer, no will to work but he was nice to have around and he would do a good job at fairs and other demonstrations in public.

Bought two bucklings the same year, 6 months old, mixed breed. Paid 75 USD each and drove 600 kms to pick them up. Spend worming on both of them (in dire need). One of them died after two weeks of anaemia and - from what I now know - possibly restistant wormload.
Left was one buck, he sired 4 buck kids. Can't say if he would become a good packer because he died of an accident at age 3 years.

From his 4 kids out of Saeta and Puenktchen: 1 never got tame - meat; 2 developed conformation problems that provided them from serious packing - weed control; 1 is an acceptable, time-to-time packer with problemativ hooves.

Had another bunch of kids out of one of the young bucklings (this happened while we stabled them with friends when we moved so I never found out which one the father was): all three never got tame - meat.

Got two rescue goats a year later. Swiss Blackneck, two years old, paid 110 USD each and drove about 200 kms for pick-up. Spend 6 months of taming them, putting up with them mobbing the rest of the herd and jumping fences. Finally sent one one of them to be slaughtered and the other finally came around after 1 year and is now a reliable packer with a challenging character.

Bought another buckling that year. Toggi-mix, 1 year old, poorly bottle-raised (very small), paid 75 USD and drove 200 kms for him. Waited 4 years for him to grow big enough for a saddle - he's a reliable packer now.

The next year I adopted a rescue goat for free: Saanen, 6 months old, very poor condition (30 libs at age 6 months). Spent the next 6 months worming him and getting him to put on weight and growth. Can't tell about the additional costs I had with him. Acceptable packer but will break down under serious packing (no good work ethic).

Bought two goats - buck and doe - from a breeder the same year: Alpines, 3 months old, mother raised and quiet wild, paid USD 75 each and drove 300 kms. Spent 9 months to tame them without success. Both ended as meat. The buckling showed aggressive behaviour against lambs and the doe tested CAE-positive.

Had 3 lambs from Saeta and Mona (see Oberhasli below) out of the Saanen and the Alpine buck. Sold one as pet because of conformation problems, kept two (doe and buck). The doe had her first lamb this year but died because of rumen problems (some from the packgoat mailing list will remember). The buck stopped growing this year below average (3 years old) and he inherited his mothers (Saeta) problematic hooves. Time will tell if he can pack reliably.

Took over a rescue goat for free: Saanen, wether, two years old, kept on a chain. Drove 500 kms for pickup. Spent 6 months to get him off weight and to integrate him into the herd. He didn't turn out to be a packer although he was a hughe, strong guy - no work ethic. He died of cancer one year later.

Bought a doe: Oberhasli, two years old, paid 120 USD for her, quite short drive to pick her up. She turned out to be a good breeder and will pack reliably when she's not with lambs and gives me the type of goats I want.

Next a rescue lamb from a friend for free: Oberhasli-mix, 5 days old. Bottle-raised her. She's a nice doe with good work ethics but she won't grow big enough to be a serious packer. Have to wait how her lamb turns out.

Same year I bought two buck lambs: toggi and toggi-mix, 4 resp. 5 weeks old. Drove a long distance twice (see the other thread), paid 230 USD for both. Both show good promise to become reliable packers and this winter I will start serious training. Also had 11 lambs from them over the last two years.

Adopted a rescue goat last year: Saanen, doe, 2 years old, udder problems, sold "not for breeding", paid an "adoption fee" of 130 USD and drove 400 kms. I hoped that she would turn out to be a packer (big doe) but she has a lousy work ethic. So I have a doe I can't breed and that won't pack reliably.

When I look at that long list I spent about USD 1150 PLUS gas money for a few thousand kilometres for two (three) reliable, two acceptable packers, some promising prospect packers and a lot of weed control goats. This amount does NOT take into account costs for food, worming, vet-care, etc.

Don't get me wrong: I love all of them dearly and I do have confidence that the kids from this year and last year will turn out better packers.

And I didn't have much of a chance anyway: no one would breed for working goats when we started here and still there's maybe one more breeder in Germany now that will breed for packing.

But I took a long road around "expensive" goats, partly because breeders I visited who charged high prices for the goats kept their goats below standard and in poor health (and I didn't want to buy from them). Partly because I still hadn't the experience which type of goats would be good packers (beginners faults) and I experimented with several breeds and/or types.

What I said earlier about high prices and poor standard is worth a second look:

Price isn't everything. Everybody can charge overprice for low quality and it's the responsibility of the buyer to look closely and - if necessary - say "no, thank you!" (and one can say this politely). But if the high(er) price reflects good health, good management, quality animals, long-term breeding plans, etc. it should be honored.

I paid a high price for the working dogs we have (Aussies). Prices, no one in the US would pay for a working Aussie. But same here: almost nobody breeds reliable working (herding) Aussies here and if you want good quality you must pay for it. And - this breeder will help you with problems with your dog, will refund you if your dog gets sick or won't work and you want to return it and if there's an emergency and you have to give the dog away she will take them back, too. So I have an added value to my price and from what Carolyn wrote, she handles her goat sales similarly.

A buyer should not underestimate the willingness of the seller to give additional support after the sale, especially a willingness to refund or replace an animal. Which seller at an auction would do that?
 

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Excellent post. When I started in the business there were only about 4 packgoat sellers and one of those had goats that wouldn't pack, and were non-imprinted. Fortunately I got hooked up with a breeder who not only had great goats, but was where John M got his goats. She and her husband steered me right and taught me a lot. They were Mark and Dar Addington. This was back when packgoat was a foreign language.

Then Rex and Terri sold me a couple of good does and I got a good saanen doe that I paid $300 for as a 4 week old kid. SHe's 11 this year and cranks out kids like a factory. She is Helen, who is the mother of Lazlo the Magnificent, who I sold to Charlie Goggin. Charlie and I have used this Helen/Morgan (Saanen to Boer) line to breed from and with adding alpine back into the mix have gotten the goats we have now. Several other serious breeders now are using the same bloodlines as their foundation stock.

One of the intangibles is the attitude. You can buy an imprinted bottle baby that doesn't like people or turns out to have no work ethic, after you've put a couple of years worth of feed into him. Many people buy a few goats from several breeders just to experiement. Charlie and I always hear about how much nicer and hard working ours are than others. That attitude comes straight from the foundation doe Helen. You can tell a Helen kid, they are in front, no matter what you want to do. It's fun to watch a 3 month old kid running out if front of the big goats to cross a bridge or go through the water. You can't create that attitude with training.

It's really been fun to watch the evolution of the Packgoat, from the tiny dairy boned animals that used to be all you could find to the 250-300 pound monster trucks we have now.
 

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How much can one expect to pay for a good pack bred goat? My two boys are dairy bred, gifts from my co-breeder. She normally sells her bucks for $200 & her does for $250-$400, depending on color & pedigree (she specializes in spots). As a dog breeder who paid 4 figures (I won't be gauche & say the exact number, but it was a lot of saving my lunch money!) for my top quality foundation bitches from a top breeder, I have NO problem spending the money for a quality animal from a proven pedigree with a guarantee & breeder support. That's how I sell my dogs (health tested, proven pedigrees, with lifetime guarantees), & that's how I expect any good breeder to do it. If I decide this pack goat thing is fun (& I suspect I'm going to love it), I will definitely be looking to acquire a pack bred goat string in the future!
 

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Just went & read through the thread, & I am laughing my butt off that someone balked at paying a couple hundred bucks for a well-bred pack goat with guarantees & breeder support. I guess coming from dogs & horses, that is so cheap to me I can't imagine objecting!

It does make me wonder why dogs are so much more expensive than almost any other kind of domestic animal. Horses it makes sense, they're big, breed slowly, & are expensive to care for. But dogs are small (-ish...I mean, mine aren't small, but they're smaller than most hoofstock), have litters, & are easy to care for. I find goat prices to be completely reasonable.
 

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As a dairy goat and now a "pack goat" breeder, Id have no issue with selling someone a $20 goat that they could use as a packer. But that pack prospect would be less then two weeks old. With horns, no vaccinations, damn raised and never touched by a human except at birth, out of one of our shorter less powerful doe lines. And he would be castrated as we do not let any intact bucks leave this property unless sold as a breeder. We pay upwards of 1000.00 for bucks and dont just give their bloodlines away. We make more money ($2 a lbs) selling them for meat off the farm.

The cheapest we start to offer pack prospects is $75 (2-4 weeks old) unless something else is worked out. But that little bit of extra money will get a buyer an intact male so they can have him castrated when they want. He will tame and will be outta a bigger more powerful doe line and up to date on vaccines. Not to mention twice a day bottle feedings. This also includes dis budding if requested.
 

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a young toggi buckling for free but drove about 500 kms to pick him up, age 3 months. He was bottle-fed and a nice, tame guy. He never turned out to be a good packer, no will to work but he was nice to have around and he would do a good job at fairs and other demonstrations in public.

Regards,
Bluffy,
 

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Intresting

My parents selling buck kids for $5 a piece. Must them grow up to 200 pounds plus. So they get big. The problem we have around here is there is major surplus of goat where I live and not a lot buyers.
 

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Answer

Very interesting, just curious, what kind are they? Are you on a dairy? Do you pack yours? What part of the country do you live?
I live in Northern California, still near my family farm. I am not working with my family on the farm too much, but the goats my family have are dairy goats. Toggenburgs, Nubians, Alpines, LaMancha and Saanen. I use to show them at fair for 4-H and FFA when I was younger, so most of the heard is registered and I usually won a lot awards with them. When we started heard we payed big money for goats, but they where judge as show goats not pack animals, When Feed program we have and 69 acres of land they roam free on, they get really big and people do notice there size. My family been in business now for over 18 years in dairy business and now oldest goat dairy locally. There is so many dairy's popped up, there is a surplus of goats here, Just this last week a dairy with over 1,000 goats milking was selling out and over 6 months ago a goat dairy with over 2,500 goats sold out. I personally got a job with a good company with retirement plan and health benefits and got out of dairy business. I took up a new hobby called hunting. Last weekend I went on a hunting trip that took me on a four hour hike to the camp site and I was beat tired. Then I remembered back in 4-H people talking about packing goats. That is why I got on this forum to learn more.

If you want to get idea how big bucks get that we have. I did buy a large goat halter back when I showed goats online and doesn't fit. I have to use two large goat collars to fit around one Saanen buck necks.(not saying they all are like that) Some of the smaller bucks fit in large halter. I should get some pictures next time I'm out on farm.

Liking this forum so far because seems like a lot people have great experience with goat packing and I'm really wanting to try it out. That is if my wife lets me. :D
 
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