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This is a pointless rant but kinda fun and thought it might stir up some conversation.

You know, I'm often watching for goats for sale in the local online classifieds (ksl.com). Rarely are there any goats that would be ideal to add to my herd of 3. But then sometimes I find a week where there are 3 or 4 ads that have potentially perfect goats. Or perhaps they'd be perfect except....

I'm looking to add up to 3 more goats over time. I'd like 2 big males ready to pack, and one more female. My current crew is mostly too young--I have a 3yo female and a 1yo female and her brother. That'd total 6, which'd be the limit for me.

So this week I see an ad for 2 experienced males, but they have horns (I'm avoiding horns since my herd is hornless thusfar). Another ad for some 'large males with some pack experience', but they dont answer the phone and there are no pictures and little info in the description. (The ad vanished after 36 hours so they must have sold despite not answering the phone). An ad for a female just like my 3yo, the perfect choice! Bottle fed and everything. Only problem is she comes with a mini goat that I dont want filling one of the openings. Another ad for a 1yo male that would be perfect, except he doesnt fit the age requirement.

I tell you it takes some self control to not pounce and overlook the issues. Somehow I just know that the perfect goats will show up just after I buy some not quite perfect goats. Getting some that are too young would dampen my ability to do actual overnight camping for a couple years. Thats kind of a big deal. Getting one that comes with a pygmy buddy causes problems unless you want to keep track of another 'dog' on the trail (else it freaks out being left at home). The perfect choice seems to materialize once per year or less. When a bunch show up all at once it sets the mind to spinning and thinking. And you know how it is. Unless you set rules in advance, and say "I'm going to look at 3 before I pick one", you'll usually if not always come home with the first one you visit. Its certainly true of puppies but with goats, its trickier because rarely are there 3 perfect choices available at the same time (and often if they're that great they sell within hours).

I havent added any goats since late spring. Its a miracle. Somehow I suspect I wont make it past this coming spring ;o) The thing that sucks is that once you get your quota, you're hard pressed to add another for a loooong time, unless you have a tragedy happen to one of the existing crew. Thats me and the horses- People gave me free ones they didnt want until I wouldnt take any more. Now I cant really shop for a horse or pick up the perfect find. I'm locked in for quite some time, since I tend to get attached and wouldnt sell off even the one thats lame, or the useless mini mule simply because I couldnt guarantee they would live out their days happily (lame and useless usually doesn't end well). Besides. A person only has so many hours to dedicate to the critters. There's a limit. I'll keep looking and try to keep my head on straight. Hah.

I bet some of you guys have been forced to pass up on the perfect choice. Or had one born that you would keep were it not for the population already in the field. Or got one that you know you shouldn't have that turns out to be the best move you've ever made.
 

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I sure understand your problem.
I really should just avoid even looking at Craigslist.
And then on my packgoat list they send a ad for
a packdoe and her son. The son being 3 1/2 years old.
For FREE.
Issues being they said they do not like the saddle.
Fine once the saddles are on. But do not like you to
put them on. OK, I could deal with that. Not like they
are huge Horses. And training would probably work for
that issue.
My problem is I do not have pasture. I have to hay
all year long. Except if I take them on walks or on
packtrips. And goats eat more than I thought.
4 goats eat about a 1/2 ton in a month and a half.
Our temperature being -5 to 15 degrees. And have 2 plus
feet of snow.
I surely do not want them losing weight in the dead of winter.
So the cost of feed is what is holding me back from
getting more of these wonderful critters.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Sounds like you are right no the mark for feed amount. We feed year round here as well cause no pasture (no water) and we average 1 ton per goat per year. Granted, we feed a dairy quality alfafa (will switch the pack boys over to a alfalfa/grass mix after a year old). Each adult animal is given more or less a flack of about 3" thick per day. Last years doelings are getting 1 flack per two kids.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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On a side note, the largest doe kid we have ever had was born last year. She is about 10 months old now and it looks like she will be a free martin (non breeder). Will be putting her up for sale at the start of our sale season if nothing new develops. She is dehorned. Ill post a pick if you think you might be interested.
 

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Hey Dave-

Scuse me for crashing the topic but I would be really interested in that female goat you have- I lost my dear Noggin in November to urinary calculi and have decided I am going female for my next pack goat. I have three other pack goats, two are retired, but my five year old dehorned Jackie will have to be a solo pack goat this coming summer so I'm interested in getting a female, and dehorned is perfect! I'll drive to Washington to get her if it all works out. You can e.mail me separate if you like- [email protected]
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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hehe ah tis the season every season for goaties :) Will shoot you an email soon.

The funny thing about this is, my Legion's dam, Saqqara was a for sure to be on the sales block this year after your episode last year. A brief recount; Being one of the herd bosses she was fighting about 14 days before her due date and must of taken a shot to the body. She went into labor 6 days later. After 24 hours of waiting for her to start contracting she didnt and wouldnt dilate. So my other half Tracy worked for 4 hours to get her dilated and finally after a huge amount of work, out came Legion. After about an hour of contracting, she went back in and pulled out another boy who had obviously been dead for while. Wasnt pretty a sight. Over the next 6 hours we keep checking on her and she doesnt pass the after birth so Tracy goes back in to see whats going on and finds another dead kid. Both the dead kids were not in their sacks and Saqqara never did pass any after birth. Had the vet come out and see if there was anything else other then anit biotics and LA 200 we could do. Nope, not without opening her up and as she was in pretty bad shape and still contracting after 3 days with the docs 50 /50 chance of survival either way, we decided to it wasnt worth the risk. But without passing the after birth and the chance she may have another kid in there dead, the vet said if she lived, she would have a 99% chance to never kid again. So at that point, we decided she would be a packer if she survived. She more then has the size to be a good one. Having horned prospects ourselves, we decided against keeping her because being a registered goat through ADGA she has to be dis budded to show. Without horns to keep the others in check would be unfair to her.

Fast forward to the start of the kidding season, Saqqara comes into heat, we give it a try thinking, no way... she settled. LOL go figure. Now the worry is on how the kidding turn out. Already have the vet aware of her dude date and to be ready to come out. So we will have to wait and see :)
 

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Hearing your description of the births reinforces my self- knowledge that I am such a pansy when it comes to that kind of stuff! I should definitely stay on the path of not breeding goats! I never even considered it given my wimpy nature on the blood and guts front. Keep me on the list for hearty female hornless goats that would be good packers that are done with having babies or free martins.
 
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