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As noted, in my intro thread, I have been doing much research I hope to be investing in some great trail buddies shorty. Reading all this amazing info is killing me! :grin:...as I'm really looking forward to the day when we can hike, camp, hike pack with goats. That said, the question is do I get some bottle babies and wait & work with them from day one??? (Best) While this will be fun, likely the best in the long run & I would really enjoy the process...I think the thoughts of the wait will kill me. :sad: Or get some older goats so that my kids and I can get started with ASAP (before my kids are gone) Hmmm...or...maybe a couple of each?

Please feel free to lend me your wise input. Thx in advance!

TOU
 

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You know there were a few nice ready-to-go pack goats on KSL a couple weeks ago.

I'm raising mine up for packing but it sure would be nice to have at least one adult so I could do some real packing already. So I vote a mix. Get an older one and a younger one. You always need to have some up and coming goats since with goats the packing career is shorter than, for example a horse's riding career. But both take the same amount of training time (4 years).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You know there were a few nice ready-to-go pack goats on KSL a couple weeks ago.

I'm raising mine up for packing but it sure would be nice to have at least one adult so I could do some real packing already. So I vote a mix. Get an older one and a younger one. You always need to have some up and coming goats since with goats the packing career is shorter than, for example a horse's riding career. But both take the same amount of training time (4 years).
Good thoughts Charlie...I am leaning to doing both. That way I can get going with some next year and be able to raise some exactly the way I want and have bonded to me. That said, I talked to some guys that have shown up with some NEW adult goats on a trail head and went out for several days with no problems. Obviously not optimal but it tells me they learn fast, adapt and don't necessarily have to have been raised as pack goats from day one.

Now...Just trying to decide if I pull the trigger this fall or wait until spring. Guess it just depends on what I come across and if I can work out a place for them in the next few weeks.

Would love to hear any others input on the pros and cons.

Thx again,
 

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This was our experience; we started out with kids and then got impatient and got two adult wethers. The adults weren't experienced and we were still new to the "goat world" and learning ourselves. I think in this situation it takes a lot of patience and time put into the goats and it can be hard if YOU aren't bonded to the goat. It was too overwhelming for us and the wethers didn't end up working out. If we had purchased experienced packers I think the situation would have been different. Raising kids takes a lot of time, patience, and work but is so worth it and you just can't beat that bond you form. When they act up and push you beyond your limit all you can do is love 'em.
Fast forward 3.5 years later and our goats are now grown and packing. We recently purchased an older goat to replace one we lost and it's a whole different situation. We have more experience and know a lot more about goats and the whole situation has been great. Of course the goat we bought is amazing (thank you Dave!).
So, my advice for people new to pack goats would be to either start with kids and take the time to learn and bond with them as they grow or purchase an experienced packer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This was our experience; we started out with kids and then got impatient and got two adult wethers. The adults weren't experienced and we were still new to the "goat world" and learning ourselves. I think in this situation it takes a lot of patience and time put into the goats and it can be hard if YOU aren't bonded to the goat. It was too overwhelming for us and the wethers didn't end up working out. If we had purchased experienced packers I think the situation would have been different. Raising kids takes a lot of time, patience, and work but is so worth it and you just can't beat that bond you form. When they act up and push you beyond your limit all you can do is love 'em.
Fast forward 3.5 years later and our goats are now grown and packing. We recently purchased an older goat to replace one we lost and it's a whole different situation. We have more experience and know a lot more about goats and the whole situation has been great. Of course the goat we bought is amazing (thank you Dave!).
So, my advice for people new to pack goats would be to either start with kids and take the time to learn and bond with them as they grow or purchase an experienced packer.
Thx Huckleberry, really appreciate this post and think there is some really great real life wisdom there. Thank you.

Been looking in the local classifieds but they are kinda concerning. Things like not being tested for CAE etc. Or maybe the bigger concern is that folks I speak with don't have a clue what I'm talking about when I ask about it. Maybe I worry too much but I'm not sure how you ever know what you will have if the sellers don't even know what they have. I also worry about buying someone else's problems.

Realizing there is never any guarantees, I just don't want to put time, money, energy & effort into completely unknowns or worse yet have to constantly be changing goats trying to get what I want in a trial & error fashion. (The time lost is my biggest concern.) I want to minimize my risk and if necessary, I'm willing to pay a little bit more upfront to maximize my odds. In the end any extra cost will be amortized and quickly forgotten down the road if it works out as expected. JMHO. Buying a pack goat that has started in his training and was bottle fed seems like the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good thoughts Charlie...I am leaning to doing both. That way I can get going with some next year and be able to raise some exactly the way I want and have bonded to me...

...{snip}...

Now...Just trying to decide if I pull the trigger this fall or wait until spring. Guess it just depends on what I come across and if I can work out a place for them in the next few weeks.
Well folks, a quick update. First, I have committed to buying FOUR bottle baby 100% Oberhasli kids next spring and raise them up...VERY excited! :D

Next, I just happened on the sweetest older lady less than a half mile of my home who just happens to have over 16 acres that she is not using. (We know people in common.) She would like help with weed and fire control. {YES!!!} She also likes goats and is thrilled to have us help each other out.

The place has water, is semi fenced; its set up with steel rail & bobbed wire fencing...for horses. We will need to add a three wire solar electric fence for the sections that we want to use. (can't afford to electrify all of it.) I figure this is good for the goats sake in keeping them contained but also to help keep predators out. I.E. Lots of coyotes around, potentially dogs and cougars come down on rare occasion. It also has a four stall barn that she said I could use on occasion in the winter which is amazing! Also a small three sided lean to that could also be used for hay storage or shelter & 3 steel rail fenced corrals.Lastly it has several old apricot trees that owner would like the goats to chew them up as well. :p I'm so totally ecstatic!

As far as I know there is only 1-3 horses on it part time (not in the winter) but they only eat the green stuffs and leave everything else. I'm so stoked especially for the fact that...its also only 3-4 blocks from my house and only another few blocks from trails that skirts the edge of the mountains where I live in Northern Utah. We (me & my three boys) of course will try to help her with her property and help her keep an eye on the place since she doesn't have any one anymore; I think it will be really great for my boys.

Lastly, one of the fine members here has been kind enough to generously offer to sell me two of his up & coming packers. We will be getting together to make a final decision shortly. Anyway just thought I would share and update you on my progress.

Cheers,

TOU
 

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I'm so glad you found a nice place to keep your goaties! I hope it works out very well for you. However, you may want to re-think the three-wire electric fence. I've never had any luck fencing goats with anything less than netting. I've used as many has four strands of electric fence trying to keep Cuzco in with my horses and it never worked. He always found a depression where he could crawl under, a molehill to jump from, or he would just leap through quickly between pulses and take the chance of getting zapped. It's impossible to keep the babies inside anything less than hogwire, netting, or mesh of some sort. And if they learn to get out as babies, you'll have problems keeping them contained as adults (been there, done that!). We had to keep Cuzco on a dog chain for several years because he had gotten so into the habit of escaping horse fences that he would just climb or leap over the 4' high wire mesh goat fence we built for him. It was enough to manage just one escape artist goat, but more than that would be a nightmare! A three-wire electric fence also won't keep out dogs and coyotes. They can run under or jump through it so quickly they probably won't get zapped. Definitely spend a few extra dollars and get either electric netting or hogwire, and string it tight. Good luck!
 

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Wow! That is so freaking great! :) Welcome aboard the pack goat train! Sounds like a great place. But like Nanno, I also suggest you invest in field fencing if the lady will let you. I would do it more for their protection then to keep em in. And I also suggest an area that you can lock them up at night. For this I would suggest combo cattle panels. Oh and a night light in or just outside of their shelter if you can figure a way to do it. I like to use the compact florescence lights. You can leave them on all the time and only draw like 12 watts of power from em. These few steps if allowed will give you alot more protection and piece of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm so glad you found a nice place to keep your goaties! I hope it works out very well for you.
Thx so much, I appreciate that and am excited to get going. Nice thing is I will have at least two really great semi-experienced packers (a pure LaMancha & an Alpine) to get me going and cut me teeth on this next spring; they will be 3 by then and capable of likely carrying 30-40 lbs I imagine.
However, you may want to re-think the three-wire electric fence. I've never had any luck fencing goats with anything less than netting. I've used as many has four strands of electric fence trying to keep Cuzco in with my horses and it never worked. He always found a depression where he could crawl under, a molehill to jump from, or he would just leap through quickly between pulses and take the chance of getting zapped. It's impossible to keep the babies inside anything less than hogwire, netting, or mesh of some sort. And if they learn to get out as babies, you'll have problems keeping them contained as adults (been there, done that!).
I hear you on this & you make great points. With our 6-7 Nubians when I was a kid we only had 3 strands and they never got out. But...they were much smaller goats.

A three-wire electric fence also won't keep out dogs and coyotes. They can run under or jump through it so quickly they probably won't get zapped. Definitely spend a few extra dollars and get either electric netting or hogwire, and string it tight. Good luck!
I spent a bunch of time today looking at many different fencing options. However, I never did see any of the electric mesh/netting like I see some have that they take with them car camping. I asked about it but no one seemed to know about it. One thing that concerns me is that I have to use solar to run it & it doesn't seem to be that hot compared to the plug in style (110). Anyone have any experience with the solar style and make ay recommendations?

I also looked at heavy gauge non-electric hog type fencing (Horse no-climb) that you & Vigilguy recommended when I visited him...as well as lighter gauge similar styled mesh rolls of the 50"-60"variety. WOW...Fencing has gone up! Its a nice concept but there is no way I can fence the several fields in the 16 acres. I am going to have to pick a area and make it work or move it around as needed. Now that said there is some amazing steel panels fencing on much of it already, and 5 strand bob-wire on most of the rest of it. The problem with the latter is there are spots that the horses won't get out in the heavy brush and some steep berms but I think goats will. The panels widths between levels is way too wide even for adult goats let alone my kids next spring.

Wow! That is so freaking great! :) Welcome aboard the pack goat train! Sounds like a great place.
Thanks you so much...I appreciate all of your support.

But like Nanno, I also suggest you invest in field fencing if the lady will let you. I would do it more for their protection then to keep em in.
For coyotes and dogs, yes but the reality is anything short of locking them in the barn's horse stalls, I think if a cougar came down...(very low percentile but still possible)...there isn't much I can do.

And I also suggest an area that you can lock them up at night. For this I would suggest combo cattle panels.
I agree, since there are corrals and lean-to's facing south etc, locking up at night is likely the best way to go and the more I look at it, the LARGE corrals that have similar steel panels all the way around might just be the place to do this and the heavy gauge 60" hog panels and not quite as cost prohibitive....will still be $800-$1000 as they are big corrals . Maybe a strand of electric at the top & bottom at the top for those wanting in.

Oh and a night light in or just outside of their shelter if you can figure a way to do it. I like to use the compact florescence lights. You can leave them on all the time and only draw like 12 watts of power from em. These few steps if allowed will give you alot more protection and piece of mind.
This sounds great. While there is power though, for things like power tool usage and other temporary items, I really feel anything semi-permanent needs to be self-sufficient like solar powered etc & not be a burden to the owner. This means lighting, water heaters & hot fences etc. On the latter, I'm still wondering if I can get a solar one "hot" enough for the goats. (Btw, we get somewhere around 300 sunny days a year even if cold.)

For now & for cost, I think that I am going to have to go with some sort of electric and section off only a small piece of the land for my purposes and maybe relocate it all as needed. I will have two 2.5 year olds through the winter & 4 bottle baby Obers kids next spring so don't really need THAT much land for quite a while. What I'm thinking is putting at least 3 strands of hot wire between the existing heavy duty steel horse panel bars inside the perimeter a few inches. That way if a goat or predators tries to get through them it restricts the widths and forces them to run the gauntlet to get in or out. This would go for the bobbed wire areas as well. (This also limits my liability as people have to trespass to get shocked.) The thing that concerns me is like last winter we got a couple of blasts 33"-38" of snow blasts that end in a cold snap (5-10 below) and no melting for 6 weeks...the goats could just walk up and over. While that kind of snow is not rare, admittedly, those temps for that long are very rare though in this area. Probably keeping them in the corrals and barn for the duration of these times would be the best bet. (Its not like they could feed much from the pasture during those times and I will be feeding hay etc anyway during these times...speaking of which, I need to get a ton or two...) On the mesh style hot fence...this also concerns me...

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1...xperience-with-electric-net-fencing-for-goats

Decisions, decisions...

Thx again for your excitement for me and your wise input as well as "listening" to me think out loud.

TOU

P.S. Sorry so long.
 

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I had a few things to say about electrical netting fences in this thread the other day...

http://www.packgoatforum.com/f16/electric-fence-portable-pens-1727/

I have them, I like them, but there are definitely some concerns with them. You just have to weigh the pros and cons for your particular situation. They are also a bit high maintenance in winter because you have to tromp down the snow all along the fence line every time it snows so it doesn't run down your solar battery. But then again, you may be able to get along with a lot less fence in the winter since there aren't so many tasty things on the other side and goats are usually locked in warm sheds at night so predators are less of a concern. One nice thing about the electric fence is that when you don't want to use it, it easily rolls up and stores neatly away in a small space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had a few things to say about electrical netting fences in this thread the other day...

http://www.packgoatforum.com/f16/electric-fence-portable-pens-1727/
Great thread, thank you for reminding me of it.

I have them, I like them, but there are definitely some concerns with them. You just have to weigh the pros and cons for your particular situation.
Agreed, I think I am going to try a hybrid model for now and see how it goes. (It seems a shame not to try to use the expensive steel railed panels.)
They are also a bit high maintenance in winter because you have to tromp down the snow all along the fence line every time it snows so it doesn't run down your solar battery. But then again, you may be able to get along with a lot less fence in the winter since there aren't so many tasty things on the other side and goats are usually locked in warm sheds at night so predators are less of a concern.
Yeah after thinking about it, if we have a winter like last year, I think they will stay mainly in the corrals and I will feed them there...ground could be covered with snow for weeks. (I live on the benches/foothills of the Rockies and I am in a bit of a bowl at 5200 ft. The Mountain I live on is nearly 10,000 ft.) This is also where they will likely have their shelter most of the time and be put away at night. I will likely line it with the heavy duty 60" hog panels. Good for the 2.5 year olds & good for the kids.

Thx again for helping me think this through better. Yep...two...three...four heads are better than one. (Especially a Newbie one. ;))

One nice thing about the electric fence is that when you don't want to use it, it easily rolls up and stores neatly away in a small space.
Yes...and I could likely take portions of it with me for car camping base camps as noted in the other thread.

Thx so much again...great input! Love this place.

TOU
 

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We've had great experience with solar, although have never had anything else. I've been shocked by electric fence serveal times and don't think the shock from our solar is any less. I love the fact that it can be moved around and go with us on the road when needed.
 
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