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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
I have heard about goat hiking and I'm so excited to try it. I have some questions and concerns.
1. Do you keep your goats on leashes or let them hike freely?
2. Do they just want to eat instead of walk? If so, how do you get them to keep walking?
3. Is it something that takes practice or is it easy for them to get the idea?
 

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Do you mean packing or just hiking?
I hike with my goats on the 4 wheel trails in the woods behimd my house all the time.
They have collars with a few inches of a paracord thing attached so I can grab them if I need to.
If they aren't used to being out of their pen, they might just want to eat for a while, but they should just follow where you go, especially if you bring grain the first couple times.
Mine sometimes go ahead or lag behind a little, but they don't like it when I go out of sight. They just walk next to me eating bites of branches as they go.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you mean packing or just hiking?
I hike with my goats on the 4 wheel trails in the woods behimd my house all the time.
They have collars with a few inches of a paracord thing attached so I can grab them if I need to.
If they aren't used to being out of their pen, they might just want to eat for a while, but they should just follow where you go, especially if you bring grain the first couple times.
Mine sometimes go ahead or lag behind a little, but they don't like it when I go out of sight. They just walk next to me eating bites of branches as they go.


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I just want to go hiking with my goats. I don't really want to put them on a leash because that is more stressful for me and they might get tangled. There aren't really any trails in the woods behind my house so I wondered if I just started off through the woods, would they just eat or would they stay by my side.
 

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I take my two girls for daily walks, mostly in the woods behind us. I think it started out with them getting out of the pasture gate and I was taking old hay to the compost pile and they behaved very well. Then we went and started eating all the jaggers and other stuff along the woodline. I'd put their halters and leashes on in the beginning, but now, 3 years later, I know they will follow me and they are off leash, often off halter, if we go in the woods. No one else is around, so I feel safe doing that. Now it was raining here today, so I put their halters and leashes and we walked up in the yard and behind the house, we are far back from the road, but not far enough that if something spooked them, it'd be worth risking them running that way. So I'd say start out slow and see how they do. Put a halter or collar and carry a leash in case you need it. I rock an old fanny pack, which has my phone and animals crackers - if they hear the zipper opening, they zero in on my hand - another quick way to get their attention to me.

Good luck - it's very peaceful to be in the woods with them. They have me trained to pull down limbs for them - another reason why they stick close to me!
 

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We walk ours daily, but just in our yard. At first you will have to use a leash, but eventually they should just follow you. Make sure always to have a squirt bottle on had, to guide them. Also, if you walk them before feeding time, they will follow you back better to be fed.

Edit: Oh, and also, they will probably try to eat on the way. You’ll probably have to use a leash to get them to move them or they may follow you if you get out of sight like @MadHouse said.
 

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We “hike” a narrow trail through our bush with the goats walking freely. It is slow, amd they eat, but they do follow us. They don’t like us to be out of their sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am so excited to try it out! Thank you guys for your suggestions! My goats don't care too much if they lose me, or at least not when are around our house. Maybe they just are comfortable because they are familiar with the area. We only have 3 acres, but 100 acres of woods backs up to our woods. There aren't paths back there, so it would just be off-trail hiking. I want to take my goats and just wander around for a few hours.
 

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Sounds like fun!! Leash them until you get well out of familiar territory then take the leashes off. They will almost certainly hesitate at first, and you might even have to hike out of sight before they start calling and come running after you, but don't panic. That's just your goats testing to see if you'll come back and "rescue" them. If you stay out of sight (hide behind a tree or something), they'll almost certainly make a sudden change of heart and come running in the direction they last saw you. After that they'll be more likely to stay close. You don't want to run back and fetch them if you can help it. That will only teach them that they trained you to come back for them if they don't follow. They may even turn tail and make you chase them home. You certainly don't want that! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Did you guys go hiking yet?
I am curious how it went!
I'm so sorry to disappoint, but no, I haven't. I saw your post and have been waiting to respond because I didn't want to say no. I have been hesitant to take them. Before all the foliage is gone this year, my goats and I would have gone hiking at least once, I promise. And when I do, I will update you.
 

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Def take on leases for the first few times. You can even do a set trail then they will get used to it and just follow. We have 11.5 acres and a lot of it is straight brush. We mostly let our girls out to graze (we are almost done fencing a 4 acre portion...only took over a year LOL.) and we'll walk them into areas we want. I could just let them out and they'll graze what they want the go back to their pen.
 
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