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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello from Boise! I recently bought my first 2 goats and wanted to share with the community on this forum. I was excited to find this forum as I'm sure I'll have lots of questions. :D

The goats are Alpines, and are now 5 weeks old. They are both Wethers that I bought from a breeder in Emmett, Idaho. They are debudded and bottle fed. I'm very much looking forward to training these goats to pack, as I have 4 boys and we hike and camp a lot. My boys are bottle feeding them with the hopes that the kids will grow an attachment to the boys.

I've decided to name them Trafferth and Arazoak. Those names are the Welsh and Basque translations of the word Trouble.

If there are any other members of this forum from the Boise, Idaho area I would love to hear from you and maybe get together to talk about doing a hike/camp together.

[attachment=0:2c9bomyz]2 Alpine Goats and 1 Terrier.jpg[/attachment:2c9bomyz]
 

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They are very cute! All the best with them. :p
Hope you find some packers near you, but I'm rather a long way away. ;) (Australia)
Cheers,
Cazz
 

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Cute goats! Best of luck with your new companions!

We have 3 pack goats & live in New Meadows, about 2.5 hours from Boise. We take several backpacking trips each year with our goats, and take them for day hikes on a regular basis. Last year we went to the Sawtooth, Frank Church, Gospel Hump, Selway Bitterroot, & Seven Devils areas in Idaho. Our most recent overnight trip was a 6 day trip to Hells Canyon, this past April. We took the goats on the Hells Canyon Mail Boat, up river, & hiked back down to the trail head. The Mail Boat is a jet boat that runs up the Snake River once a week .The goats did great, they followed us onto the boat, no problem, it was a real hoot! Our longest day was 15 miles on that last trip & they only lay down to rest if we stopped or took a break. I have attached a couple of photos:

[attachment=1:1wg7rdt0]HCJetBoat.jpg[/attachment:1wg7rdt0]
[attachment=0:1wg7rdt0]HCJetboatMail.jpg[/attachment:1wg7rdt0]

You will love having your goats for hiking companions. Even our "little" goats are strong for their size & will never leave our side when we are on the trail. They all have an unflappable work ethic & are closely bonded to us--I attribute that last characteristic to the bottle feeding. Even though we weren't the ones who bottle fed them, they nevertheless are very attached to us.

I strongly recommend you attend the Pack Goat Rendezvous in Weippe, Idaho, in July. It's not that far from Boise & you will get a chance to share your passion with the rest of us. Please feel free to PM me if you ever want to get together for a goat hike!--Irene
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Cazz, Saph, Blueroan and ryorkies for saying hi. I may take you up on the offer to pack around New Meadows Saph. We love to hike all over Idaho, and the Payette National Forest is exceptional. I love the pictures of the goats on the boat in Hells Canyon! Looks like a great time!
 

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We live just outside of Moscow and love to go hiking/backpacking in many of the wilderness areas in the state (the more remote the better!).

At only 3 months old our goats are still far too young to pack but we take them for daily
walks and out for extended hikes almost every weekend.

We even took them out bear hunting with us for three weekends in a row earlier this month! They hiked right along with us during the day and at night they slept under a tarp that was set up right beside our tent.

Last weekend my wife got her bear and the goats accompanied us down into the canyon to pack it out. It was a long night and we didn't get back into camp until nearly 4:00 in the morning. Believe me, my wife and I were both wishing that our goats had been able to help with the load! What was cool was that they didn't seem the least bit fazed by the bear and stayed right with us the whole time.

Here's a photo of my wife and her "escorts" as she packs a load of bear meat out of the canyon.
[attachment=0:syui0hlp]Thia's 2011 Bear 1.JPG[/attachment:syui0hlp]
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My goats are only 5 weeks old now, and I've heard that if I should start training them to pack early. I was planning to use some of my wife's reusable grocery bags and tying one on each side and let them hang down, and loosely strapping the front and back around too.

Is there a thread already on this forum about how to start out young goats on packing?
Is there a discussion about whether young goats should be started with bags or sawbucks?

Those are the kind of questions I have right now and any advice for young goats is appreciated!

:)
 

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There is lots of info on this forum, & on Rex's website northwestpackgoats.com, as well as elsewhere on the web.

You don't want to put a lot of weight on them while they are still young & growing as this could lead to injury. Many people recommend waiting until they are 2 years old before they start using saddles/sawbucks. We used lightweight packs on their sawbucks when they were about a year old, but with very little weight (under 10 lbs).

You do want to get them used to leading (being on a leash), being tied & most importantly following you.

You can start talking short walks with them at any time. Ours were already going 4-5 miles when they were 4 months old. They quickly worked up to 10+ miles.

Get them accustomed to following you along, either on a leash or off the leash.

Get them used to water crossings.

Bring treats along to reward them or help coax them along. Salted peanuts in the shell are great for that.

Read up on urinary calculi, this can be a problem in wether goats.

Just spend as much time with them as you can. Bonding is so important!
 

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The little goats with the puppy are so cute!

Goat with a coat afloat on a boat!

If the goat with a coat were on a boat afloat on a moat it would be even better! :lol:

Awesomesauce!!
 

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I put a saddle on my yearling today and he wore it for hours and didn't even notice it. With the little ones, you could get a dog back pack and let them walk around with it. It is lightweight and gives them a taste of their future fun.
 

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Nanno said:
The little goats with the puppy are so cute!

Goat with a coat afloat on a boat!

If the goat with a coat were on a boat afloat on a moat it would be even better! :lol:

Awesomesauce!!
The keen caprine ate peabean in the green. (I think she's got it)
Come clean caprine you've once again ate peabean. (I know she's got it...)

Your quote of goat afloat with coat was just a short note.
I connote more goat and so I dote and rewrote
The goats with oats... aargh Rex take your hands off my throat... ;-)
 

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MadIdahoMan said:
My goats are only 5 weeks old now, and I've heard that if I should start training them to pack early. I was planning to use some of my wife's reusable grocery bags and tying one on each side and let them hang down, and loosely strapping the front and back around too.

Is there a thread already on this forum about how to start out young goats on packing?
Is there a discussion about whether young goats should be started with bags or sawbucks?

Those are the kind of questions I have right now and any advice for young goats is appreciated!

:)
my boys are about 5 weeks old right now :D they follow me everywhere. we've already been on four 2-mile hikes and one 4-mile hike. they were still bouncing around at the end of the 4-mile walk whereas i was ready for a nap :roll:
with my boys i've just been hiking with them. i think i'll wait until they are at least a year old before i put on any packs.
they follow me good except when we are walking down a steep part and then they all have to run down hopping and jumping the whole way like fuzzy springs :lol:
gonna start working on water crossings. the only ones we've done so far were puddles and very small creek parts that were basically flowing puddles.
good luck!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We have really been enjoying bottle feeding our Alpine Pack Goats.
They follow us around all over the yard.
[youtube:1dbsb78w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfgljHffALw[/youtube:1dbsb78w]
 

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Absoloutly gorgeous MadIdahoMan! Beautiful kids. (all of them!)
I can barely wait for more kids. Sigh. :p
Looks like you are doing a great job with them! If you like, you can teach them tricks (kneel, lay down, free rear, sit, that sort of thing) very easily and quickly with a bottle. Almost all of our kids know at least one trick by the time they are three days old, and your little kids look like smart babies! So cute!
Cazz
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's an update on our two little Alpine Pack Goats.
They are about 2 months old in these videos.
I've been bottle feeding them all along.
This was our first trip out on a trail away from home.
[youtube:2dymgexu]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFBRJ0bpuJE[/youtube:2dymgexu]
[youtube:2dymgexu]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If78uK0v_hI[/youtube:2dymgexu]

We did meet one family with a dog, and the man had to tackle the dog to keep it from attacking our goats! I'm not sure what to do if I meet a dog that the family can't control.
 

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When I'm in an area where there might be dogs I keep a lead on them though I may not actually use them. If a dog is in the area, then I will control the goats so they don't spook.

I talk to them saying, "Just a dog..." and continue walking if possible, or having them face the dog as it gets too close.

I then give the dog a blast of the Dog Dazer.

I allow the goats to butt dogs. It gives them confidence for future encounters.

When I don't have the dazer...

I also carry a shepherd staff and will point it directly at the dog and push it with it. If it persists I will swing it. It hasn't been necessary, but I would not hesitate to strike the dog if it continued to approach aggressively.

Usually if I get to the point that I am swinging, the dog owner is doing all possible to get it out of my way, And they are usually very apologetic.
 

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Amen to carrying a good walking stick for anti dog work. The Dog Dazer may or may not work, but a poke or whack with the stick always has for me. But not all dog owners will be very understanding or responsible about it. That's why you have to be prepared to protect your goats. Dogs are their worst enemy.

Beautiful little goats! What a joy it is to see them grow up, and become best buddies with them. Have fun!
 
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