The Goat Spot Forum banner

Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks!

1154 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bhmntpacker
I have just joined this forum.

To be totally honest, I don't know if I fit here!
I am also in Dairy goat forums, and they just don't understand my goals.

I am too old to decide to start hiking and packing around mountains. But, not too old to travel up hill and down on my own property. But, I don't want to camp out there!

However, I have 20 acres, and lots of it is only accessible by foot.
It is rough terrain, getting through on horse back would not be easy to do... too much brush, and very steep.

I like to go forage on my land, pick grapes, blackberries, pawpaws, mushrooms...etc. Some areas are even challenging on 4 wheelers!
I think pack goats could really be helpful in this endeavor.
I also am lousy with a wheel barrel, and thought: if my goats were cart trained, I could use them for carrying firewood, bales of hay to the barn, or even bags of feed to the feed room.

I have 2 La Mancha dairy does, lactating, and a new buckling to be the herd sire.

I love my goats, and they are healthy, happy and loving.
Is there any reason that I can't have them assist with my chores, like weeding... let them eat the right of way, that needs clearing, let them help carry stuff?

In most Dairy goat forums they want to pen up the goats and just deliver all food items to them... why can't they go get it? They advise against staking them out. But, I have plants that I don't want ate by them, and plants that I am tired of cutting and taking to them.

My thought is: a well trained goat can do many things around a homestead, I even found garden cultivators that are goat powered.

But, I can't find a forum that has working goats for homestead, that are also milking goats.

Based on information here, I tested my theory that they won't be too bad to train. I finished milking, and made a lead, I don't even have collars on them, so I just took some nylon webbing and tied it around their necks and held the tail as a lead, and I walked each one around outside their pen, just to some fresh browse, let them eat for 10 minutes and took them back. They have never been leash trained but they didn't fight me, they thought it was fun.

I do have a canvas udder support and it would not be difficult, well, not that difficult to construct another one, for protecting them when we are in deep woods.

Am I daydreaming, or setting impossible goals for them?
Is this even do-able? Dairy and pack and cart training?

Thanks in advance for any and all in-put.

See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Welcome Mary Ann!

This is basically what I'm doing with my kids, although they're wethers (or soon to be wethers ! LOL) so no udder protection necessary.

We're going out on daily hikes along our overgrown creek. We've beat a path through the brush and the kids love eating the stuff that I'd have to otherwise start spraying with chemicals to get under control.

I do hope to do some off property hikes when they're old enough to carry a bit of weight.

I say do it! Have them carry a bit to help and come along for company.

I'm teaching my boys to come to a particular whistle. I carry a bit of goat feed or grain to reward them for coming when I whistle.

I started by shaking the grain and whistling. Now I'm phasing out shaking the grain and just whistle.

Have fun!
See less See more

Although I do a bunch of day hikes, only rare over-night-ers, my goats mainly keep down my weeds and eat the leaves that I would otherwise have to rake.

I put them on a running highline to keep them out of the flowers and grapes (until the grapes are ready to be pruned). I bought a wagon that they will eventually pull and I have been eyeing the cultivator, though I really need a plow pulled by about six goats ;-)

I do have an old two wheel horse that has a plow that they may pull when they get a bit bigger.

Sounds like what you want to do is perfect for your goats. Don't worry about setting impossible tasks. If they are strong enough and willing, they are probably smart enough. I am training one to go canoeing so he can help me portage... but then maybe I set the goals too high ;-)

You are certainly welcome here.
See less See more
Canoeing? Oh wow. How will you keep him still?

My goats hate water, they might get their tootsies damp!

I have a pond, but they can go around it, don't have to cross it, and the creek dips underground in spots so they don't have to get their toes damp there either.

I think it would be really challenging to train these to cross water. But, that is not my goal, at least at this point.

Thanks for the welcome and replies.

I am going to work on lead training and verbal commands, they already come to the special whistle that I give for goats, it is not the same as for the dogs. I also have Great Pyrenees Mountain Dogs, so they may just get trained too! And the goats already know what NO! means. Or Stop That! As well as, Come Here, by their names. The girls are 3 years old, the new herd buck is 3 months old. Maybe he will become a late wether, if I get him trained, then when I retire him, I don't have to eat, tough old billy goat! Would you pack train, or cart train first, or switch between the two?
See less See more
Welcome ozark Lady.

I am new to packing goats.
And am really enjoying this

Please keep posting your trials
and successes.

We are all waiting for Bob to get wet.
See less See more
Welcome Ozark Lady.

There are some serious goat packers on this forum, but I'll bet a lot of people here don't do much actual back country packing. They just love their goats and like taking them for walks.

I take my goats for some wilderness pack trips, but I also take them out almost daily just so they can eat the brush and weeds that they love and that are so good for them. While we are out I read my book, shoot my bow, or gather firewood. The goats even carry fire wood for me.

If you put a packsaddle on one of your goats and get some canvas tote bags to hang on it, he/she can carry lunch, drinking water, your jacket, your book, etc. while you wander around your place. The goats will learn to just go wherever you go. I only put leashes on my goats when I need to cross a road. The main things to watch out for are hazards like poisonous plants and snakes. And dogs, of course.
See less See more
Hello Ozark Lady,

"Fitting in" is over-rated. If you are looking for honest answers to about anything goat related this is the place.
I think once you own goats, especially working goats, you have lost all hope of fitting in.

Good luck
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.