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I herded goats for over 7 years and milked for 20 years and I found that was the best way I learned goats. I am new at packing and found it was really easy to catch on because instead of having 500 goats or more following you down a road or something it was almost the same other than they carry a pack instead. My question today is How many goats is it controlable too have to make it less hetic and a fun experience? I know I can take lots of goats out to eat and they do all come back fine and watch you all the time but what is recommended to be safe for me and the goats.
 

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I think two per person is the optimum in safety because if something happens, like meeting a string of horses in a bad spot or an aggressive dog, each person can grab a goat in each hand and have some control of the situation. If you are in isolated areas where you are unlikely to meet anyone else then you could probably handle a dozen or more. I believe the most I've ever taken on a lone hike is about six. They did fine but I was off trail so I didn't need to worry about trying to get a hold of them for anything.
 

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I don't take more than 6 goats (maybe one more youngster) when I do training hikes and am by myself.

For a larger group or the whole herd I take the dogs with me.

Also, every goat in the training group will wear halter or collar and a leading rope. For the goats without a saddle to secure the leading rope on when I don't lead them I use a short bit of rope, long enough to grab but so short that the goat won't step on it or gets tangled.

Having the goats trained to come to you when called will help you in many situations.
 

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I think it would depend on the goats. My three yearlings now huddle around me when they are spooked so they don't need to be held at all.

The two experienced packers I got from another herd are still a bit spooky around bicycles on the trail, but they haven't run off. The one takes an offensive posture from time to time with dogs, (which I prefer to flight) but I may try to stay closer to him.

I am doing a lot of hiking near the city and we see lots of dogs and bikes. I would probably lead the older ones for a while longer if it were not for the younger ones. When they come to me, it encourages the older ones to come as well.

But I am probably at my comfort limit with the goats I have. We're not actually packing yet, so that may change if their behavior changes much with packs on.

Oh, and I carry a Dog Dazer. It works wonders to stop a dog from chasing before they get started.

I picked up some school packs at Walmart for $9 to start playing with the younger ones. I tied them together and draped them over their back with no weight in them.

Curly was first to try. He put his head up and started walking around proudly. The other two got jealous and butted him a bit. When it fell off, Moe came over to me so I put it on him, and he did the same. Then Larry needed his turn.

Previously when we had put a hat on Larry, he wouldn't let us remove it. So at least for them, I don't think the packs will make a difference.
 
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