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I was wondering what the average price was for goats. My family raised dairy goats for about 9 years so I know what I'm looking for I just don't know prices. Mom and Dad always did the bartering and buying. They would be "mutts" so to speak. I know a few places to go but I was just wondering how much a baby would be.
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We've paid anywhere from $0 - $125 for our goats... but the average for a bottle fed wether here is about $50. That's for one under 3-4 months of age, on CAE prevention or from a CAE free herd, disbudded and vaccinated.

A lot of it depends on what area you are in, what you are looking for and what is available.
 

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I don't think there is an average price. But obviously, a goat that is raised and bred to pack and comes with some guarantees as to do this with returns as an option is going to cost more than a dairy reject.

At $250 per kid, I don't make any money. By the time I have fed them to my satisfaction, handled them to make them friendly, paid for vaccines, testing, working, also to my satisfaction, and placed the odd kid as a $50 brush goat that may not cut the mustard,all I have left is the satisfaction that I have made a serious contribution to the packgoat gene pool that wasn't there when all that was available was dairy goat castoffs.

But. my goats pack, and they don't quit, and they pack for a long time.
 

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Maybe I am being overly sensitive but I don't consider my herd to be "dairy goat rejects" or "castoffs".

Sweetgoatmama is right that a goat specifically bred, raised and trained to be a packgoat will cost more. Problem is this type of goat isn't readily available in all areas of the country.... yet. :)

My best packer I only paid $50 for ... but he gives 110% on the trail, is trained to harness and is being trained for driving also.

The main thing is work within your budget and find a goat with good conformation that is healthy and has a "go to" attitude. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get into goat packing but you will need to do your homework and look for an animal that has the right potential. Then get out there and have fun on the trails. :)
 

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Here in Iowa, people mostly fall over laughing if you say that you plan on packing with a goat (especially when they know you have horses). I guess they don't think about the impact on the land, and the difference in ease of transporting the two... but that's a whole, other, thing.

Goats around here run anywhere from $25 for bottle babies of mixed (probably some dwarf) parentage to $80 or more for the same goat as a yearling, depending on weight.

This time of year, I would get to all the close county and state fairs. There are most likely going to be some 4H kids with goats, and there are almost always some who've made pets of theirs. Those are going to be some of the best socialized goats ever. I can remember having 150 lb. sheep that rode the merry-go-round at the fair with us. They were bottle-fed and were real "people" sheep.

Some of those 4H-ers are going to have to part with those goats, and they might be really happy to know they were going to "working" homes, where they would continue to be valued because of all the socializing and training they'd had.

Since I got my goat, I've been doing that, and have found some wonderful goats and people to contact when I'm ready to move in the second goat. The 4H-ers are a great resource. As are the state goat council people. They were amused about packing, but wanted to know all about how it goes.

My goat was a gift, and luckily he's a tall Saanen wether of good conformation. I found him on the farm where I board. He was one of the goats that came in to be butchered, but was so obviously a hand raised pet that no one had the heart. He was in the $80 range, by weight, at 8 months. He would've been more if he'd been one of the boers, since they are the "angus" goats around here.
 

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This Spring, I paid $20 for a bottle-baby and $450 for a dam-raised,registered dairy goat. So, I really don't think there is an 'average' even within a given region. It's more a matter of what you can find. The bottle-baby (a Nubian-LaMancha cross) has the best packing attitude out of my entire herd. I think if I had to give an average for my region (southeastern US), it would be $50-60 for a cross-bred, and $100 for an unregistered purebred. The prices don't seem all that different between a weanling and an adult. Of course, there aren't any 'pack' goats or trained work goats in my area, so I can't speak on an experienced goat.

Diane in KY
 

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Dairy goat rejects are not the same as multi-purpose goats. A goat can be bred to milk and pack and do well at both. But at each end of the spectrum you will have to start making some decisions about whether you want a goat with the udder capacity to give volume, wich also tends to lend itself to a longer back, which may compromise the weight carrying abilities.

Also a goat that is a dairy machine may be lacking in the bone size and capacity for weight bearing loads that the meat goat type has. Packgoats carry their loads in a different place from dairy goats. Packers carry their pack weight over the ribs and need to have short enough backs that the suspension bridge formed by the spine and ribs isn't compromised. Dairy goats tend to carry their kids and milk in a sling type suspension further back and underneath the goat.

Obviously a goat who has been bred for one or another or both is going to cost more that a goat that comes with no guarantees of doing either.
 

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sweetgoatmama said:
Packers carry their pack weight over the ribs and need to have short enough backs that the suspension bridge formed by the spine and ribs isn't compromised.
Carolyn,

what's - in your opinion - a short enough back?

With our first goats (mixed breeds without any selection for packing) I had the problem that the back was just long enough to carry the saddle. When I look at fotos from packgoats in America I often get the impression that the backs are either longer or the saddles are placed different from the way I saddle them (leaving the shoulder completely free but having the saddle rest on the first of the lumbar vertetrae while I'm not comfortable with putting a saddle that much "back" on a goat - maybe I'm wrong there...)
 

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THis is one of the saddle fitting issues that needs to be looked at individually. Every goat needs a saddle that will sit as far forward as possible without lying on the shoulder blade but also without being much longer than the ribs. And different saddles have different lengths of bar. From 10-12 inches is the average. The NW fiberglass saddle has a cutout over the shoulder so it can sit further forward than most without pressing down on the shoulder blade.

I consider an good working back to be slightly longer than what you can divide in thirds, using the distance from the point of the shoulder to the line going from top to bottom past the back of the shoulder blade, as one third. The second third goes from this line to the line that goes from top to bottom dividing the goat at the croup, which is the bony joint at the top of the hip, and the third third is from the point of the buttocks to this line.

So thusly: ______
/ \
/ \

You also need to assess the hip as it needs to be wide when looking from the side, but the back shouldn't be more than a few inches longer than either of these measurements.
 

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Thank you for taking the time to spell that out. Saddle fitting is going to be one of my big concerns. I'm hoping to get to a rendy, so I can see some actual saddle fittings, on lots of different goat body types.

My goat's back is different from my horses'. I've got horses as varied as a shire x friesian, polish and egyptian arabians, QH, and TB. My saanen's back is probably most like the TB's.

At 8 months old, I know he is going to grow and change, probably a lot based on experience with other animals. I also know I will not be doing anything but going for walks for a long time. But there is probably another goat in the offing before long... you know how addictions go.
 

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sweetgoatmama said:
I consider an good working back to be slightly longer than what you can divide in thirds, using the distance from the point of the shoulder to the line going from top to bottom past the back of the shoulder blade, as one third. The second third goes from this line to the line that goes from top to bottom dividing the goat at the croup, which is the bony joint at the top of the hip, and the third third is from the point of the buttocks to this line.

So thusly: ______
/ \
/ \
Carolyn,

for the first third - point of shoulder to back of the shoulder blade - do you measure a straight line or the diagonal of the shoulder?
 

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THis should be measured as a straight line from the point of the shoulder to the point of the hip, adjusting the lines as it crosses each of the division points.

________________
/ \
/___ | ______|_____\
\ /

These three parts should be roughly thirds, but almost every goat I've measured is slightly longer in the middle section than at each end section.

THe pack weight should sit toward the front of the goat but start behind where you can feel the back of the shoulder blade. It shouldn't go so far back that the goat runs out of ribs to support it.

Putting a saddle on a goat without a pad on it and then sliding your fingers under the edges withh help you identify the landmarks you are looking for both the edge of the shoulder blade should be palpable as should the final rib in the back.
 

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sweetgoatmama said:
THis should be measured as a straight line from the point of the shoulder to the point of the hip, adjusting the lines as it crosses each of the division points.

________________
/ \
/___ | ______|_____\
\ /

These three parts should be roughly thirds, but almost every goat I've measured is slightly longer in the middle section than at each end section.
That's what I found, too. I could hardly imagine a goat with a back the same length as the shoulder third where a standard saddle would fit. I checked a few of mines yesterday with a measurement tape and the one that had third - third - third where the ones I have problems putting a standard saddle on to my satisfaction.

But then I looked at my one Saanen doe and her kids with their waayyy longer backs and I just thought - oh dear!
 

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Pure saanens tend to be the longest goats I've seen. That's why we started crossing them with Boers, to shorten up the back and get more bone and muscle, as saanens also tend toward being flinty dairy bone, and not muscular larger boned animals.
 
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