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Hi everyone, I am Allison from Cheyenne Wyo. we have just been given a pack goat who is we think an Alpine wether. I have 3 horses, a golden retriever, a German Shepard we adopted a year ago, 2 black cats, and a fainting goat Juju who adopted us once her friend in the neighboring property died. Juju is quite wild and is very sociable with the horses, has nothing to do with anyone else. Lol. She is incredibly low maintenance as in, we do nothing special for her. Sometimes give her a horse cookie or apple or something.

Back to Henry the newest member of the place, he is a 2001 model. We believe he is an Alpine wether. He came with a trailer, two pack saddles, panniers, game bags, peanuts, birdseed, and grooming tools. He is properly registered on the pack goat registration on this forum.

We have taken him on several walks around the neighborhood. He makes everyone's day and we often get drive-bys who turn around and drive by again. It's amazing what you see in Wyoming and its not even Cheyenne Frontier Days!
I now think I will try to break Juju to lead and pack too. She isn't nearly as useful as Henry is. However she is a fainting goat...surely that might pose its own series of packing problems.....???

I told my hubby who is an archery hunter he can now take Henry to pack out his antelope! He thinks I am crazy! LOL

I have been reading on this forum for a few days and you have given me some fun entertainment. I do have a couple of questions:

I wonder, can they keep up with our horses on a trail ride? Do you lead them all the time or can they go " off leash" once you get headed out in the right direction? Can you lead them them off a horse? I did take him out with the golden today for a walk, I intend to take both dogs in the future.
 

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Welcome to the pack goat forums! Good luck with your new packing buddy. Keep in mind that he's no spring chicken. Twelve is pretty old for a goat. My goat, Cuzco, is eleven, and I have to feed him soaked feed in the winter because his teeth are worn down. A coyote attack last year triggered inflammation of the joints and a stubborn lameness which the vet determined was caused by a touch of arthritis between the toes on his left front foot. It didn't really affect him until the coyote attack, but I've fed him Cosequin ever since and it's amazing the difference it made. But even modern medicine can't cure aging. So before your husband takes Henry out on a hunting trip, make sure he's up to the job.

As for going with your horses on a trail ride, that would be up to Henry. Take it slow at first until you know what his limit is. I used to take Cuzco out on trail rides all the time, but in the last year or two he's slowed down too much to keep up for more than a short ride. I've never had to use a leash when taking Cuzco out with the horses--he followed us everywhere. But it might be different for Henry if he's never bonded to horses. You can lead your goat from horseback. I've led Cuzco from horseback at times when we were on a busy road or when he would run away to the neighbor's farm to hang out with their horses (theirs are nicer to him than mine!). I've had to drag him back from there by the saddle horn a few times!

Good luck with your goats. It will be interesting to see how your fainting goat turns out. At least if she ever gets ambushed by dogs on the trail, you don't have to worry about her running off into the woods with your gear. :p
 

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Hello,

I agree with Nanno. Your Henry is almost a senior - goats live 14-15 years - and although he shouldn't retire completely, he needs a watchfull eye and good care. Arthritis, worn theeth, some organ issues (liver, kidneys) are common things to keep an eye on. What did his previous owner tell you about him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well then darling Henry can just go on walks with us. He is quite nice, and I really like him. I have a lot of senior care experience with a 36 year old pony. I do wonder about his teeth as he looks a little light in his groceries in the hip. No ribs tho and he really is solid! I am going to the feed store to pick up some goat chow and mineral blocks. He does love his peanuts and I have tons of grass alfalfa mix hay that they get twice a day. He seems to enjoy equine senior however I am worried about it not being balanced for goats. So will check other options! Good thing his owner moved about 1/2 mile from me so I will have lots of input! I hope from him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update on Juju the fainting goat, she now has a collar on. She took the application of the collar with frozen aplomb. I think today she was quite proud of it. Although sticks to my thoroughbred like glue so I think she was abit miffed it didn't come with bling.
 

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I think all goats look light around the hips. It's just the way they are made, and this becomes even more pronounced as they get older. A dairy-type goat has to be massively fat for his hip bones not to stick out like a hat rack! I go by the feel of the ribs. I've found it is harder to judge Cuzco's weight properly as he's gotten older because some of the flesh has left his topline and migrated down to his belly. People always comment that he's either hugely fat or that he could use some groceries depending on what part of him they're looking at. To me he looks thinner now than he did five years ago, but he's actually almost 20 lbs heavier. It's just that he's carrying it in a different place. ;)

If you're wondering about Henry's teeth, watch him when he eats hay. You likely won't be able to tell with grain since, according to proper goat fashion, he'll probably inhale it without chewing. But you'll be able to tell with hay if he's not chewing it properly or if you can't hear a crunching sound. Not to worry. Cuzco has been living without teeth for the last two years and it doesn't seem to have set him back at all. He keeps fat on summer pasture, but he does have trouble in the winter if I don't feed him pelleted feed. I've had good luck with alfalfa/timothy pellets soaked in warm water and top dressed with grain in the winter. Cuzco turned his nose up at first (I think because it was wet), but since it's the only thing he can properly chew, he eventually got hungry enough to give it a try. Despite his deep misgivings, he actually liked it and hasn't had a problem keeping weight on in the winter ever since. I also give him free choice hay, but mostly just to give him something to do and make him feel like a normal goat.

Hopefully Henry's teeth are just fine. Cuzco had the disadvantage of having a fondness ONLY for a certain type of harder-than-rocks horse cookie for years and years before he finally broadened his tastes to things that are easier on the ol' pearly whites. I regret that we fed him those for so long, but it seemed impossible to train him without some kind of treat, and that was the only thing he would even look at. :roll:

Oh, and you might think about getting loose minerals instead of a block. We used a block for years because Cuzco wouldn't touch loose minerals. He wanted the block because that's what the horses had and he was raised with horses, not goats. However, last year when we got more goats and he saw that they were enjoying the loose minerals, his instinctual greed and jealousy kicked in and he converted within a week. I think they eat a lot more of the loose kind than the block kind and it's easier on their teeth.
 
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