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soft packs?

1719 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Rex
I found a place on line that sells pygmy goat soft packs. My 6m old kids have been doing great on walks and I was thinking about getting the soft packs and filling them with crumpled paper so they fill out.
Could this help or hurt at this age?
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I can only tell my point of view and I'm no friend of letting kids carry ANY load. I don't start them before the age of 2 or 2,5 years and give them time to grow.
I second pack, for at least 6 more months. Then, MAYBE (folks differ on this) and empty one, but definitly no weight until two years.
Now I can see no wt at this age but why not a empty pack?
I think the idea is to prevent injury to the goat. So some common sense makes sense.

My 1 year old grandchild carries stuff around the house. My 11 year old daughter carries a 30 pound back pack a violin and a french horn to school. But it is a short distance. As a teen I carried a 70 pound pack, and then strapped an accordion to the top of it and carried it ten miles. I'm the one with a bad back.

I would suspect that you won't burn in Goat hell if your fellas carry a few pounds. Just don't get carried away with it and stand ready to rescue them as a you would a child if they start complaining.

Here's a picture of a saddle I made for the younguns.
Only the mesh touches their back and evenly distributes the load. Only the sternum strap is attached. I tried it on Curley today and he loved it. Larry and Moe got jealous.

It cost me less than $10. The pack frame itself is a back rest I got at the dollar shop for , hmm, yep $1. The clips I got from Harbor freight for about $4.00. They are made to clamp the edges of tarps for lines. What you see in the picture weighs 14 oz.

I have a couple rectangular packs I got at Wallmart for $9 each that will be that paniers.

Rex could put a kit together and sell em for $20 and still make $10 on them.

I won't pack more than an emergency kit, lunch and a couple drinks in it.
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My guys are eight months. I didn't put any thing on them before this. We walk every weekend but not more than 6 or seven miles.
shellyborg said:
Now I can see no wt at this age but why not a empty pack?
What's the use of an empty pack? You don't need goats to get accustomed to carry things on their back like horses, they accept packs and saddles within minutes without much fuss.

If you use an empty pack withouth a saddle it will slide and even rub, so you'll need a saddle of some kind to secure the pack. And a saddle IS weight, even if it's only 4 lbs or so.

your picture isn't very sharp/good so I may be wrong but I don't like your idea very much:

in my opinion too little weight distribution resp. the weight is distributed along small, thin lines (the frame).
The frame doesn't touch the goat at all. The mesh conforms to the shape of the back and the wire frame is an inch or so away from the hide everywhere. You couldn't get better weight distribution.
The basic flaw with soft packs is that many don't allow clearance on the dorsal ridge of the spine. This boney ridge, which protrudes from the top of the spine, can be very pronounced in some goats. Most commonly the swiss dairy breeds. The weight will concentrate there and rub the hide back and forth over the spine when the goat walks causing the goat to become sore. This is not an issue with empty saddles but when you add weight you are going to get a sore goat unless there is enough padding on each side to give the extra clearance over the spine. Sore goats commonly walk with their rumps squatted down.

I'm with Sanhestar on this one. Goats don't really need any training to break them to carry gear so why waste time and money on a temporary saddle when you can put on a regular saddle when they reach 100lbs or so.

Of course with Pygmy's, you don't have a lot of options so take what you can get and work with it until you get the fit you need.
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