The Best Harness Goat Breeds

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by Jenna, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Hi all!
    I know you all have you different opinions on the " Best breed" ( if there is one haha) for a working goat but that is what I'm after :)
    Ok here comes the ??
    ~ Do you prefer the meat breeds or the dairy?
    ~ What breed?
    ~ What breed commonly has the best leg structure?
    ~ What breed has the most laid back personality?
    ~ What breed seems to be the most willing to learn?

    Oh, sorry for all the questions :doh: .... just one more! Can you use a mini horse harness or would it not be suitable? Thanks!!!! :greengrin:
  2. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I don't have any experience with meat breeds but I would imagine they might be able to handle a larger load since they are generally more muscular. Dairy goats are suprisingly strong for how scrawny they look though--my Alpine wether pulls me around on the cart like I'm not even there.

    I'd say, for dairy goats, any of the standard breeds would work well...but Alpines, Nubians, and Saanens tend to be the largest goats...and typically for pulling a cart, larger is better.

    I'm not sure about this one...

    I think LaManchas have great personalities and are about the easiest goats to train that I have dealt with...they are generally smaller though. My Alpine wether is a good boy overall but can be very headstrong and stubborn at times...

    Like I said above, LaManchas are easier to train than any other type of goat I've my experience, anyway. They are less likely to put up a fight, and if they do, they will give in sooner.

    The harness I use was made for a mini horse, so yes!

  3. DW Farms

    DW Farms New Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Since Ohio seems to be Boer County, thats the majority of what I have had. Although there is a few dairy goat farms around, its mostly Boer. Im my opinion, I wouldnt got much higher that 75% boer if your wanting to do long distance. The Boer does add the muscling and bone, but with that comes the laziness! My best carter is a Nubian/Boer wether, which suprises me because Nubian tend to be a little stubborn.

    Sannens also make great carters, theyre calm and docile personailitys really make it nice when working with them.

    Ive seen more Alpine carters than anything, and they seem to do great. They definatly get pretty tall.

    Im working on developing a carting breed of goats. Kinda of a mixture of goats, something to get height, bone and muscling, but the refines thats needed to make a good carter.

    Adam Black
    DW Harness Shop
  4. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Thanks so much for your opinions!!
    It sounds like the best cross would be a dairy breed like the alpine x boer. Though I will probably have to go with either a dairy breed or boer, because I don't know of any herds that test for diseases that have any crosses.. I'll have to look around again.
    When I find a good herd what do you all think the age I should look for should be? I think a bottle kid would be best but could you effectively train an 1/2 year off 1 year?
  5. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I think Saanen would be the best goat for a harness goat. When the males mature they are huge. I know a breeder friend who has a wether for a pet and he's nearly as tall as a full size Saanen buck(and they are HUGE!) Saanens also have very calm and gentle personalities.
  6. shadycreekgoats

    shadycreekgoats New Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Ditto, what everyone said about saanens..... :greengrin:

    In my opinion, A purebred dairy goat would be better....I've heard that when you cross a boer to a dairy goat, that the boer parent passes on the shorter legs, so they are not very good cart-pullers.

    I would say the saanen is very laid back & gentle....I :love: mine!!!!
    I have a six month old buckling that I plan to start training to pull carts....He is is extremely easy to train....but I did bottle-raise him.....

    Ditto, what FunnyRiverFarm said about lamanchas...I've heard that they are very laid back & easy to train.

    Hope that helps!!! :) :)
  7. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Thanks all!!
    I've seen a saanen buck before and WOW was that goat huge! :shocked:
    Some people say they don't like lamanchas because of the ears, but
    I think it makes them look unique ( and cute) :greengrin:
    Thanks for the tip Shadycreekgoats about the cross problem, I'll have to look into that!
  8. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    saanens or lamanchas.. lamanchas are definety the easiest to train and are very willing to learn
  9. shadycreekgoats

    shadycreekgoats New Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Your welcome.... :greengrin:....let us know what you get!!! :)
  10. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    I just need to say, NO, the Boer does not shorten the legs.

    I like the 50% Boer 50% Dairy cross as a harness/pack worker, the best I have ever had. You get the long legs and frame from the dairy, but they are thicker set and weigh heavier, from the Boer. Best of both worlds.

    I will upload some pics of the guy I've just finished training ... he's a 50:50 Dairy:Boer. Looooooong legs.
  11. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    hmmmm.. A lot to think about!! :greengrin: Keren, I would love to see your goat!
    Thanks for all the replies guys, greatly appreciated! :thumbup:
  12. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    Oct 12, 2009
    We pack with our LaManchas, and they are definitely laid back, smart, and willing to learn. I've never driven them, but would like to. I agree that the ears are weird; I didn't care for them at first, but their personalities more than make up for the lack!
  13. peggy

    peggy Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    B.C. Canada
    Keren-----I'd love to see the pics that you mentioned in this thread. Thanks
  14. MiGoat

    MiGoat New Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    West Michigan
    I wonder how hard it would be to make a harness.

    LaMancha's are smart goats and are very attentive. Saanens are big and nice. Alpines are strong and big too though...and have delightfully silly personalities.
  15. Paige

    Paige Senior Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Obes are calm and easey to train. Some people say they are not as good because they are smaller but it depends on the style you pick. Some obers are fine boned while others are really good sized.