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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think pack goats are amazing! I have been wanting to raise my own to have but I dont know much about raising my own pack goat. I know there is a lot of training and I have heard its best to raise it from a bottle baby. Are there certain breeds that make better pack goats than others? Where do I start? I need all the help and information I can get :)
 

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Hi there, what do you want out of your pack goat? That will influence your choice. Are you a Fast and light hiker or a slow and heavy hiker? How bonded do you want and how much do you plan to carry? Do you want to do day trips or overnighters for several days?
Give me some more info :)
 

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I checked into it last year and got a lot of info from the local 4-H. They even take their pack goats to the fair and do a little educational talk about them. Very neat. I hand raised some goats and got small or x-small doggie back packs. The little kids didnt mind them on at all. I didnt put any weight in the little ones packs. I put big packs on some of the grown goats and some didnt mind..very willing. The adults willingly followed me but those babies were all over the place and wouldnt listen. They kept holding up the group everytime they found something interesting or felt the need to play. I tried connecting the goats and kids but it was chaos! It was fun though :) I realized some of my grown goats would happily do as I asked and carry a pack. Some wouldn't. And goat babies need to calm down a little to get training done but you could get them used to a pack easy. I still take one or two grown goats with me on walks and they seem to enjoy it. As far as breeds, certain breeds are better but I dont remember which ones off hand. I just tried it with the ones I had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am a fast and light hiker and I want to be very bonded with my goats but still have that boundary line that I am in charge. I plan on going on just day trips and probably wont be carrying much. My dad wanted me to get some pack goats as well and train them so that he can take them hunting with him, he will probably need them to carry heavier loads than I will. If I train the goats would my dad be able to take them? or do they usually only do well with the trainer?

As far as breed I was thinking a cross between dairy and meat so they will have the muscles to pack but also the agility. I have had many Nubian Boer crosses and they seem to be very fit for packing (in my mind) but I dont know much about it so if im wrong go ahead and let me know
 

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Nubian/Boer won't do fast and light. Nubian have a reputation as the noisiest lazy goats on the trail, I would never recommend them to a beginner. Boer are very stubborn and go through a very frustrating "you can't tell me what to do" stage at about 2 years old. You also won't find a saddle that will fit a Boer or a wide Boer cross. They are very slow as well. I spent a frustrating summer trying to pack on Boer/Nubians. I spent most of that summer trying to get my goats to stand back up.

You don't need muscle the way you're thinking. Any well put together goat is going to build all the muscle he needs just from working. What you are wanting is strength not muscle.
If you think about different sports and the people who do them a weight lifter, a wrestler, a football player. These people all have large muscles built up by repetitive slow movements with heavy weight. These people sacrifice agility for bulk though.
Now, if you think about mountain climbers, marathon runners, cross country skiers. These people have flat wirey muscles that are agile and powerful. That's what you want from your pack goat.

IMO, for fast and light, there is nothing better then an Alpine. Now if you want a separate team for hunting, I would choose Saanens for that. They are slower then Alpines but can carry more. I actually like to have mine drag the meat out on Travois. They can take a much bigger load that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay Thanks! That makes a lot of sense, I have never thought about it that way. That is very helpful :)

How are the expenses for pack goats? As far as training, is there anything online that is helpful? Do you have your own ways of training?
 

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I figure $40 per month for feed, wormers, etc. Your saddle and panniers will run you about $200.00. You can get a saddle kit from Northwest Pack Goat Supply for $65.00. A dairy wether is about $75.00. One from a pack goat breeder can be as much as $250.00. Mine are purebred Alpines and LaMancha/Alpine experimentals, but, have proven pack goats in their lines. Price is negotiable with me and I'm willing to do some trade.

Training is just a matter of get out and doing it. From the very beginning I start feeding their bottle in one part of the pen and then walk away and feed them more somewhere else. Just like a mother goat. I start taking mine to the beach and out on trails at 3 weeks old when I start their first cocci prevention. We don't go fast or far but, it gets them used to you being their safety and comfort. At that age your bottle baby will pretty much follow you anywhere. I start introducing them to peanuts at that time too. They are the treat of choice here and are easy to carry in a pocket. They also come in handy for giving pills. I partially crack one, dump the seed out and stick the pill in. They never even notice it's there. No stress.
As they grow just start crossing water, bridges, anything you can think of. Bicycles, they are scary, introduce them to bicycles we always see a lot of mountain bikers on the multi-use trails. They warn you they're coming, I've never met a rude mountain biker. Another thing, something about a goat wearing a saddle and panniers will panic some horses. I always just give them the trail and hold my goats. Some will stop to chat and some will huff on by. Some horse riders are very, hmm, interesting.
Alright, I got some stuff to do tonight be back in a couple hours...
 

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Any help you need, let me know. I have some videos up loaded to the site as well showing some water training.
 
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