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Topic Archives => Hunting => Topic started by: String Cutter on May 20, 2004, 10:24:00 AM

Title: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 20, 2004, 10:24:00 AM
Anybody here ever use pack goats?? I was checking out a website that said that they were better than mules or horses for packing stuff into the mountain. And since I'm moving into a new house that has a large barn and 2 fenced in feilds in the back I was thinking of getting a pack animal for my hunts in W.Va.  Was also thinking about llamas but heard that they're nasty tempermental animals.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: OH at work on May 20, 2004, 10:26:00 AM
String, Stealthycat has some Llamas for sale in the classifieds.  I don't have experience with goats but Llamas are great to work with. Sounded like a good deal since you'd have the room.

Joe
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 20, 2004, 10:43:00 AM
OH, It's going to be a couple of months before we get settled down at our new place. And I really want to see what would work best for me before I just up and buy an animal. So I'm unable to get any thing right now. Plus ,I've got some buttering up before I even ask her. But I'm sure she'll let me, if she knows that I really want it. But, I'm real interested in the goat idea. They were saying that you don't even need a trailor to take 'em. Just put them in the back of the truck. And you don't really need to pack any feed for them either. Just make sure that they have water.... I also was going to ask some of you guys and girls that use pack animals what the regulations are for pack animals in National Forrest???  I'll be hunting George Washington National Forrest mostly.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: BenBow on May 20, 2004, 10:46:00 AM
I wouldn't have anything to do with llamas cause I know of 2 people that have been killed by being kicked in the head by the damn things. That's not even considering the number of bites and times being spit on.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bohuntr on May 20, 2004, 10:59:00 AM
String Cutter if you do a search on the Bowsites Elk Forum you will find some threads with info on pack goats. One of those posts even had a link to several websites entirely devoted to pack goats.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bohuntr on May 20, 2004, 11:01:00 AM
String Cutter if you do a search on the Bowsites Elk Forum you will find some threads with info on pack goats. One of those posts even had a link to several websites entirely devoted to pack goats.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bohuntr on May 20, 2004, 11:03:00 AM
Sorry about the double post don't know what happened. Never happened to me before. Hopefully this isn't a double post.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 20, 2004, 11:04:00 AM
Llamas are usually pretty mild mannered. My neighbour raises them and I am always amazed at how a full grown Llama that has barely been touched by human hands will let him manipulate them.

But somewhere here we have an article regading pack goats. I will dig it out. If I remember correctly, a particular breed of goat is used. Pictures in the article show them packing abd the goats are not tied to each other or led by halter.

Will take a look and get bact ya.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 20, 2004, 11:47:00 AM
Looks like bohntr and I posted at the same time.
The article i have is in an Instinctive Archery magazine and is written by Ted Fry. They used the goats on an elk hunt. I can't find where it mentions the breed of goat just that they are a special breed.

Contact Ted and he could direct you to the guy he was with that owned the goats.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: OH at work on May 20, 2004, 11:49:00 AM
seems to me I've seen that Bob from Hele Knives and a few others use goats.  Maybe they will chime in soon with some info for you.

Joe
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 20, 2004, 12:51:00 PM
Yea, That's something else I forgot to ask. What couple of breeds would be best? From what I've been able to see so far, Boear(sp) is a good breed. I also would like it if somebody knows where I could find regulations on pack animals on National Forrest.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Bpaul on May 20, 2004, 12:55:00 PM
I've posted at the Oregon boards for bowsite, there is a guy there who packs with goats and loves them.  When he responds I'll send information your way.

B
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 20, 2004, 02:13:00 PM
I have been using packgoats for 6-7 years.  

Best attribute is they follow along without a lead and are "easy keepers".

There is some info on my website and lots more on the stickbow elk website as well.

Like all pack animasl the more time you spend with them the better resutls you will get.

Good luck!!

bob@helleknife.com
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 20, 2004, 02:22:00 PM
Bob, Looking at your site is what got me going. Shame on you...What breed do you think is the best for pack goats. And do you like the does or bucks for work?
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 20, 2004, 02:35:00 PM
String Cutter,

I don't know much about "pack goats" in particular, but I do raise goats, boer goats to be specific.  Goats are very intelligent, agile, easy to feed and care for and are probably pound for pound the strongest of all the domesticed animals.  Boers goats are meat goats and so have the capacity to have lots of muscling.  Like one of the posts before me, lots of handling and attention should produce a pretty reliable pack goat.

Traveling is easy with them.  For just 2 or 3 you can use a goat tote which is basically a big cage which fits in the back of our truck.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 20, 2004, 02:41:00 PM
Steertalker, Boers goats are the ones I was reading about. Do you know about what price range they go for? And if there are any sellers in VA.  ?
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Stealthycat on May 20, 2004, 02:53:00 PM
I haven't used goats but I suspect a llama will pack at least twice the weight ? 2 llamas will fit in my GMC 1500 with a rack. Very well behaved animals, after using them for 4 years now I have never been spit on and very rarely see a foot kick my way and have never been threatened by them.

Llamas areg great animals folks and I suspect goats are too if only they could carry similar weight
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 20, 2004, 03:53:00 PM
According to the article by Ted Fry, the goats will carry 40 pounds and more if used regularly. I believe I read that a Llama carries 70 lbs?

Interesting stuff. I have packed dogs and horses and a mule once. I liked the dogs better than the horses.

Goats sound interesting. Can always sell young ones for meat. Llamas are good eating but seems like most people won't try them where as a lot of people will eat goats.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 20, 2004, 03:54:00 PM
String Cutter,

First of all I agree with Stealthycat, llamas are very strong and also very agile and smart like a goat.  What ever negative stuff you've heard about them is probably coming from people that don't know the first thing about them.  Down here in Texas we have llamas everywhere and, guess what, we use them to protect our goats.  The will kill a coyote or a bobcat in a heartbeat and I've been told they can hold there ground with a mountain lion.  That's why we use them.  Boer goats are big business down here and most people can't afford to lose them to a predator.

Now, with all that said, if you are still interested in a goat go to  www.abga.org (http://www.abga.org)  and check for boer goat breeders in your area.  There should be plenty in Virginia.  Costs depend on the goat.  They are not as cheap as you might think but since you are looking for a pack animal and not a show or breeding animal you should be able to buy 3-4 pretty reasonably.  I would recommend wethers (castrated billies).  When fully mature they will weigh in at around 250-350 lbs and will be as strong as an ox.  If you are planning to train them yourself them get them when they're young (just after weaning, 3-4 mos) and start working with them.  Just like any animal, including llamas, you will need to be patient and be dedicated to handling them alot.  Most goats, except for the occasional bone head, love to be scratched and loved on.  And if you ever abuse one they will never forget it!  Down here a plan old  boer or boer cross "wether" will cost you about $75-$125.  I would imagine if you buy one already trained for packing it may cost quite a bit more.  Maybe $500 plus.  Down here quality breeding and show goats are anywhere from $250 to $5000, that's right...$5000, depending on their pedigree and genetics.

Sorry to be so long winded, but if I can be of anymore assistance, don't hesitate to ask.  By the way, ABGA stands for the American Boer Goat Association.

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 20, 2004, 05:57:00 PM
Sc,
Boer goats are know for their meat but most of them are way too short to make good packers.  
They are just not tall enough to clear deadfalls and such.  Some folks are cross breeding them with taller goats because they do have good atributes.

Most good packers are crosses (for hybrid vigor) of Alpines, Sannans and Obers.  A good packer will weight around 225 lbs and more.  Like all things I would rather have a smaller critter with lots of heart than a big barn slug.  

IF they are in shape they can carry a max of 30% of their body weight...but that is a pretty big load.  So much depends on where you are hunting, how steep the terrain, are there cleared trails, etc. that really dictates the load.

If I am hunting steep and rough country with no trails and it is an all day hunt I cut the weight back to around 30 lbs or less if I can get away with it.  Remember they have to be able to jump over downed timber, etc.  They are a lot shorter so sometimes they are working pretty hard.

They become good friends and you can really get attached to them.

Bob
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 20, 2004, 06:02:00 PM
Opps...

Wethers, castated males are what most folks use for packing.

If you can find a big doe whose udders aren't so hugh that they get in the way of off-trail work you can have fresh milk if that suits you.

Bob
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 20, 2004, 11:33:00 PM
Hello Bob,

 Are you doing any thinking for a goat pack into Mink Lake Basin this June?? How busy are you going to be??

 I use packgoats..Packgoats are freedom...No leashes,no train...They take care of themselves...Here in Western Oregon Llamas would work Ok if you were to stay on the trails or the roads,but cross country would be out of the question...All I have to do is figure out how I am going to get through.The goats do their own figuring...

 As far as how much they can pack...I have boned out a back ham from a 5 point bull and put it on one goat..His brother got the the other one...I didn't weigh the loads but they made it out 3 miles with no trouble...I know it was better on them than on me...LOL

 What makes goats so cool is that they are hunting companions instead of beasts of burden...Even for hunts near home I may take a couple goats,load them up with lunch and WATER (stealthy)and go hunting....They just follow along munching on the brush...They never let you out of their sight...They don't hurt anything that I can see while hunting...Two goats can pack one deer...4 can take one elk (boned out) with me helping with my pack...

I have three Alpines and 2 Oberhasli/Lemanche crosses..

 I'll try to post a couple pics this weekend..

 

 I'll try and post a couple pics this weekend...
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 21, 2004, 12:16:00 AM
Bill,

Just really been busy and have had several other things pop up so I have had a very low profile recently.

Will try to make the 19th; you will be there?  By mid June I will be ready for a two day get-a-way.

Lets stay in touch!

Bob
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 21, 2004, 11:42:00 AM
Hey guys, what about packs? Are they just a dog pack? You buy them or make them? Pics?

Thanks
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Stealthycat on May 21, 2004, 11:46:00 AM
The saddles are called "soft saddles" - the ones I have are home made and pretty solid. Custom saddles of aluminum can be had but they're pricey ! The saddle bags - apnniers - are canvas although the guy I bought my llamas from used a rope system and ice coolers and as odd as it sounds it worked good for him.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 22, 2004, 10:57:00 AM
Thanks Stealthycat.

I found this site as well:

 http://www.northwestpackgoats.com/

They have a saddle kit that looks like a good place to start.

I really am interested in this goat thing. I know of a couple of areas that have good deer but I won't hunt them because of the climb out. Just the thought of packing meat out of them makes me wanna go back to bed.  :)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Vance in AK. on May 22, 2004, 11:46:00 AM
After a couple of things that were said I have to stick up for Llamas for a minute.  Not putting goats down at all mind you.
When I lived in Montana we ended up with 5 Llamas.  All were from different sources & we didn't raise any from birth.  None were trained to pack before we got them.
In the 3 yrs we messed with them, I was never kicked, & those I know that have been have never had more than a bruise, because a Llama has a soft foot pad like a dog, not a hoof.
I will admit I've been spit on.  For some reason he didn't like me shoving the tube in his mouth & giving him wormer.  Can't say I blame him.  Stuff tasted awful!  The only other times I was spit on were not directed toward me.  The Llamas were having a dispute & I happened to walk between them.
They learned to pack very quickly.
A friend had pack horses, & was amazed at how the Llamas got along in the woods.
The Llamas would practically gain weight hanging out in camp all day just eating bear grass & pine needles.  Had to take supplemental feed for the horses.  The Llamas would also go plases a horse couldn't.   I didn't find them to be stubborn, & they are very trainable.
Like goats, Llamas a Llama that's in shape(just like people they need to get in shape too) will haul around 1/3 of it's body weight.
With mine that was 120 lbs. each.
If I had a place for them I'd have them here in Alaska too.
All that said, I'm sure goats do the job too, it just takes a couple more.
Vance in AK.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 22, 2004, 12:21:00 PM
(http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/goats.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 22, 2004, 12:39:00 PM
Bill,

Good Photo.

Also, for best results you need to have a sawbuck, attach the panniners to the 'bucks.

Because of their bone structure a "soft" pack is only good for lite loads.

The Northwest packgoat saw buck is a good deal.  I own several of them.  Also, look here for an aluminum sawbuck.

 www.owyheepackgoatsupplies.com (http://www.owyheepackgoatsupplies.com)

Bob
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 22, 2004, 12:58:00 PM
(http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v219/bmcmahan1/packgoats.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 22, 2004, 09:03:00 PM
Great pic Satiam. And Bob thanks for the extra link for packs saddles etc.

The sawbuck is attractive to me because we used them on horses when I guided.

Sure glad this topic came up, I am getting quite intrigued with the idea.

Vance have you heard Llamas doing the humming thing in the barn at night?
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Vance in AK. on May 23, 2004, 01:41:00 AM
I have Kieth.  I used to love to go sit out by their leanto just after dark & listen to them & the night birds.
I miss my Llamas & Montana.  I guess Alaska is a good second though.  ;)  
Vance in AK.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: KC on May 23, 2004, 05:14:00 AM
Thanks to everyone for their imput,l've never had a yearning to own goats till now. l've been following the thread and it's the most fascinating subject l've heard in a long time.l now need a place to live with room for 4 or 5 goats,l'm going to have to make a lot more shafts than l'm doing now to afford it. l wonder if l'll live that long.
Kevin.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: sharps4590 on May 23, 2004, 07:46:00 AM
We had a neighbor when we lived in Wyoming who used goats exclusively.  He wasn't an outfitter and had them for himself, his wife and whatever friend he wanted to take along.  They had a string of 7 goats and Rick loves them.  The wife and/or I fed and watered them when they were gone.  Their goats were certainly friendly enough and I know compared to horses they are a LOT more economical.  I know that from experience!  The cheapest thing about a horse is buying it!

Vic
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Tradman on May 23, 2004, 09:32:00 AM
Stringcutter- while I don't have any experience training them as pack animals, I can certainly offer advice on how/where to find a good young prospect.  My husband and I also raise meat goats commercially, and find them not only easy to care for, but easily trained.  While we raise primarily boer goats and boer goat crosses, we find that a boer x nubian gives you alot more leg.  As mentioned above, you want to avoid using a dairy breed nanny as their udder can become quite pendulous and will get torn easily (even by the nanny's own hooves when she stands). The best time to get a young kid is in the spring, during the spring kidding season.  The market is usually flooded with unwanted "bottle babies" then (usually kids who were orphaned, or pulled off their mothers for other reasons).  Most commercial goat producers don't want to bother with the time or expense involved in raising a bottle baby and will let them go for almost nothing.  If you only have one or two(and a willing child to help feed), bottle babies are easy to care for needing to be bottle fed only 2-3 times daily and the formula can be made easily from milk, evap milk and buttermilk.  A bottle baby will bond to you better than an older kid would, and will follow you everywhere (I've had to quick several out of the living room after they followed me in the front door).  If you're seriously interested in finding someone in your area to buy a kid from, there are several goat talk bulletin boards that you could post to. Heck, if you want to drive down to OK, we'll have some this fall and again in the spring that I'd let you have just so I wouldn't have to haul them to the sale barn.  (Matt even tried sending a few home with some of our hunters last winter). Let us know how you do!

Steertalker, where abouts in Texas are you?  We've got a commercial herd of about 130 head right now of boer cross does,and about 20 fullbloods that are being bred to a Pistolero son as I type this.  We're always looking for good does to add to our commercial herd, but there just isn't nearly the selection up here as there is down in Texas.  

-Cheryl Napper/Shiloh Ranch
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 23, 2004, 10:06:00 PM
I'm In the middle of moving right now.  And told my wife that I was thinking of getting a few goats to keep the feilds behind the house cleaned up. Well , she said no. But I guess if I keep working at it. She'll give in in a couple of months. When it's nothing but 2 acres of brush. I ain't going to cutt it!!!! I also found out that the fence going around the feilds is electric. From where the guy owned horses  before us. But It's only about 4.5-5 ft tall. I had some other  q?????? #1 What is the best place to get info on the care of the goats? I want them to be health and pets first and with any luck pack animals.   #2What is the best cross breeds to use. I know That I need long leggs,weathers, and a large body But what crossings will give me this. and how can I know this if I get a bottle feed?  I've found dozens of goat breeders within a couple of hours drive from me. And decided to go with a boear for the large body size but don't know what I'm looking for it to be crossed with to get the heigth???
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 23, 2004, 10:41:00 PM
Wow,   Lots of questions..Any of the dairy breeds or crosses make good packgoats..

Alpine

Toggenburg

Sannan

Oberhasli

Lemanche

 Many cross one of these breeds with Boer...I think just plain ol Alpines are hard to beat myself..

 I have never been around Nubians but most goatpackers steer clear of this breed..They have a reputation for being noisy and even lazy should the going get tough..Probably better to not take a chance on raising a Nubian just to be dissapointed 2 years later..
 Here is a link that can answer some of your questions.

  http://home.comcast.net/~edelweissacres/ewacres5.htm

 One thing to remember..Packgoats are "raised" not trained..They are taken from their mother at birth and bottle raised...They then become bonded and associate people as the herd leader...Thats why they follow so well...As long as you are the "herd leader" they will follow even if the going gets tough...It is possible to make a packgoat out of a goat that has not been bottle raised and he may make a fair packgoat...But without the proper bonding he could quit on you should the loads get heavy and the terrain steep...My three bottle babies have never quit and they have been on some tough ones..There is no quit in them...

 Goats were the second animal domesticated behind the dog...The nomadic tribes of the middle east have been packing with goats well before the horse was domesticated...

 They have a long tradition and a strong work ethic..

 Goats have horns...

 Llamas do not...
  :D
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 24, 2004, 09:11:00 AM
Thank you all for the info. But does anyone here on the east coast (Va.) use pack goats in the mountains George Washington National Forrest? And If so would you be willing to show me the ins and outs of using Pack goats. I'm more of a show me once kind of guy. I have no Idea how to pack a goat , clip hooves, things to do and not to do..Ect. I really think I'm going to get one before the year is up. It will really help me make the hunt more enjoyable.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 24, 2004, 09:22:00 AM
Tradman,

We are located in Midland, TX (West Texas).  Our blood lines come mostly out of the Powell-Holman operation including, but not limited to, the grandfather of Bingo.  About half are full blood south african and the rest percentage(3/4 and up).  We are currently looking for a new full blood south african buck...Pistolero genetics would be good.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: KC on May 24, 2004, 09:27:00 AM
G'day string,lf you wind up with one,l'd like to know how you go.Why didn't somebody let me in on this goat thing twenty years ago? l might have reach the level of reasonably competent goat packer by now,then again,maybe not.

Kevin.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 24, 2004, 09:28:00 AM
String Cutter,

I agree with Santiam about the breed recommendation.  I'm not real sure a boer or boer cross will work for you.  They might tend to be a little lazy.  I don't know for sure because I've never tried to make one into a "packer", but after all this discussion I think I'm going to try.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Chuck Wyatt on May 24, 2004, 03:03:00 PM
Santiam,

Just saw this thread.  Interesting subject. Just so happens that we just got a full blood Nubian nanny with 2 half Nubian/half Togenburgs babies for milkers.  (My wife wanted a Jersy cow. I didn't. So we met in the middle.)  :)

Do you know how big Togenburgs get? It might be fun trying a pack rig on one of them later on, just for kicks.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: OH at work on May 24, 2004, 03:36:00 PM
Cheryl,
Just curious.  When you say you raise them commercially do you raise them for dairy or meat.  If for dairy how much milk can you get from a goat  :knothead:  

Joe
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 24, 2004, 04:10:00 PM
Santiam,

I'm really fascinated by all this goat talk.  I love goats and have been raising registered boers for about 6 years now.  Have been wanting to find a cheap way to pack into the wilderness for elk without having to hire an outfitter.  Goats may be the answer for me since I already have my own.  I have four questions for you:

#1 What do you recommend I do to get my goats in shape for a 12 mile hike from 9,500' to 11,500'?  We live at 2800' elevation and it is hot here in September.

#2 After arriving at the drop off point do you give your goats an acclimation period before packing up and starting up the trail?

#3 What do you do with the goats while you are in camp, actually hunting or stalking within bow range?

#4 Do they need blankets at night to keep them warm?

The whole idea sounds interesting but just wanted to know how you contend with them once you get to your "honey hole".

Brett Bracken
Midland, TX
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Tradman on May 24, 2004, 11:04:00 PM
Thanks for the reply Steertalker.  Just so happens we have a Pistolero son here right now (on loan) breeding our does.  He's been busy so we've got our fingers crossed for at least one good buck out of him.  

Joe, the goats we raise are strictly for meat production, although we do have a couple dairy goats to keep us in milk, cheese, ice cream and soap.  Our dairy goats give an average of three quarts a day, but will give up to a gallon if we'd milk them twice daily instead of once.  There's nothing like a big, cold glass of fresh goat milk to go with dessert!

-Cheryl
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 24, 2004, 11:11:00 PM
Stringcutter,

 Goats are social animals and you have to get at least 2...One goat doesn't do good alone...

 Here is a link  where you can order a book that will help you along..Thats how I did it...

 http://www.hoeggergoatsupply.com/packing.html

 Wow Brett, I live at 490 feet elev. and hunt up to 4000...I have no idea except to get them in good shape...


 Sometimes I leave the goats in camp using a highline...Sometimes I take them with me...I have a leash in each of their packs so I can tie them if I decide to...Like working a bull or something...I know That Bob killed the bull in his photo with the goats right with him...Called him in..

 I camped for a week in the Blues and just made a little tarp leanto for the goats to get in..It was getting down to about 15 at night and they suffered no ill effects...I know that in the morning as soon as the fire got built they would climb out of the tarp and stand by the fire with the rest of us ...I watched their hair curl up while they soaked up the heat...LOL

 Like I said,hunting companions, not beasts of burden..

 Here is Petey helping me look for spring bear..

  (http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/me_n_pete.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 24, 2004, 11:20:00 PM
I am fortunate that I have elk nearby...Elk hunt all day and sleep in my own bed....This pic is from a bull that we killed about 5 miles behind locked gates on private timber land..They allow walk in hunting...

 You get back mmore than a mile or so you run out of other hunters...They only hunt as far back as they figure they can get a elk out...I might add if you are caught behind gates on a 4 wheeler most timber companies out here prosecute to the full extent of the law..

 Not so with goats...

 This bull we quartered and bagged and left him there...Came back the next morning with the goats..

  (http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/packing_spike.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 24, 2004, 11:36:00 PM
This is a pic of my 2 brothers Hal and Trouble...They are Oberhasli/Lemanche and weigh a tad over 2 hundred pounds..

 My buddy in the pic killed a spring bear way down in the bottom..It was a nice boar about 225 lbs...They have the whole bear on...One has the 2 front legs and backstraps...The other has both back legs and the rest of the boned out meat...

 No sweat...

 I might add that packgoat breeders are getting goats larger every year...There are already packgoats over 300 pound...who knows what they will end up with...

 I think though that smaller goats in the 175 to 220 pound range are better for hunting..Those big slugs will be trail goats I am sure...I like the cross country goats myself..

 Good luck...

  (http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/goats_and_cody.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 25, 2004, 09:58:00 AM
Santiam,

Thanks for the info and neat pictures.  You're lucky to be so close to the elk.  My favorite place is in the Rio Grande wilderness of southern Colorado and is really hard to get to.  We've always had to hire wranglers to pack us in on horseback and drop us off.  It's just getting too expensive, but it's the only way to get away from the people.  I want to figure out a cheaper way to do it and my goats may be the answer.  My boers are heavy muscled and stout and crossed with an alpine or oberhasli might produce a pretty good "mountain" goat.  

All my boer goat associates are going to think I've lost my mind when I breed my full blood south african bucks to some dairy goats.  Oh well..gotta do what ya gotta do!

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Stealthycat on May 25, 2004, 11:49:00 AM
Goats ..... and I thought I looked weird leading llamas around !!! Cool pictures though. I figure goats are just a smaller version of llamas in how they pack, lead, eat etc etc.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 25, 2004, 12:11:00 PM
Santiam,

Some pictures of a 5 month old full blood boer buck I raised last year.   (http://img70.photobucket.com/albums/v40/steertalker/Goats/Jesse_James_pics.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 25, 2004, 12:15:00 PM
Santiam,

More pictures of Jesse James.  Think he'll make a pack goat??? (http://img70.photobucket.com/albums/v40/steertalker/Goats/Jesse_James_pics90303.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 25, 2004, 01:47:00 PM
Is it better to have your buck fixed while it's young? Or, wait until it's grown? To get a good size wether?   And for those of us how've never used pack animals. What is a high line. I'm sure that it's used to tye down a goat while you're out hunting from camp. But How do you make one?
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 25, 2004, 02:33:00 PM
String Cutter,

There are 3 ways to castrate a buck kid:

#1 Banding-use of a special rubber band whch is slipped over the testicles, thus cutting off the blood supply

#2 Emasculator-a device used to pinch the vas deferens and blood vessels to the testicles

#3 Cutting-removing the testicle with a knife

We "band" our buck kids when they are 1 month old because it's easier to get the band over their testicles at that age and to prevent them from getting too "bucky" looking.  However, since you are interested in raising pack animals and not "show" animals, you might want to wait til they are 4-6 months old.  However, you probably will have to "cut" them.  The advantage to waiting a little longer is that you may get a little more frame size. I don't recommend emasculators because it is not reliable and I also don't recommend waiting any longer than that.

All of the methods can be done by you without the aid of a vet.  I recommend banding. You can buy the "elastrator" at any farm supply place.  You will also need to administer a tetnis and "over eating" shot at the time of castration.

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Bpaul on May 25, 2004, 02:50:00 PM
OK have to chime in finally.  First off, my wife has always wanted to raise goats someday (land soon as we can, in the city now, chickens only) and I always resisted.  Now... my resistance has evaporated!  I'll just make sure they are leggy, heavy bodied bottle babies!  LOL.

Anyone interested in goats might be interested in a book called Goatwalking by Jim Corbett.  Very interesting book about a man who travels alone in very desolate desert environments by following a small herd of goats and living on their milk, some meat and their insticts for water and food.  It's a fascinating read, leading into some religion/spirituality as well as political activism.  

Just wanted to throw that in the stew.

B
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 25, 2004, 04:13:00 PM
There is some debate in pack goat circles about the best time to nut a goat.

I think the consenses is to wait until they are 4-6 months old.  Goats can get calcium stones and it is best if they just pass through the body.  Goats that are cut early don't develop much diameter in their plumbing and stones can get caught and possibly cause a very painful death.

Lots of folks have operated on their wethers in an attemp to save the goat and the results are questionable.

Bob
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 25, 2004, 05:02:00 PM
The technical name for "stones" is urinary calculi or water belly as we say down here.  A feed ration with ammonium chloride in it should prevent it from occuring.  You definitely don't want it to happen because it means certain death.  If it does, put them down.  I don't recommend surgery.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 25, 2004, 11:26:00 PM
Started cutting cedar posts for a fence. Gonna build it in sections.

How many square feet per goat in the leanto/barn?

Want to raise some meat kids and start with a couple of packers.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 25, 2004, 11:34:00 PM
Stealthy,

 I kinda think you missed the point on packgoats...No leashes...Just that alone makes goats much more appealing to me..I thought about llama's..There are lots of them around here...I just couldn't see myself tied to a bunch of llama's.....

 Stringcutter,

 You tie a line between two trees about 20 yards apart and 10 feet high...Hang a dropper and tie your goat to it...Less tangles that way...Cut them about 3 or 4 months...Bucks can come into full rut as early as 6 months old....They are no fun in rut...   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 26, 2004, 08:54:00 AM
Santiam, At what age do you start putting packs on them to start training? And what kind of pack should I start with for training.... Also, Have you ever seen the reactions of whitetail deer while around your goats when your hunting??? I really like the idea of having a hunting buddy that won't tell anybody about about my misses and will carry pack my gear. sounds like the perfect partner. My only concern is that way the deer will react while I'm in my ground blind and the goats are walking around..... Also, Is it better to get 2 males? Or   1 male and 1 female?? I prefer to get 2 males if they will get along. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: BunneyHunter on May 26, 2004, 09:03:00 AM
Keith, ive built goat fencing before adn you want about 6 boards min and put one right on the ground. youd be amazied at what a goat can slip through!
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 26, 2004, 09:23:00 AM
String Cutter,

I want to know what Santiam's opinion is, but in my opinion goats and whitetails will not work.  Texas is the #1 producer of goats in the U.S.A. so we have lots of goats.  We also have lots of whitetail (4.5 million plus, I believe).  Now, you may not know this, but in Texas it is legal to hunt deer over feeders which throw corn or protein feed out for the deer to eat.  Deer love corn and so do goats (and sheep).  Where I hunt in West Texas, there are goats everywhere and they coexist with the whitetail deer population.  But if you are unfortunate enough to have goats hanging around the feeders during hunting hours, forget it, you'll never see any deer.  I don't really know why, but they really make a whitetail nervous in close quarters.  So my advice to you is...leave the pack goats in camp tied to a high line when you're out hunting whitetails.  Just thought I'd put my 2 cents in.


Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 26, 2004, 09:29:00 AM
Santiam,

I hear ya...gonna start look'n for a long legged alpine "babe" for that bad boy of mine as soon as possible.

Thanks,

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 26, 2004, 10:20:00 AM
String Cutter,

 No whitetails around here..Blacktails...But deer are deer...I don't see why you couldn't tie them behind your blind..

 No training to speak of...Goats take to a saddle readily..All mine did the first time I saddled them was to try and turn their head around to see what was back there..No problems there...Just raise them the same way you are going to use them..I took mine fishing,hiking,hunting and just riding in the truck starting at about 2 weeks old..I had them swimming the river on fishing trips trying to keep up...Not much bothers them now...

 Saddle traning will take about 15 minutes...

 You do need to teach them to tie...I built a highline in their pasture and always tied them before giving them a little grain,then leave them tied for several hours at a time...They get used to it after a while and "learn to tie"...

 Yip, get males,then cut them..They will get along just fine...

 If you are thinking on raising your own from bottle babies you are not going to need any saddles or gear for a year or better anyway...They will be 2 years old before you can start putting much weight on ...Then only 25 pounds or so until they are three...Then you can load em up...

 I see you posted on yahoo packgoat list...That is a good place to hang out and learn...Every friday is market day and people list goats and gear that they are selling...Keep a watch on that and you may find something close to you..

  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/packgoat/

 lcoast,

  I built a two room house 16x8 for 5 goats..Plenty of room...Just a oversize dog house..
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 26, 2004, 10:38:00 AM
Bunney, I hear you. I had a friend who had a small dairey herd.  :)  These guysare gonna be fenced with in a fenced area. My big concern is dogs.

Santiam thanks om building size. I want to be able to do this in installments. Add on as we go if it works out but I don't want to start too small.

I saw that they require about 4 pounds of hay a day . That is cheap feeding.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 26, 2004, 11:29:00 AM
Can you just put them in the back of the truck or how do you do it? Camper shell? Bedding? And is it safe to putt your gear back there with it or will they chew it up???   Also, How hard is it to clip their hooves and what special tools do you need???
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 26, 2004, 12:37:00 PM
String Cutter,

In regard to hoof trimming, If you live in a rocky area, your hoof trimming may be minimal.  At any rate you'll need a pair of goat/sheep hoof nippers.  A pair of small hand shears for trimming shrubs will work in a pinch.  However I recommend getting a set of high quality hoof nippers($50-$70).  These can be had from any of the goat supply places.  You should be able to finds these thru the links at  www.abga.org. (http://www.abga.org.)  

It is easiest to trim hooves when the goats have been standing in a little mud.  This softens them up and makes it easier to cut.  When trimming, always remember to take little cuts.  You can alway take more off, but you can't put it back.  Also, it is real easy to "quick" one so never take to deep a bite.  On the back hooves the bottoms should be trimmed parrallel to the coronary band(the transition from top of hoof to skin/hair).  Blunt the outside toes.  The front hooves should be trimmed similarly except that the outside edge of outside toes should be beveled and blunt both inside toes.

Hoof trimming should be done properly but is not hard.  Remember, you can affect the way a goat walks by the way you trim his hooves.  Learn to do it right and do it often.  I can explain how to do it better over the phone so when you are ready let me know.

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 26, 2004, 02:09:00 PM
String Cutter,

Forgot to address the transportation issue.  Yes you can haul them in the back of PU.  Would recommend getting a "goat-tote" or pickup cage for the back of your PU.  Make sure it has a cover to protect them from the elements.  Try these sites:

 www.sydell.com (http://www.sydell.com)
 www.roysanders.com (http://www.roysanders.com)
 www.hoeggergoatsupply.com (http://www.hoeggergoatsupply.com)
 www.caprinesupply.com (http://www.caprinesupply.com)

If you are handy at welding you can build one which is what we did.  I don't recommend putting your gear in with them cause they will chew on it.  Hope all this helps.

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 26, 2004, 02:50:00 PM
I was using my wifes horse trailer ,but it seemed that every time I wanted it,so did she...

 I built some pick-up racks that I use for short trips or if I am just taking a couple goats...

 Last winter I bought a old trailer that a guy was using to haul 4 wheelers..A little cutting and welding later and I built a goat trailer...I also have racks along the sides that I store all my saddles and gear...

 Goats learn fast...They see me hooking up the trailer and they head for the gate,ready to go...Most of the time all I have to do is open the gate and they head for the trailer and load themselves up...Every now and then though I have to run interferance for the roses..LOL

 I have 8 elk preferance points this year and I am planning on using them up for The Walla Walla unit in Oregon...Only 20 tags total and I have enough points to draw...

 I am planning on taking 3 goats...One loaded down with military MRE's and water...One loaded down with camp gear(sleeping bag ,tarps ect) and more water....

 The third  with game bags,spotting scope and whatever else I think I need...I am going to load them fairly light for mobility,but with three goats even lightly loaded my bivy hunt will be fairly luxurious..They will mainly be used for packing out..(hopefuly)

 I am going to drop off in those steep and deep holes that country is famous for and just go hunting...No base camp to hunt back to or set up,just hunt till dark and bivy where I end up...

   Its gonna be a blast    :bigsmyl:    

    (http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/trailer.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: JC on May 26, 2004, 03:00:00 PM
Santiam, you need a "caddy" to tote your arras?   :bigsmyl:  Does sound like a dream trip to me.

Joe
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 26, 2004, 03:12:00 PM
Santiam,

I  told my wife about all this goat business and she thinks I have definitely gone off the deep end.  Maybe it's a mid-life crisis.  Man, you have definitely got me pumped.  With all the goats I have there has got to be a future "packer" out there.  Just got to find that "Alpine babe".  BAAAAA BAAAAA
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 26, 2004, 04:07:00 PM
That sounds like a dream hunt to me too...Maybe some day??? But for now I guess I'll have to be happy hunting good size white tails. And just pretend that they're elk.... This thread has gotten pretty long and there is alot of good info. on it . I hope a few other guys here will get into it on the east coast. Man , we don't even know what we've been missing.... It will be nice to back 4-5 miles away from all the road hunter. And hunt in confort to boot. Anybody fromthe east coast interested in going on a hunt next year> Hackbow you there??
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 27, 2004, 12:44:00 AM
Brett & String cutter

  Sometimes when I am out with my goats I wonder why more bowhunters don't have a couple...A handier critter you will not find..

 Then again,sometimes I think I should keep my mouth shut before I find other "goatpackers" in my honey holes     :scared:  

 Good luck to you guys and look for my hunting report towards the end of sept.   :readit:
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 27, 2004, 11:05:00 AM
Santiam,

I agree with you about the goats.  They are really neat animals and I just love the heck out of mine.  Gods speed to ya this September.  Look'n forward to the reports and hopefully more goat pictures(hauling out an elk)!!

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 27, 2004, 11:14:00 AM
This thread has been very informative. Thanks for getting it rolling String Cutter. And thanks for all the pics and information from you goat pro's.

Wife and I had been toying with the idea of some meat goats for a while now and this packing thread sort of tops it off for us.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 27, 2004, 01:25:00 PM
Lcoast, It sure is nice to have guys like these to help us out. The info I got here alone on this thread would have taken me months if not years to find out by myself. And probably a few mistakes of spending money and time for the wrong things. If there's anything else you need to know, I guess now would be the time to ask it. While we git 'em here to help. Like do you need to carry any feed for the goats on a 4-5 day hunt or will they be totally O.K. Just living off the land?  What do you do if you're packing and the goat just gives up and won't go any farther? Or if it breaks a leg??
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Bpaul on May 27, 2004, 01:44:00 PM
"Last winter I bought a old trailer that a guy was using to haul 4 wheelers"

And now you use it to haul YOUR four wheelers   :bigsmyl:  

sorry, couldn't resist.

This thread is fantastic, thanks to all participating.  Hoping it goes into the archives.

B
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: KC on May 28, 2004, 08:03:00 AM
Hey, don't you blokes stop now,there has to be heaps more info. you haven't divulged yet.
Kevin.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 28, 2004, 09:09:00 AM
KC,

You should have all kinds of resources in Australia for goats.  Some of the finest boers in the world have been exported out of there.  Man, I would really like to get my hands on some semen from there or South Africa so I could AI my "babes".  Anyway, I am willing to help in anyway I can.  Sounds like Santiam and Bob are the "pack goat" men.  I am raising a small herd of registered full blood and percentage boers for breeding and show, but am really interested in turning some of my "not show quality" wethers into packers for elk hunting.  Anyway, I love goats and am always trying to convert others to them.

Brett
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 28, 2004, 11:03:00 AM
Brett is right,goats are cool...

 A properly bonded and raised packgoat will remind you more of a dog than a pack animal...For some reason goats have a stigma about them...A stereo type of stinky, nasty creatures...Hardly the truth..

 Goats are friendly,loyal, hard working animals that LIKE people....Same as a dog does...

 For those that are thinking of trying goats,

 1- Bottle raise for proper bonding or find adults that have been properly raised..

 2-No training,just handle them the same way you are going to use them...Take them hiking,hunting,just take them...In fact,just raise them like you would the family dog...
(except don't let them in the house LOL)

 3- Buy a book,get some goats and learn as you go...If you have babies you will have plenty of time...

 4- If you can't find pack goat breeders in your area,you should be able to find goat dairies...My best goat Petey came from a Alpine dairy near here.Not a breeder....

 Brett, being from Texas I would imagine you got lots of quail....This is my brother and his Alpine "Happy" quail hunting..He also has packgoats..

 No ,the goats didn't point or fetch,but they are pretty handy carring lunch and cold refreshments..    :D    

 I have 5 and he has 4...9 goats between us...We can pack a heck of a load if we have to    :bigsmyl:  

 If you notice from the pictures I have posted...No ropes or leashes and the goats are always close...Thats what seperates goats from the other pack animals... They have an unseen bond with you and you don't have to worry about them...You look back and they are always there..

 Sometimes I will play a dirty trick on them...They will find a particular bush tasty and will lag just a little behind..When they are busy with the bush and not looking I will hide behind a tree and watch...

 Soon one will look up to see where I am and when they don't see me I tell you they about have a heart attack..They come bounding up the trail with a look of desperation on their face that will make you laugh out loud..

 And the relief on their face when they finally spot me...


 Priceless!!!

    (http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/Kenquail.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 28, 2004, 11:16:00 AM
The question regarding on the trail feed is a good one. My assumption is packing in feed is not necessary but is probably a kewl idea from the goats perspective??

I have always had a disliking for goats. Owned a milk doe once. After we had her for 2 weeks I bar-b-qued her. I didn't like the milk or the ice cream or anything about her.

Soooo, for my wife and I to get on the goat trail has been a long decision making process. Intellectually I know they are a good idea. Emotionally I have been dragging my feet. I started a year and a half ago researching meat sales. With the new laws Canada is enacting, meat sales are out but meat is going to go way up in price so having an on site source is good. Moving to an area where I have access to moose and mule deer and whitetails would be the best idea, but right now we are here. Probably be smart to go vegetarian but no one ever accused me of being smart yet.  :)

What breed of goat produces those great horns on the goats in Santiams pictures? Great for tip overlays.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 28, 2004, 11:25:00 AM
Keith,

 The key word here is "properly raised and bonded"..

 Just like a dog that has not been raised properly they can be a pain ...I have seen dogs like the goat in your post...Worthless and good for nothing...

 Goats can fend for themselves feed wise...Of course,if you are going to highline them in camp for any length of time a little hay would be handy..
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Steertalker on May 28, 2004, 11:32:00 AM
Santiam,

You're torturing me with all this great goat talk and cool, cool pictures.  My wife thinks I have absolutely flipped my lid.  But she loves me and knows how much our goats mean to me and how much I love to bowhunt.  Oh man, goats and bowhunting....NIRVANA!!!  Gotta find that Alpine "babe".

Brett

PS:  Going to go off line for a few days to a week.  Office is being remodeled so my computer will be disconnected.  Have a great memorial day weekend
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: String Cutter on May 28, 2004, 12:12:00 PM
Alright we talked about breeds, What to look for in a goat. And even how to get them to the hunt sight. But, What about while you're out there with them and something goes wrong? Like they break a leg Or just refuse to pack anymore after the first 2-3 miles?  How do you get them back up and packing again?How do you fix a leg? Or a split hoof?? How do you know if you packed to much weight on your goat. Can they drink out of only running streams? or are mud holes alright.      Are there any common plants that we should keep them away from?? How do you attach a panner? How tight should it be? How much weight before you need to go to a sattle with the panner?
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Jake H on May 28, 2004, 01:10:00 PM
Ok, here's a completely silly question:

Do goats 'sentry' like a dog?  Dogs, as is their nature, are usually vocal and active about spotting intruders in 'their' territory?   Do goats do something similar or are they pretty complacent?

In addition to hunting I want to do some long, solo, hiking trips that would include travel through popular/populated areas.   Originally the thought was to bring a dog along as a companion and extra set of sensors at night.  

Packing goats have a lot of advantages (as I'm learning here), but will they pull 'night duty' in the camp when I'm snoozing like a dog would?

I wouldn't want an animal that would bark/start/charge at every shadow of course.  Just one with a little alertness to say 'hey boss, there's something out there that doesn't belong.  Maybe you want to wake up now.'.


Jake
(who is looking forward to having a big enough yard some day)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: KC on May 29, 2004, 12:46:00 AM
Brett,l've got a mate out in the country l've been sending photos l've been printing of here and he knows of two properties near him that are into goat farming and he now knows are boer goats. What is actually involved in acquiring the semen in the bloodline you want? We are going to see them about the goats anyway,l can't believe Santiam has had it so good for so long without me finding out at that pack goats even existed.l'm normally not slow when it comes to latching on to labour saving measures.
Kevin.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 29, 2004, 04:15:00 PM
Kevin,

 My brother thinks they will,  I am not so sure...Goats still retain their wild prey animal instincts and are on alert much of the time..They keep a CLOSE eye on dogs and such...


LOL String Cutter,


 I think you are creating more problems than you will have.You won't have those problems I am sure...

 Goats are desert animals and most times you can't even get them to drink on the trail...Let them drink what and when they want...

 I would suggest buying "Practical Goatpacking" in the link I provided earlier and start studying up...It will cover everything from picking out goats,housing,water,loads ,plants,hunting,transportation...Everything you can think of is in there   :readit:  

 Now here is a problem..As you can see in the pic,not everything will fit on a goat..

 May you all have such problems   :thumbsup:  

 
  (http://img72.photobucket.com/albums/v218/Santiam/File0275.jpg)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 29, 2004, 04:27:00 PM
Yeah I know....

  Thats my brother and he is a darksider..

 I am recruting him though and he does have a nice Wapiti takedown..  :bigsmyl:
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 29, 2004, 08:23:00 PM
Santiam, I know you posted about bottle feeding for best bonding. But if bottle feeding is not an option, what age would be best to start with? I am now on the hunt for a couple of wethers that are pets and need a new home. I guess i just found out where the word "bellwether" comes from?

I can tell you love your brother even if he is on the darkside.  :)  Heck he's hunting and he is doing it up close and personal. Right on.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 29, 2004, 09:23:00 PM
Keith,

  There are lots of goatpackers in Washington..I was going to say keep a eye out down there,but I am not sure what it takes to get a couple goats back across the border...Might be tough..

 I see a pair of Nubian wethers in Hood River, 2 years old for 100 apiece right now on the Yahoo packgoat list...I know I said Nubians were a gamble,but these are raised already...Lot less of a gamble..LOL

 Bonding is fairly important..It doesn't have to be you,just somebody..They will transfer...I would guess it all depends on how the goats were raised that you were looking at...Just see how friendly they are ...

 I think brother Ken is going to use his Wapiti for blacktails this year...Doubt if he will give up his wheels for elk   :knothead:  

  KC,

  I found some goatpackers in Australia...

 Queensland

  www.fordsdalefarmstay.com (http://www.fordsdalefarmstay.com)
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: KC on May 29, 2004, 09:38:00 PM
Thanks Santiam.

Kevin.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 29, 2004, 10:43:00 PM
Santiam, thanks again. That is the info I needed. If the bonding will transfer. Dogs will do it.

I don't think I will try any livestock across the border. We are still waiting on a dog we bought 2 years ago in California.  :)

But I do know there are plenty of people with goat pets here on the Island.

This thread has been great, a real teaching/learning experience and has saved me a lot of time and probably money also.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: bob@helleknife.com on May 29, 2004, 11:19:00 PM
Goats have vision about 8 times better than ours. And make excellent game spotters.
One of my now deceased goats was a heck of a spotter.  I could always count on his head being just to the left side of me...always looking.


After they have been on the trail for several days you can also see them starting to revert to a feral state.  They quickly become more in tune with nature than you would believe.

As far as "look outs" they are great if you are watching them, you can tell when they have "locked on".  Also, they will bark, when they get scared.

Last year when I was walking up to one of the mountain lakes a fisherman came around a bend and had an inflated  float tub tied on his back.  Looked like a bald yeti (Sasquach)of hugh poportions !  Scared the crap out of one of the boys and had a bit a of goateeo for a while. The other boys were not concerned...they all have their own personalities.

All pack animals can be a bit of a pain at certain times.  Goats have worked best for me and they are just a lot of fun.  Spend as much time with them as you can and you will be rewarded by friendly critters that will take the load off your back.

Bob

Bob
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: kybowhntr on May 30, 2004, 03:29:00 PM
I don't have any pack experience with goats but kept and raised goats for bushhogs. I agree with what Santiam, Bob and others have said on the bonding issue. Even mature goats will bond fairly quick if given a little TLC. They are good watch dogs in the sense that not much gets past there vision.

While I had them, anytime I walked the property as many as 30 made the rounds with me. Never had to do any goat herding....just lead the pack where I wanted them to go.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: Santiam on May 30, 2004, 04:31:00 PM
I agree ...But there is bonding and there is bonding...

 Down in the bottom of a big hole with 40 pounds of elk aboard is where you see the differance...

 A guy could get along quite well with a field goat that you have been working with... Most of the time....But when you really need him,I mean really need him to do his job...Thats where you see the differance.....

  I have heard of excellant packgoats that have been made out of field goats so one never knows,...I think though that the percentages are with the bottle babies that have been raised by human hands...

 If anybody does get some goats to try it would be interesting to have you report back on your progress...
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: kybowhntr on May 30, 2004, 04:40:00 PM
I agree with ya Satiam. I don't think you could do any better than starting with a kid. Much the same as pup.
Title: Re: Pack Goats???
Post by: lcoast on May 30, 2004, 04:47:00 PM
Few years back there was a fellow name of Hank that had a little self sufficiency spread in between Whitehorse and Carcross up in the Yukon. He raised some goats for milking amongst other things. (pigs)

Anyway he had this stinky billy goat which he needed but didn't want around the place whilest he was stinking. So he took him up into the mountains up behind his place and tied him to a boulder in such a fashion that he figured the goat would get loose in awhile but in the meantime Hank would be long gone. His idea was hopefully the goat would be in the area and he would go retrive him after the stink was tamed down.

Anyway, about 3 weeks later he looked up and here came a whole herd of Dall Sheep ewes and lambs right onto his property. And they were following the stinky billy goat.  :)  Dangdest thing.