Pack goats.

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by southernmason, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. southernmason

    southernmason Hillbilly Engineer

    Talked with a fellow yesterday who has 3 pack goats. Each one can carry about 50 lbs and followed him around like dogs. He makes his own packs and has a very nice set up. He likes then because they eat anything and said they are very hardy and healthy. They can even pull a small cart. Seems like it could work in some situations. Just wondering if anyone has tried this or even thought about it.
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    We got a kidd last summer. He's not old enough to pack yet but should be doing some by spring. They are ... interesting. ;)

  3. 41south

    41south Well-Known Member

    Never thought of it, but I have old photos of goats pulling small loads of coal out of mines here, and a few of dogs doing the same, thats actually where the term dog hole came from in coal mining, meant the coal wasn't high enough to use mules in.

    Google, the goat man, think his name was Charles Mcartney he used to travel through here every year or so, he was a interesting old fellow to talk to. One of my Grandfathers always let him stop at his farm for a few days to rest up the goats.
  4. southernmason

    southernmason Hillbilly Engineer

    I looked into the goat man today. Pretty cool stuff. I use my husky to carry a pack when hiking but I am thinking I need some goats. The man I talked to said they train to the pack easy enough. The more I look into it the more I like having this as a option. From a survival standpoint its a working food source. Also with a breeding pair its a renewable resource.
  5. catsraven

    catsraven Meoww

  6. southernmason

    southernmason Hillbilly Engineer

    Thanks for the links catsraven, very good info.
  7. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    Tanngrisnir (teeth-barer, snarler) and Tanngnjóstr (teeth grinder) are the goats who pull the god Thor's chariot in Norse mythology. :D

  8. sunny

    sunny Well-Known Member

    We've been doing this for several years. We love it! I think at first DH was a little weirded out by taking the goats camping and hiking but, once he saw how well they work, he changed his mind. Our big boys were bred by a pack goat breeder. We tried using dairy cast offs and such. They just don't have the same work ethic. We always use bottle babies, it just works better and if you bottle raise them yourself, they bond to you and don't follow every hiker that walks by.
    5 good sized packers can take an entire elk out in one trip on travois. They don't scare off game sounding exactly like a deer in the woods.
    I start training them as babies. They think I'm mommy so, they follow me around the yard, we go to the woods close by and graze and play, I feed them their bottles in a mud puddle. We take them to the beach, berry picking, and on short hikes with the big boys starting at about 4 months old. At about 6 months most of them have no trouble going a couple of miles.
    I don't put weight on my guys until they are about 2 1/2 years and always load them with things that get used up on the trip. I start with about 10lbs. They don't get fully loaded until 4 1/2 years. Too much too soon will ruin their work ethic and their knees.
    We made alot of mistakes when we first started out. We completely ruined the first pair we had. We let another get pnemonia and destroy his lungs. We learned that they are best kept in even pairs so that everyone has a freind. We learned alot about preventive health and how to give shots.
    It can be challenging but, always rewarding, and definately never dull.

    Here are my big boys on the salt flats.

    Here; we are at the Solv beach clean up. We clean 2 miles every year
    The little guy is carrying an empty dog pack. This was his first trip.

    Here is an excellent supplier Northwest Pack Goats & Supplies, Saddles | Panniers | Leads | Grooming | Coats | Books
    and another Butt-Head Pack Goats

    Here is the north american packgoat association North American Packgoat Association

    and here is the goat packers bible Goat Tracks Magazine: Journal Of The Working Goat: Bookstore

    Have fun, maybe we"ll see you at a rendy someday!!
  9. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    Ya know, Sunny, I'm impressed. It would make a lot of sense to have some pack goats to carry the loads. They will eat almost anything that's clean and they are a lot smarter than most people who have never had goats might imagine. (We learned that years ago when we had a few goats lol).

    The biggest disadvantage might be that they can't defend themselves.

    Maybe a perfect combo might be a few goats plus a well trained border collie.?
  10. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    We have one pack goat and one border collie, and they think they are the same species, whatever that might be! They try to play like kitten, though! lol


    Sunny, your pictures are great. Thanks for the information. I know we probably should have tried to find a second goat, but this one was given to us last spring, and he's been great!
  11. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    And if they don't wanna work..ya eat em!! too...:sssh: here kitty kitty...
  12. sunny

    sunny Well-Known Member

    gypsysue, it really doesn't matter what their freind is. I'm sure he's happy with the attention he's getting and doing fine.

    horseman, being in the woods all the time I quickly learned to "feel" when there is a predator in camp. The goats will all bed and freeze, like a deer. Cougars are the main problem, bears don't seem to like the smell of them and are normally lazy hunters in our area. There could be exceptions I'm sure but we've never had a problem. We do have a problem with two legs. Our area is a prime drug growing area. Meeting some of these guys is not my greatest wish, so, I have a big gun, a Fila Brasileiro. The spitz in my avatar is being trained to alarm and then come to me giving us time to get ready for action. Neither of these dogs have ever offered to harm the goats and are good protective farm dogs.

    Hozay buck, I'm not opposed to goat sausage in fact, it's really good. I look at it this way. I could scare them half to death taking them to the vet, fill them full of chemicals, and then throw them in the landfill or I could take them for one last hike...I hope I die doing something I enjoy. If they never did want to work... they were just meat goats anyway.
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith Active Member

    I used to work on a goat farm in Ireland, they killed the males because they said they could get aggressive ( it was an organic goat dairy farm ) .

    Wouldn't a male goat with horns be able to take on a cougar? the male sheep with horns routinley beat up dogs in the area.
  14. gunsmith

    gunsmith Active Member

    oh, & I've been wanting to do pack goats for awhile, they can eat whatever is out there plus can climb better then horses (afaik )
  15. Freyadog

    Freyadog Member

    I'd have to hang a carrot in front of my goats to pack anything. They are just too spoiled. All of our goats just follow us around, bucks, wethers included. First clump of something they run across they stop. and that my friends is it.

    they would pack out as long as you were doing the packing.
  16. AnimalcrackerHerder

    AnimalcrackerHerder Active Member

    We start training the goats to pack when they are about four months old. By the time they are full grown they like to go as much as you do. They jump into the back of the truck of their own free will and seem eager to get on the trail. We also trained a sheep to pack once and it did very well, but it was more like the last posters goats. It had to be kept on a lead or it would spend all of its time grazing. Trained goats don't need a lead. One unexpected bonus for me when we first started doing this was to discover how much fun the goats are to have out on the trail.