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How About Letting A Goat Carry Your Gear

Discussion in 'Nature' started by 2sweed, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Lots of us pack our own gear in and out of the wilderness, but then comes a day when the load becomes a bit to heavy or maybe we want a bit more freedom of movement on the trail. There has been mention of horses and mules, but did you ever consider a goat. Bigger animals require more feed and clean up, where as a goat eats less in grain and will nibble as he goes. They are sure footed and friendly, and leave a smaller imprint on the woodland and mountain areas. Here is a link that helps explain their use and equipment needed and how to pick a goat for a traveling companion.

    images (2).jpg
    actadh and happyflowerlady like this.
  2. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    I think that goats would be an excellent idea for packing, @2sweed! They would have a lot of the same disposition as the llama does, and since they are shorter, they would probably be even easier for someone like you or me to be able to work with. Goats are naturally friendly, at least for the most part, and they love to go along wherever you go. When I went for walks in the woods (in Idaho), my goat always followed along, just like the dogs did. They do like company; but a goat will happily bond with a dog, you, or even your kids, if they don't have another goat. Mine was primarily a milk goat; so she would not have been a good candidate as a pack goat.

    I was surprised that they actually chose milk goat breeds as pack animals, rather than the sturdier breeds that are raised as meat goats. Part of the reason for that is probably that there is really no market for a male goat of a milking breed; similar to male calves from a milk cow.

    I would definitely want to use the hornless goats, however. Even when they don't mean to hurt anyone, those horns can be problematic. You also have to have different fencing for goats with horns. Invariably, they will discover how to get their heads through the fence, and then can't get back out, and will stand there bawling until you go to rescue them. They are never very cooperative when being rescued, either.

    All in all, I think it is an excellent idea!!
  3. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Actually, I have always wanted to own a couple of goats. they are quite friendly but do better with companionship. Also agree on the no horns as they can play rough and even thou they are light footed if they jump against a person it does not hurt, those with horns could do some damage. Maybe the milk breed is a gentler creature, compared to the meat goat type, plus you would have fresh milk every morning. :)

    And loading on the packs would be easier. @happyflowerlady, seems you know more than I do about owning a goat. I heard they are hard to keep fenced in which is one reason I never owned one. Tell me more about your experiences with owning a goat. Maybe before I am to old and gray I could still own a goat. This is one spot to buy packing equipment, and as you can see it is very affordable. :)

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  4. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    @2sweed, the old saying is that if a fence is water-tight; then it is goat-tight. I am not even sure if that is true, they can be great escape artists! They don't need a lot of room, so it would not be like fencing in a whole pasture for a horse or cow, plus you can stake them out to eat when you want. (if there is anything that they can possibly get tangled up on, a goat will do it, though)

    Having two goats is a good idea so they have company, but they will also bond with a dog, or other animal. My friend had one that went everywhere with her kids. They lived out in the country, and the kids rode their pony to Grandma's house, the dog and the goat followed along. Sometimes, when the kids were at school, the dog and the goat would go and visit Grandma by themselves, and I think the goat just thought he was one of the dogs.

    It used to be that you could buy a baby male goat for around $5-15 at the auction; but now that they raise goats to eat, the price has gone up. If you get one from a dairy breed, then it should be cheaper than one from the meat goat breeds. Since you will want a weather for packing, you will not be getting any milk, unless you also buy a female. One possibility is to buy a pregnant doe, and then you can raise your own baby for a pack goat, plus have milk from the mother.
  5. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Pathfinder

    I think this is a great idea. Small enough to control and feed. But strong enough to carry loads up a steep incline. I use to watch deer run up a incline that was almost 90 degrees. Goat are related and can perform the same manuvers.
  6. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    Goats are definitely very agile, and would be able to climb places that most poeple would not even wat to try climbing. They love to jump on top of your car (should they escape from their pen), and will happily spend the next hour jumping up onto the hood of the car, then onto the roof, and sliding down off of the trunk of the vehicle.

    Although they are intelligent, they are also extremely hard-headed (in both senses of the word), and can be difficult to train, because they want to do what they want, regardless of what you want. However, they really like interacting with people, and will bond with you; so there should not be much of an issue to train the goat to pack things for you. They do love to play, which is probably why the article you posted (@2sweed) , said to wait until they are 3 years old before trying to teach them to pack. Goats can also learn to pull a wagon or cart, so if you have one, that might be a fun thing to teach them, too.

  7. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Thanks for trying to share this video. I still might get a goat for helping me on my camping. LOL They are as you said playful creatures. A friend of mine in Florida, had three goats, 2 nannies and 1 buck, enjoying them until one day they found their big solar panels and thought they were climbing a mountain. Totally wrecked the panels with their feet, by running up and down and jumping onto them. The top of her truck was not spared either, plus her whole vegetable garden disappeared when a small hole in the fence went unnoticed. Maybe I should rethink this idea of owning a goat....?????...!
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  8. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    Could you not see the video, @2sweed ?

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  9. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    No its says the owner withdrew permission. Sometimes you need to just find a replacement. Does it play for you?
    campforums likes this.
  10. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    I will look for another one. When I click it, it goes to a black screen and says "watch this video on youtube", and when you click that , then it plays from youtube.

    Try this one. It is cute, too.

    2sweed likes this.
  11. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I found this video quite amusing. These goats are playing a games similar to king of the mountain that I played with my brothers on tall snow drifts. It is cute how they enjoyed that flexible metal as it bounced and swayed. I am not sure if I would be that brave.

    Of course in the mountains the wild goats climb and walk on narrow ridges and leap from one steep rock ledge to another with no fear. When I was in Montana, in 1994, I saw many big white mountain goats racing across the mountain regions and standing high on steep slopes. These little goats show their skill of maintaining sure footedness very well. :cool::thumbsup::happy:
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  12. MacGyver

    MacGyver Survivalist

    Maybe doubly so since it's never advised to have just one goat. They're social animals and will have a better temperament and less health issues when they're at least paired up.
    campforums and happyflowerlady like this.
  13. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...sorry...I thought you were talking about some of my relatives...:peeking:

    Reese has his own pack as you know. He carries his food and first aid kit. On some occasions he carries his lunch and my lunch on hikes. But alas...we carry our own. Like the rule says, "You pack it in, you pack it out."

    I was really impressed when I met up, by chance, boys on horseback out of Camp Ahmek (Taylor Statten Boys Camp Algonquin Park) on a trip. I thought that it would be thrilling to do something like that. I had a friend who owned some quarter horses and attempted to lure me into the romantic notion that I too could be a John Wayne. I ended up more like a Mr. Bean. Spurs off to the likes of happyflowerlady and others who managed to develop equestrian skills.

  14. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I've never been anywhere near a goat but I know this is true of a lot of animals, and people too! My brother has a couple of aquariums and certain types of fish prefer isolation while others need to be in a large group. If you put some in a tank contrary to what they like, you will probably find them dying off rather quickly. It can also be a challenge if you want to combine different species to find ones that won't kill each other
  15. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I've seen special service dogs who are trained to assist the blind or disabled that sometimes carry packs which reminds me of what you are describing. That is so cool that he carries his own lunch, does he ever try to get at it before lunch time?
  16. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Reese is so excited to be on the trail that he really doesn't bother. He is noticeably animated when I reach for his pack. The pack is in two parts - there is what is referred to as a cape that can be used as body protector when we are moving through the forest and the pack proper that is placed on top and is secured by Velcro straps. He has a few crests that he has earned - like the Trail Dog and I'm friendly (ask to pet me).
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  17. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I know what you mean, my dog gets like that too whenever she thinks she might be getting something to eat. You'd think that dogs are starved for food the way they get excited over every little morsel but mine certainly isn't; in fact we had to put her on a diet for a short period because she was getting a bit pudgy.
  18. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I have Reese on a controlled diet too. I'm always amazed that he can get so excited about the same food and biscuits that he gets day in a day out. Once I noticed on the package that the product was new and improved; it said that it tasted better. Yep....you know what I'm going to say next. I ate a bit to check it out and I didn't taste any difference. Maybe Reese could tell the difference but I sure couldn't.
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  19. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    My Chipper thinks that he is a little Fuzzy Person. He is always right next to me, and when I eat anything, Chipper usually eats it, too. Sometimes, we share when it is something that I can give him bites of, and other times, he has to wait and have some in his food dish. I always keep dried food out so he can crunch on that if he gets hungry, and when he goes to bed at night, he gets a small helping of the soft food that comes in a little cellophane bag and looks like hamburger.

    When I was a girl, I had a Labrador retriever, and he was a wonderful dog. He loved to go along when I went horseback riding, and since he raced up and down the road, he probably covered about 3 times as much territory as we did with the horses. He was actually muscled up like a Quarter Horse, not the usual sleek Lab look. The neighbors across the street also had a lab, and the two dogs were friends. The neighbor dog would come across the street to visit Jet, and bring him pancakes that he had been given from breakfast.
  20. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Labs and Golden Retrievers are the only dogs that I have had. I alternate - as weird as that might sound.
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  21. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    My dogs have always been mixed breeds. My last dog was a mix between a chow and a lab, and was very faithful to me. He understood people talk and would do mostly anything I ask of him. We enjoyed walks in the woods and along the river banks. He loved trying to catch the waves as they rolled into the shore. I miss him very much. If I ever get another dog I would consider a lab or golden retriever, or another mixed breed. I like the bigger dog breeds, for company, compared to small dogs.
    happyflowerlady likes this.
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