Goat Packing as a Use for Male Goats


| 1/25/2016 4:19:00 PM


Tags: goats, hiking, Lauren Hall Ruddell, Utah,

 

In the summer of 2000, my new farm in Colorado was refurbished, restored and otherwise brought back into working order. Before buying expensive Dexter cattle, I wanted a little more cow knowledge. I saw in an ad in a local penny-wise type of circular advertising that a very young Gelbvieh steer was for sale for a mere $200. A bargain!

The down side was that he still needed to be bottle fed and had a bad hip. Also, because we had only horses at the time, who would be a companion to the little guy? Another ad in the same paper advertised free Nubian baby goats, also needing to be bottle fed. Well, if you’re warming up formula for one animal, why not for more, I reasoned. They can hopefully keep the steer a bit of company.

About a week later, a steer and two black and white baby goats (twin brother and sister) came to our place. Sadly, the steer did not make it, but the baby goats did. Even though I was sad about the little steer, the baby goats made the whole adventure worth it.

From the minute I saw them in their nursery box jump up on their hind legs to greet a perfect stranger, with those long ears flying about, I was hooked.  I have never looked back on those days when an unexpected goat herd decidedly grew and grew and other livestock went by the wayside. But as I grew more involved in breeding, a question arose that faces all breeders of dairy animals: what to do with the males?

Before I even knew much about the goat packing community, I saw a goat pack saddle with panniers on Ebay for $75. I ran across this listing by accident but I was intrigued. I got the pack saddle and started researching pack goat training. Huzzah!




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