Since our somewhat disastrous experience with pack llamas last year (see Llama Hike), we have been trying to decide what pack animal would be best for us. We both realize with our backs that we cannot backpack without help anymore. And I am not ready yet to give up backpacking altogether. So we have been considering pack horses, mules, donkeys, llamas and goats and finally decided that pack goats make the most sense for us. So we have been looking for large goats to train to pack this winter and spring to hopefully be ready by the summer for at least day hikes. We first bought Sparrow above. He’s a Nubian-Boer cross goat whose 9 months old and already 100 pounds. He is a friendly goat. He won’t be ready for much weight this summer as he will still be growing, but he should become a very large strong goat with time.
Then today we visited the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary where we met a lot of different goats. But the best by far is Zeus. He’s an Alpine mix wether of 5 years old. He and his companion Lily came from a home that couldn’t keep them but had cared for them well. He is friendly and well behaved. He is also large and gorgeous. Here he is peeking into the cab of the truck on the way to his new home.
Here’s Lily, his companion at New Moon Farm. She is a La Mancha goat with a “precocious udder”. She is also quite friendly. I have never been attracted to La Mancha but have always heard people talk about their great personalities so now I will find out for myself. So far, so good.
Here they are arriving in their new home,
walking to the barn,
and apparently seeing llamas for the first time.
They will be quarantined, then go on walks, then learn to carry packs. Goats are usually friendly, people oriented and food motivated so hopefully will be easy to persuade to carry packs.