Preparing farm for packgoats
#1. 100 x 110 ft is plenty enough for corralling 10-15 goats, but not for grazing. That many goats would eat that down pretty quick if kept on it all the time. I put my goats into a pen about that size at night and let them out to browse on my 40 acres during the day. That way the pen doesn't get eaten down to dirt.  

#2. Some people separate wethers and does, others do not. I've done both. It really depends on the temperament of your wethers. Mine are pretty good with the ladies and I usually keep them all together during the summer, fall, and early winter. Once the pregnant does start to get big in late winter/spring I separate my boys because fights can break out over the hay feeders and shelters and a hard hit could abort a heavily pregnant doe. For my situation, the main thing with keeping boys and girls together is to make sure there are enough shelters for all. Otherwise the boys tend to each take up a shed by themselves and lay across the doorway so no one else can get in.

#3. 4"x4" is a good choice. An even smaller weave is better, but if you want to be economical, stringing a hotwire on the inside will keep them from getting close enough to poke their heads through.

#4. I would spring for the 5' woven fence. I would agree that a large goat could put his head over the fence and under the hotwire. The higher the fence, the last tempted they are to try to stand on it or jump it. 

The electric netting only goes to 48", but goats react to it quite differently than to wire fences. Because the whole thing is electrified, there's no temptation to climb it or even get very close to it. The psychological effect tends to keep them from jumping over it even though it's only 4' high. I've been using Premier1 fences since 2013 and I've only rarely had a goat jump out. I've never had one try it a second time because all of them zapped themselves on the way over. 

#5. I know several people who use the smaller portable electric fences for camping in the backcountry. If you're camping near your truck and trailer it's an excellent choice because your goats can graze a larger area and it provides predator protection. However, they are not practical to carry around for backpacking. 

#6. Dirt floor is probably the warmest as long as you can keep it dry. The floor of the loafing shed should be a little higher than the surrounding ground so it doesn't flood in a rainstorm or during snowmelt. Wood is easier to sweep out, but it can rot pretty quick because of how much goats pee. Wood can also be a bit hard on their joints and can get pretty slippery. I personally prefer dirt floors. 

#7. I have a Pyrenees cross and an Anatolian Shepherd. I much prefer the Anatolian because of his shorter hair. The Pyrenees cross is way too hot all summer long and her hair gets so matted and full of burrs that it's painful for her. I used to get her shaved in the springtime, but she's too old now to stand for the groomer so she just has to suffer from the heat. The dogs should be fine if left home. I would not recommend bringing them with you on a backcountry trip. If you have chickens or non-hiking goats, the dogs will still have something at home to occupy them. Even if you end up taking all the goats, the dogs should be fine on their familiar territory. 

I don't supplement very much copper and no selenium. Our soil has naturally high molybdenum content and that is what blocks copper/selenium uptake. So in springtime when the pasture first comes in I usually have to give copper boluses to the pregnant does who have been eating alfalfa through the winter. I occasionally have to supplement my wethers as well but not usually. I don't usually supplement selenium. We sometimes have a kid with crooked legs and I'll give that one selenium gel the first day or two after birth, but I've never given a BoSe shot. We have so much selenium content in our soil that I worry about overdosing them. 

I don't see any reason why packgoats can't do 8 miles a day if you keep them in condition and you make sure their equipment fits properly so they're comfortable. You probably should not load them to their 25% max capacity if you're doing a lot of miles for many days in a row, particularly if the terrain is rough and/or the elevation is high, but at 20% they should be able to keep up admirably.

Messages In This Thread
Preparing farm for packgoats - by Lindy - 08-01-2021, 09:16 PM
RE: Preparing farm for packgoats - by Taffy - 08-04-2021, 07:30 PM
RE: Preparing farm for packgoats - by Nanno - 08-05-2021, 07:59 AM
RE: Preparing farm for packgoats - by Lindy - 08-08-2021, 06:18 PM
RE: Preparing farm for packgoats - by Nanno - 08-09-2021, 01:52 PM

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