Packing pedigree
So, some of you may have seen my first post and that I'm new to all this. I have had goats that I have cared for but not pack goats. I have two nice alpine does and am looking for a buck to breed to them in the future. My question is how much does a good packing pedigree matter. If I find a good size buck that has the physical characteristics that I want is it going to make a difference if the kids are bottle fed and trained well or are they not going to be capable packers because of perhaps not having packing background? I'll try to scan through the forum to get as much info as I can but any info would be appreciated.
I think if the conformation and attitude are something you like, breed to it! You want to look for a big, strong buck (I know, they're ALL big and strong right!?) who moves nicely and has a nice personality. He should look level and well-balanced with a strong back, long, strong legs, well formed hooves, and deep shoulders. He may be a bit unmannerly this time of year, but he should not be mean or unmanageable. The fact is, there are not that many goats out there with a specifically "packgoat" pedigree so there's not much sense looking for one unless you know of a breeder or two in your area.

As far as bottle vs. dam-raised kids, that's a controversial subject and some folks are adamant that all packgoats MUST be bottle raised in order to be friendly and bonded to people. I disagree and none of my packgoats are bottle raised. In fact, two of the least friendly and least bonded goats in my herd were bottle raised before I got them. They were bonded to food but not to people and had to be trained not to be skittish. The trick to raising friendly babies is to spend lots of time with them. They will enjoy playing with you and getting loves and scratches and will learn to bond that way.
Thanks Nanno, 

I've watched videos and read a lot trying to prep myself. I'm looking at 2 bucks currently. An Oberhasli and the other a Sanaan. Both have good temperament but, I like the size of the sanaan. I'll be crossing with my 2 alpine does which I'm hoping I can get some good hybrid vigor and strength that way. I'll take a closer look with the criteria you've described. Thanks for the info about bottle feeding vs nursing. In my opinion from raising cattle, as far as growth is concerned, nothing is better than a mother raising her babies. We've bottle fed calves and they are always playing catchup with the ones nursing. If all it takes is extra attention I can do that.
Make sure to check the Saanen's hooves and pasterns. Saanens are big, leggy, and beautiful but they are notorious for having bad feet. This is something breeders are working to improve so many of them are just fine, but you definitely want to watch out for foot problems.

Dam-raised kids are nearly always a lot bigger than bottle-raised. The bottle kids eventually catch up, but the dam-raised babies get that early growth. There are usually fewer health problems with dam-raised kids as well, and I personally think the mother-kid bond is very important. We spend a lot of time with our babies during those few months before they are weaned, so by the time they leave to their new homes they are very friendly and sociable with people. We'll even bring the brand new babies into the house to watch movies with us at night for the first 2-3 weeks. Then they get too big and rambunctious to play indoors so we start taking them for hikes with us.
Pack goating is relatively new. 95% of all the pack goats you see today are the result of dairy breedings. Very few people, breed specifically for pack goats. Thats the way it is here. Granted, one of our focus points is a larger animal. The bigger the animal, the more it can eat, the more it can produce milk. One of the top breeders in the nation (Lauren Acton) also focuses on this concept and the bulk of her animals are large. We use quite a bit of her lines. In fact, this year most of our does were bred to a buckling from her.

So to answer your question, as long as the buck you are using comes from good big lines, then that is half the battle. If your does are from nice big lines, then thats the other half. BUT and this is a huge but (lol) size takes a back seat to confirmation everyday of the week and twice on sunday. A huge goat that has poor confirmation is not going to be a good packer. These goats need a solid foundation under them above all else. I can not stress that enough.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)

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