Frequently Asked Questions
Goat Pro Idaho
How much can one goat carry?
Goats can carry 10%- 20% of their total body weight, which is about 30-40 pounds. A good rule of thumb is, the more rugged the terrain, the warmer the temperature, the lighter you pack the goat. If you want an animal to carry all your gear, you need horses, mules or llamas instead.
Where can they go?
Goats can travel over a wide variety of terrain, however, be mindful of your routes and move primarily during the cooler hours of the day to optimize the health and efficiency of the goats. Goats get sore, altitude sickness and heat stroke the same as humans do.
DO NOT over hike the first 2 days so you and the goats have time to adjust. SLOW DOWN, enjoy the scenery, rest often, offer plenty of water, and lighten their load if needed.
Do goats damage the trails and land?
Goats are environmentally friendly. A goat's impact on the land is minimal and they are less likely to leave behind a reminder of their presence. Goats eat like deer. They forage and browse for a wide variety of food, so there is no need to pack food for them. Their droppings are not smelly. In fact, to the untrained eye, a goat's droppings and hoof prints would appear to be those of a deer. Goats fit the "leave no trace camping" ethic very well.
Do you have to lead the goats?
Usually, they just follow along. When you meet other packers, they may try to follow them so you might want to put them on the lead or hang on to their collar until the other packers are gone. You will need to put their lead on when in parking areas or when you are close to others as well as loading and unloading them in your trailer. They are also very interested in your camp gear and food so it would be helpful at camp to high-line them while you are cooking or setting up tents.
What do you do with them at night?
Run a high-line between two trees and leash the goats to it. Make sure to distance them just far enough apart so that they won't get tied up together, goats are very playful and will get tied up if they are too close. On the other hand, they like to be just close enough to keep each other company.
Do they make noise at night?
They bed down and are mostly quiet at night. If deer or something comes into camp they will run around, stomp, and sometimes make a blatting noise.
Can they be out in the rain?
No. Not only do goats hate to be wet, but they also get pneumonia easily if they get wet; therefore, we send a tarp for them on each trip. If your trip has intermittent rain while hiking, stop when it rains under a tree with good cover or set up the tarp for them until it stops raining. If it rains at night, make sure they are able to get under the tarp or a good tree.
How do you get pack goats to the trailhead?
Goats are easier to transport than larger pack animals. We offer a small, light, custom utility trailer with a covered top, canopy, and rubber-bottomed floor to travel comfortably in without slipping around, as well as a larger horse trailer that is available to rent for transport.
Do they like dogs?
No, but they usually tolerate them. They see dogs as a predator and do not like to be chased (by humans or dogs). If a dog gets too close, they will try to butt their head into the dog or run panicked, possibly injuring themselves, the dog or you. Use good judgment to ensure the safety of both dogs and goats.
Why Pack Goats?
They are loyal, curious, friendly and easy to handle. Goats are ideal companions for hunting trips, older people who can no longer carry a full backpack, for families with small children, people with limiting health conditions. They are easy to pack, as you need not lift the load very high. Goats, like dogs, bond with humans at a young age and will follow you anywhere.
Do goats have teeth?
They only have a lower set of teeth, which meet a hard pad in the upper jaw. Ours do not bite but they will ‘taste’ almost everything. They will suck in the material on your pants, gloves, straps, zippers, and ‘lick’ your legs or kneecaps sometimes. They are curious and once you get to know them it is no big deal.
What age can they start packing?
Do not pack your goats until their 4th year! Goats mature slowly.
They can generally pack until their 10th year and ‘light loads and use’ until sometimes into the 14th year.
What do I need to purchase my own pack goats?
Here is some information to help you decide if you want to take on goat ownership. Purchase a Goat