After the loss of Yukon, and flaws with our other goats revealed we’ve decided to explore a new path. As is, our pack string consists of Pluto, and maybe Huck and Kingsley. Huck is still recovering, but there was some stated suspicion of his lungs having some old scarring. We won’t know until he’s recovered, conditioned, and put to the test. Previously, he always kept up but he did share the same trait that Yukon had, heavy breathing with any sort of heat and light work (in comparison to Pluto who has never once had any respiratory distress on the trail). Kingsley is getting big, he’s almost the same size as the yearlings, but he has some front limb angulations that are concerning. A trace element panel has been sent out to see if there are any mineral deficiencies that could be causing it, while we try to do some corrective trimming. We believe he can still pack in his future but if his limbs stay the same that there will be some limitations. Rafiki is 5 ½ months old, only 40 pounds, and 18 inches at the shoulder. He won’t be a packer in his future, which honestly suits his lazy, condo living attitude.
So the question is, how many pack goats do we need?
There really isn’t an easy way to answer that question but here are a few thoughts:
The way we’ve chosen to acquire more packers is by breeding our stock. This was our original plan but at some point we lost track of it. The biggest instigator to reviving this plan is Denali, both her, and her brothers Huck and Yukon have/had by far the best personalities we’ve ever gotten the pleasure to work with. Willing, kind, loyal, and easy going, it can’t get much better. There is also Kivu and Echo who have some good characteristics to pass down. Each of my does have good traits but are also lacking in different area’s so we looked around for a buck that would help in those aspects of conformation. We wanted a buck that has power in his hindquarters, strength in his shoulders, and solid, correct leg conformation. We searched through WA, OR, ID, and MT goat sales to find one that fit. His name is Bagheera, we picked him up from eastern WA. He is young at 3 months but shows all the traits we are seeking for our does. We got to see his yearling sire who is far larger than any of our herd members, he was kind and gentle. We also got to see his grandsire who was thick and powerful. His dam was sweet as a button, and his sibling brother was just as good looking as Bagheera but was extremely shy. Enough to take extensive work, and would probably never pack with us, which I wasn’t willing to deal with. I was pleased with what I saw in the herd he’s from, his lineage, and his own conformation. It’s early, but he is a sweetheart that just follows us around and screams when we walk away.
Wish us luck into the next part of our adventure!