Horse, llama, goat pack animals

idelkslayer

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Idelkslayer,

Are llamas a concern to big horns like goats? Do you have to pack food for them?
100lbs is a good payload, better than I've read from others. The reason I went with goats over llamas was the mobility and I kept reading that llamas would only do 60-80lbs. Which didn't seem efficient pound for pound compared to a goat.

What are your complaints about llamas?
It seems that most of the information you find online about packing with llamas comes from people who do not hunt and tend to be a little on the hippie side of things. They view their llamas more as "trail companions" than working animals. These people tend to give lower packing weights maxing of 60-80 lbs. But if you find an online source or a book written by someone who hunts with them they will almost always give capacities of 100 lbs and many have packed much more in specific occasions. (see squirrel above and the short pack out I already referenced)

I do not think there is any cause for concern with disease transmission. Several studies and closed pen experiments have shown no disease transmission from llamas to bighorns.

I don't have many complaints about llamas. They need their hooves trimmed twice per year and I usually shear mine in the spring to prevent heat related issues while packing in the summer months. I have never needed to pack extra food for them. They won't eat just anything like a goat might but they haven't had any trouble finding enough to eat. One complaint is that they stink when they are wet. They also have an interesting habit of always defecating and urinating in the same place. To the point that they build up a large pile of crap in one spot. You may view this as a good thing or bad thing.

They have an aversion to crossing water and will try to jump across. I have to slow them down and make sure they cross slowly so they don't jerk on the llama behind them. Once they get one foot wet they usually relax and act like it was no big deal. Usually after the first couple water crossing they relax and start to go in without hesitation.

I leave mine in camp while hunting or fishing. Contrary to most llama packers who only stake their llamas out I high-line. I had one llama get very badly tangled in a stake line once. Since then I have only high-lined and had no issues.

I build my own saddles but I use army surplus duffles for panniers. I can get them for $8-12 each so a set is pretty cheap.
 

neffa3

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I'm bringing this back up. I packed/ helped pack 3 elk this fall, and I'm ready to look into some pack critters. I have 3 irrigated acres. I grew up with horses but don't really like them. I don't like the idea of goat as I really don't like to bone out hind quarters and from all I can read I goat isn't packing out two of those, though there seems to be some other really great pluses with goats. I feel llamas are similar, but after watching Randy and Beau it looks like they can in fact haul two rear quarters, but don't really ever seem to like humans. But I'm really leaning toward burros. $125 and they're basically made to pack. Plus they just cool looking and apparently pretty fun to be around once you build their trust.

@Sytes what did you end up with?

Anyone else shed any light on burros and resources I should read up on?
 

wllm1313

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Llamas will do 2 elk bone in hindquarters (depending on the size of the bull). A big llama can do 120lbs, 80-90lbs is probably more the average... just like humans it depends on terrain and distance. I think a fair comparison to a llama is dude, all things considered.

Honestly though boning our a hindquarters takes 30 seconds its the fronts I despise.

No experience with goats, but they are now illegal to use in a number of jurisdictions.

I think if I had the land and time it would between 2 mules or 3 llamas.

I like not having to pack feed for llamas, their ability to go days without water, and their being smaller and therefore easier to bully and less likely to injury you. I think my personal hunting style lends itself towards llamas.

That said I’ve seen mules with riders navigate blow down hell holes and they easily have twice the range of a llama.
 

Mica Man

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Went on a mountain goat hunt this fall with a guy I conned into coming along who had 4 llamas. Had a great experience and am now plotting on trying to get my own. Game changers in my opinion.
 

neffa3

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Llamas will do 2 elk bone in hindquarters (depending on the size of the bull). A big llama can do 120lbs, 80-90lbs is probably more the average... just like humans it depends on terrain and distance. I think a fair comparison to a llama is dude, all things considered.

Honestly though boning our a hindquarters takes 30 seconds its the fronts I despise.

No experience with goats, but they are now illegal to use in a number of jurisdictions.

I think if I had the land and time it would between 2 mules or 3 llamas.

I like not having to pack feed for llamas, their ability to go days without water, and their being smaller and therefore easier to bully and less likely to injury you. I think my personal hunting style lends itself towards llamas.

That said I’ve seen mules with riders navigate blow down hell holes and they easily have twice the range of a llama.
I do not like the idea of a mule as our neighbor had them and the only words I remember him saying were "a mule will wait a lifetime for one good kick"
 

Duck-Slayer

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Goats, Goats, and more Goats! Started with 3, now I have 11, 2 females and 1 is bred, so we should have 2 additional goats come March! Any pack animal is a game changer. Cost vs. Use vs Vets vs. Care, so far I don’t see anything close to a goat. I know a couple guys that have 2-3 in there backyard! My biggest pro is that they do not transfer invasive plant seeds in there poooo, keep up on your CD&T, CAE, CA, shots which you can give yourself and you will never have a problem transferring anything too bighorns, plus there is no conclusive evidence. It’s a big conspiracy with the Gov/Outfitters in taking away revenue from them if anyone finds out how easy it is to own a goat 🐐 😂😜😬😝
Matt
 

Sytes

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I do not like the idea of a mule as our neighbor had them and the only words I remember him saying were "a mule will wait a lifetime for one good kick"
As a young buck, "wrangling" in GNP, I received a love tap by a mule who I was trying to shoo from one pasture to another. He spun his hind so darn quick... gave me a kick right in the chest and sent me into the buckrail. Transported for x-rays. A cracked rib and a bit of torked cartilage. Ornery buggers. I say love tap because had he really put his energy into it... Either that or I was reacting to his move just in time to get a fraction far enough away - though I think he was being polite, in a pissed off sort of way. Haha!

I held off the goat route and picked up a third horse. Looking back, I would have preferred the goat route though for nostalgic interests, etc - I had hoped to get the horses rolling for backcountry. Life's occasional curve balls changed that and have since sold the horses. Goats may be in the future.
 

Duck-Slayer

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5 day pack goat trip for elk, brought most comforts of a regular camp along the road. Heater, propane, real food, coffee ☕, chairs, awesome big tent, lots of stuff, plus 16L of water on 5 goats. 4 miles from trailhead. Didn’t need to take any water or food for the goats, super easy to take care of. We used 5 goats, last year’s backpacking elk hunt “see live hunt forum” we went in 8 miles ish for over a week with 4 goats, the year before 3. A good rule is 2 goats per person. Last picture is of elk camp 2018.
Matt
 

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neffa3

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5 day pack goat trip for elk, brought most comforts of a regular camp along the road. Heater, propane, real food, coffee ☕, chairs, awesome big tent, lots of stuff, plus 16L of water on 5 goats. 4 miles from trailhead. Didn’t need to take any water or food for the goats, super easy to take care of. We used 5 goats, last year’s backpacking elk hunt “see live hunt forum” we went in 8 miles ish for over a week with 4 goats, the year before 3. A good rule is 2 goats per person. Last picture is of elk camp 2018.
Matt
Totally agree on goat for camping, you've definitely won me over in that regard, but cutting up my quarter to pack doesn't interest me a lot, though I suppose it wouldn't really be a whole lot different than hunting in WY, where you have to bone out anyway.
 

Duck-Slayer

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I personally prefer boned out quarters. In my opinion they cool faster and also there is a lot less work to be done with the meat when you get home. I personally process all my own venison.
Marc Warnke wrote a pretty good article on goat Breeds for packing. I personally agree with most of his thinking, I do believe you can get really good Craigslist goats for cheap that make great packers though, all 11 of my packers are Craigslist goats, out of those 11, 4 are great packers, 1 is a dwarf/4-H goat, 5 have not packed yet(to young), 1 is an ok packer. So far I’m 4 for 5 on Craigslist goats. There is a but, I can look at a goat and tell by the body confirmation + looking/interacting with the mom goat and tell pretty good if they are what I’m looking for. I would say if you have no experience with cattle too just get them from a goat Breeder! I took my knowledge of cattle plus what I’ve read and experienced too pick out those Craigslist goats. If you find this information helpful I can continually write brief posts on the subject.
Matt
 
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neffa3

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I personally prefer boned out quarters. In my opinion they cool faster and also there is a lot less work to be done with the meet when you get home. I personally process all my own venison.
Marc Warnke wrote a pretty good article on goat Breeds for packing. I personally agree with most of his thinking, I do believe you can get really good Craigslist goats for cheap that make great packers though, all 11 of my packers are Craigslist goats, out of those 11, 4 are great packers, 1 is a dwarf/4-H goat, 5 have not packed yet(to young), 1 is an ok packer. So far I’m 4 for 5 on Craigslist goats. There is a but, I can look at a goat and tell by the body confirmation + looking/interacting with the mom goat and tell pretty good if they are what I’m looking for. I would say if you have no experience with cattle too just get them from a goat Breeder! I took my knowledge of cattle plus what I’ve read and experienced too pick out those Craigslist goats. If you find this information helpful I can continually write brief posts on the subject.
Matt
I don't know if I'll get goat or not, but I always enjoy learning more about interesting topics, and goats are certainly interesting.
 

TwistedSage

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Take this with a grain of salt as I have limited experience with stock ownership, I do however have a donkey. I was told it was a burro bought about 6 years ago, rancher was getting out of the business and she was destined for the glue factory. I was looking for a guardian animal for my small sheep herd at the time and picked her up for a smooth 75 bucks.

She bonded great with the sheep and was very intuitive as to what I was trying to do. If she saw me start gathering sheep and hearding then back towards the pen she was circle around gathering them and bring up the rear helping me heard them right in. When lambs were born she wouldn't leave thier side for the first couple days. Always a keen eye out. She loves human interaction as well as long as you dont have a rope in your hand.

I figured with how smart she was she may be trainable. I have tried every wich way to approach here with a bridle. As soon as she sees any rope she will not come within 30 yards and you can tell she is stressed.

I looked a bit more in to donkeys and learned that they have one of the best memories and can be the hardest to break of a bad learned habit or to get past a bad experience. The stubbornness of the donkey.

But it is the donkeys heartiness(can do much better with lower quality forage) and memory/retention that are the desired traits being passed to the mule along with the horses physical atributes and willingness to train.

There was a recent episode of meateater podcast that had a mule skinner on and he spoke about because of that donkey memory trait in mules that it was better to get a completely green or completely trained mule because getting one that is a little strained or badly trained it is almost impossible to retrain it.

If you can get a donkey or burro for packing on the cheap20190715_170540.jpg Im thinking it's best to get one that just weaned that you have the time to train up.
 
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wllm1313

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"Cuteness" is a pretty important factor for me ever getting to own packstock.

Madam chairwoman thinks miniature donkey's are super cute... to that end how many would I have to get to pack 300lbs of meat and gear.
 

neffa3

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Take this with a grain of salt as I have limited experience with stock ownership, I do however have a donkey. I was told it was a burro bought about 6 years ago, rancher was getting out of the business and she was destined for the glue factory. I was looking for a guardian animal for my small sheep herd at the time and picked her up for a smooth 75 bucks.

She bonded great with the sheep and was very intuitive as to what I was trying to do. If she saw me start gathering sheep and hearding then back towards the pen she was circle around gathering them and bring up the rear helping me heard them right in. When lambs were born she would leave thier side for the first couple days. Always a keen eye out. She loves human interaction as well as long as you dont have a rope in your hand.

I figured with how smart she was she may be trainable. I have tried every wich way to approach here with a bridle. As soon as she sees any rope she will not come within 30 yards and you can tell she is stressed.

I looked a bit more in to donkeys and learned that they have one of the best memories and can be the hardest to break of a bad learned habit or to get past a bad experience. The stubbornness of the donkey.

But it is the donkeys heartiness(can do much better with lower quality forage) and memory/retention that are the desired traits being passed to the mule along with the horses physical atributes and willingness to train.

There was a recent episode of meateater podcast that had a mule skinner on and he spoke about because of that donkey memory trait in mules that it was better to get a completely green or completely trained mule because getting one that is a little strained or badly trained it is almost impossible to retrain it.

If you can get a donkey or burro for packing on the cheapView attachment 119998 Im thinking it's best to get one that just weaned that you have the time to train up.
Listened to an interesting podcast with the author of Running With Sherman. He adopted one that was pretty badly neglected but sounds like with enough time and patience got it rehabilitated. The key might be being more stubborn then the critter. But I could be totally off on that.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Plenty of Wild Burros in Az...AZGF.Gov may have a link for "Adoptions" 602-942-3000 🔥
 

TwistedSage

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The key might be being more stubborn then the critter. But I could be totally off on that.
Haha I really like that. Maybe I'll give her another go.

Madam chairwoman thinks miniature donkey's are super cute... to that end how many would I have to get to pack 300lbs of meat and gear.
I'm guessing around 30 pounds per mini donk. But shoot you could probably fit 4 in your car and be set for muley camp.
 
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