Re: Pack Goats
The monthly fee for the goat sharing idea would depend on how many goats you think you would normally need. I think about $25 per goat per month would be about fair. So if you figured that you would need two goats most of the time, you would pay $50 a month throughout the year. But at the same time, if there were one or two trips during the year when you wanted to use 5, 10, or 15 goats to haul in a big Boy Scout group or something, then you would have access to the goats for that as well, so I guess you could say it would have to be on kind of an honor system. You just tell me how many goats you would plan on using 80% of the time, and thats what we would factor in for cost. This is a much cheaper way to do it if you plan on using the goats a bunch throughout the year, but its obviously cheaper to rent a couple goats from me if you only plan on using them once or twice.
When it comes to the monetary cost of owning goats, I did the math a while back, and it factors out to a little over $100 per goat per month (before the labor cost of owning them). That may seem like a lot, but that is factoring in not only the cost of monthly feed, but also the depreciated cost of purchasing the goats, saddles, equipment, equipment repairs, fencing, trailers, trailer registrations, insurance, tires, gas, vet bills, mineral blocks, fencing repairs, acreage/land use (opportunity cost) etc. And also some cost thrown in for the time/labor necessary to keep them in shape, etc. For my goats, I take them on several weekly hikes that cost additional monies in gas and my time in order to keep them in shape.
Costs associated with one goat;
$4-6.25 per month ($300-$450 Purchase price of adult, trained, 4 year old Wether Goat, depreciated over 6 year useful live span (most pack goats will pack between the ages of 4 to 10 years old, some will pack to as old as 13, but it is rare))
$1.25-2 per month ($150-$250 Purchase price of Saddles/Panniers depreciate over 10 year useful life)
$4.15 per month ($2000 purchase price of half acre of pasture land depreciated over 40 years)
$1 per month ($500 purchase price of half acre of pasture water rights to irrigate pasture, depreciated over 40 years)
$1 per month ($12 per year water right maintinence fee)
$4.16 per month ($50 per year price of winter hay needs; two 80 pound bales per goat per month for 4 months out of the year, (in my area its actually about 6 months out of the year))
$4.15 per month ($1000 truck shell or small trailer for hauling goats depreciated over 20 years)
$8.33 per month ($100 per year for goat health mineral blocks, $25 per block, one block every 2 and a half months)
$4.16 per month ($50 per year, yearly vet checkup)
$6.9 per month ($500 wild card vet bill sometime during the 6 year useful lifespan of the goat)
$16.66 per month ($2000 goat housing/shelter structure, depreciated over 10 year lifespan)
$32.77 per month ($5900 fence for half acre depreciated over 15 years (590 lineal ft of 6ft tall field fence/barbed wire fence combo, with additional two wire electric fence in front of it, roughly $10 per ft installed including materials and labor. This may seem like a lot, but a goat fence needs to be far stronger than a normal cattle fence, because the goats live to get through fences!!!)
$8.33 per month ($100 misc yearly expenses; lead ropes, feed buckets, alphalfa pellets for treats, etc.)
$2.5 ($60 per year for hoof trimming once every two months)
$17.5 per month (Vehicle/Gas to trail for exercize; Weekly; 20 mile round trip at 16 miles per gallon drive to trailhead)
$116.86 per goat per month.
$128 per month (Labor cost; 4 hours a week for hikes, fence repair, watering, gear maintinence, etc. $8 per hour manpower labor cost)
Even though these costs do add up quick, if you were to compare with the costs of owning a horse Im sure it would be a ton more than a goat. Actually a goat is on par with many other toys; Think about a camp trailer that you pay $30k for new, and then 10 years later it has depreciated down to $10k? That works out to $166 per year, plus $30 a month for insurance, etc. Or a new Snowmachine that cost $8k new and in 10 years is only worth $2k, thats like $60 a month. Or compare the hundreds of dollars we spend on our hunting equipment each year, bullets, arrows, guns, bows, tags, gas, etc. When I look at the simple financial side of owning goats, it is daunting, but when I compare it with what I might have spent otherwise on outfitters, or more hightec lightweight backpacking gear, it works out in the end. But I think everyone would agree with the wisdom in splitting the costs of owning some goats with a group of like-minded guys, since no one guy can ever use one string of goats to its full potential (unless you are some professional hunter on the hill every day... I wish)