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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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October 2, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 2, 1997
 

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Take a hike, and take your goat too Continued from previous page This same bonding is evident on the hike. All eight goats have vibrant colored nylon collars and leads. They are led out of the gate way and across the dirt road separating the 15 acre Geiser Ranch from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area. Once across the road, Norm and Donna remove all of the leads and place them in the pack. The goats will stay with their human compan- ions. Staying doesn't mean the goats won't dawdle a bit to browse on the woody native plants. Donna points out a type of sage that acts as a natural wormer. She points out another shrub that provides oil for their shiny coats. Many of the nutrients goats need are contained in the various woody plants. She also gives them kelp, herbs, hay and grain. Asked why her goats, raised by the doe, seem to be so /- well bonded, Geiser says, "I think the bonding is in direct ':orrelation to the amount of time a person spends with them. I am with my animals for at lea.st six hours a day." Norm leads off and the goats bound along sometimes in a string and other times fanned out but never far. Donna is lagging behind to video tape some of the activity. This creates a problem of divided loyalties for some of the youngsters. They are eager to be ahead, but don't want to leave Donna. "They don't like to have anyone in front of them," Donna says. All of these goats are wethers, castrated male goats. "Wethers make the best pack goats," Donna says. "Does are sometimes used, but are better utilized for breeding." She knows about goat breeding. It' s part of her business. Her favorite goats are hybrids like Czar Nicholas who is a cross between a LaMancha and an Alpine. He gets his personality from the LaMancha and his size from the Alpine. The best of both breeds, she says. She also raises Oberhasli, Saanen and Santa Theresas. What is the most difficult part of training? "Teaching the goat that your lunch is not his lunch," Geiser laughs. She uses a squirt gun, with a shot of water in the face, for this lesson and others. Who would use a pack goat? "Hikers, seniors, pho- tographers, anyone who enjoys hiking and has gear to carry even if its only wa- ter and lunch," she says. Thd goat can carry one-third of its body weight. In addition to taking the weight off your back, the goat is agood com- panion. He also provides an extra set of very keen eyes. Two extra sets are better. Geiser doesn't like to sell just one goat. "It's better to have a pair. They are hap- pier with company, and it's just as easy to provide hous- ing and care for a pair." Excellent in the desert, goats don't need the amount of water other animals do, Donna says. "Their bodies have the ability to recycle urine if needed. However, I would choose to never let my goats be without wa- ter." It doesn't appear the Geiser Ranch goats are without anything. They live .... ) in large, clean areas en- closed by high, secure fenc- ing. There are open, roomy houses to give them pro- tection from sun and weather when they want it. They have places to climb, jump and play, and the ani- mals have plenty of com- panionship both goat and, human. The nutrition program is carefully planned and provides for all their needs. Hooves are trimmed regu- larly and veterinary care is provided as needed. In ad- dition, the goats enjoy regu- lar hikes as often as once a day in the best weather but never less than once a week. The Geisers started their pack animal business with llamas and still raise, train and sell them. Norm says the llamas can carry more weight than goats. Donna prefers the goats. "Goats are easier to work with. They bond with people, but llamas don't need you," she says. Norm admits a pack llama needs to be kept on a lead as it would never stay with you like a goat does. Donna calls her young goats, like Fargo, pre-trained. A six month old pre-trained goat will sell for $150 to $200. An experienced packer would sell for $200 to $300. She will happily talk about goats. For more infor- mation or to make an appointment to see goats and/or llamas call 727-7399. Las Vegas was home for many years for the couple. Their one-half acre near Craig Road and Jones was way out of town, but the area grew up around them. They looked at a number of rural areas where Norm could still commute to his job at Southwest Gas Company and liked Pahrump the best. They purchased 20 acres as far west as possible before it becomes BLM territory. Later they sold five ares. Three years ago, the couple became residents. Norm built for the animals first and is now building a log house. They have stunning views from every window of the new house. It's quiet and ideally peaceful. Best of all it's the perfect place to raise pack goats with a natural training area just across the road. PAHRUMP VALLEY Call Joy Morrissey 727-4 SUBSCRIPTION FORM yes! I want to subscribe to the Pahrump Valley Gazette My payment is enclosed. $25 for 52 weeks (mail deliveries West of Mississippi). $30 for 52 weeks (mail deliveries East of Mississippi) $35 for 52 weeks (outside of continental USA) Name .Address city Zip Phone state Clip and mail this to: PahrumpValley Gazette ID. Box 97795, Las Vegas, NV 89193 Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, October 2, 1997 9 Service Forum 00ihmuwoRs Pahrump's Only Complete One Stop Music Mal Instruments; Lessons Sales, Service, Rentals & Repair Casmette Tepi + COCnlp4't Disk AMI "pes of Music Indudinl Spamilh StJJrting at $4.99 tape $7.09 Over 4,000 Plants in Stock Cactus (702) 727-8155-Fax (702) 727-6303 201 S. Frontage Rd. PRINTING, Inc. 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