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traveling long distance

1965 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jake Levi
My experiance is with horses and trailers. How do goats do traveling long distances. Living in NC, I travel to Colorado for archery season. Yesterday, we looked at a tall camper shell for my dually truck. I would rather travel with my goats in the camper shell than my aluminun stock trailer.
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my goats lie down as soon as I hit the highway or a long stretch of a straight road. Thea stand up on a winding road or if I do a lot of stops and starts.
going out west is all interstate, just straight and long. I usually drive 6-8hrs, then sleep overnight, then drive all day, about 12 to 16hrs, then sleep, then about 4hrs the third day. I wonder if that would be hard on them.

you have to solve the issue of food and water for them and be willing to accept that they will pee into their bedding (mind the persistent smell).

Our goats aren't comfortable with eating while travelling, so your second day would be quite hard on them unless you take brakes in between and either offer them hay or let them out to browse.

Is there a reason while you drive such a long distance on the second day? Could you divide it and drive a bit longer on the third day?

Not drinking enough could cause problems with urinary calculi in wethers.

In Europe the maximum travel distance for livestock is 8 hours than you have to make a mandatory break.
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The longest we have gone with our goats in a trailer without letting them out was around 6 hours. Our's will eat hay if it is not getting soiled on the ground - when they just get in, and it is clean, or if there is a big pile then they will happily keep nibbling for as long as it lasts. A drink every four or so hours helps, though normally they aren't that interested. We also put branches in, which they greatly enjoy. If you could keep plenty of hay off the ground, give them plenty of branches (we hang then on the trailer walls) and water them however often seems reasonable for the temperatures and individual goats, you should be right I think. Ours also get a handful of grain when we stop. The goats do lay down, so hay where they can reach it while laying down would be good.
The only other major thing would be keeping the floor clean - if you take sacks of hay with you, and have places to dump the hay once (or with lots of goats) twice a day, that would probably keep it pretty clean. If you get the goats out several times for a 'toilet stop', that will help keep the trailer clean as they like to go to the toilet straight after getting up.
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WE bed the back of the pickup with a product called stall dri, then two bales of kiln dried shavings and two bags of wood pellets like pellet stove fuel. This all goes down over a rubber mat. THis keeps it pretty dry for a week and makes it less shocky on their legs.
It has a lot to do with how well the goats travel and will they lie down. I've done three day hauls when a goat stood the whole way while the truck was moving which is really hard on them.

They should have hay bags in front of them all the time. You don't necessarily have to unload them but stopping every hour or so for a few minutes will let their legs rest for a minute. And then a longer rest in the middle of the day. We expect to be able to make around 3-400 miles a day when we travel.

Get them accustoned to drinking gatorade water before you leave. That is the best way to get large amounts of water into them. But don't wait till the trip to start.

It's better if you let them out for awhile every day but I have hauled up to three days without unloading. I also have a battery operated fan that goes in the back when it's hot. It sprays water also. Keeps the back significantly cooler.
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great info, I use the wood pellets in my stalls over rubber. I also use that in my stock trailer for the horses.
Best to travel over three days and rest all night. I would rather take the trailer and let them have room for a long haul.
I have a large chevy van, and thought about other vehicles but now am looking for a small horse trailer, without divider, I can carry several bales up front, and bedding in the back.

There is a big rv dealer near me and I can put awnings on the right side of both the van and the trailer for camping out, which I think is the best way for me to go. The van can carry my other gear, quite a bit in fact.

I am wondering what states/areas do each of you feel is the best for goat packing, with both regular trails and challenging ones ?

It still looks like I may well wind up in the NE Cascades in Wa, but open to other states and areas in the NW from MT west.

I think this would be a good poll for favorite states for packing in.
Come to Idaho. We have it all. Deer, Elk, Cats, Bears, Wolves, Mountain Goats, Big Horn, Skiing, Fishing, lots of public land, and the list goes on. Don't tell anyone or we may end up in the magazine as a favorite place to retire and that could ruin the hunting.
IdahoNancy and the Oberpackers
Shhhhhhhh!! Nancy, what are you thinking? LOL! :eek:

This is a little off topic (traveling) but if you are looking for a packing destination don't go to Idaho!!

Just kidding....!

Seriously though, I don't know what kind of goat packing experience you are looking for, but I live right on the border between Idaho and Washington and have the option of going either way for my packing. I almost always choose Idaho.

Sure, the Cascade Mountains in WA are beautiful, but they also get a lot of rain and a LOT more people. Idaho, by comparison, is typically warmer and drier in the summer, and it's not uncommon to pack into some of the wilderness areas and literally go for days without seeing another person. That kind of solitude freaks some people out, but it's just the way I like it!
I was thinking about the yearly journey to Elk Camp in Colorado from NC.
Nancy, Tonya and I was just talking less than an hour ago about flying out to Idaho. My grandfather was born there but I have never been. She also suggested Maine, I have been but she hasn't. I was wondering about what times a year the mosquitoes are out. It can get rough in Co during certain times but by the time I get out there in September, all the bugs are gone. Tim in NC
Maine is all of the leftover bad weather in the country that God had left over so He put it there. Its a done deal.

I do love Idaho, the NW corner I did stream surveys back when the world was younger, and so was I.

The deciding factor at the moment is I have a cabin and camp site available up north of Cusik, dont know of any in Idaho, plus Cusik is just about 80 miles from the VA.

I amnot looking at any long expeditions daily, several miles a day to keep us fit and learn the area. And gradually range out, or drive to another good packing site .
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