Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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My family has been considering moving for awhile. We currently live in AZ and are looking at moving to Alabama. Nothing is set in stone, however I need to start considering what I'll do with my goats if we  do move. On one hand, I am very attached to my goats and would hate to leave them, but on the other hand, I'm not sure if it's really practical to move goats that far.

Has anyone here ever moved that distance with goats? Pros and cons? 

I need to decide if it's really worth it or not. I just know that goats can get easily stressed, especially when being relocated. I only have five, and two are just wethers, so if we did move and leave the goats, it would not be difficult to start over again. I am really attached to my buck, though. He's an absolute sweetheart, and has never acted aggressive towards anybody. He just wants to cuddle LOL. 

Anyways, I'm obviously a bit torn here. I'd welcome any advice!

Thanks in advance :)

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I have never moved with goats, but people who show their goats take them all over the country. People who show at the national ADGA show, for example, may drive 3000 miles for a goat show. And I know people who do big circuits of shows where they are gone for a month or so, and their goats are living in a trailer, driving from show to show. 

I'm not discounting the issue of stress because back when we showed our goats, we would see a drop in production when we took the goats to shows. Some were more stressed than others. 

Since production has always been really important to me, all of my goats have been purchased from out of state and have come from as far away as Massachusetts, Texas, and Alaska! The buck from Alaska was flown here. The others were picked up by car. 

A word of caution ... Keeping goats in AZ is completely different than keeping goats in Alabama. You've probably had zero parasite problems in AZ, whereas you will have issues in Alabama. You will need to be rotating pastures from the beginning to prevent problems. 

If it were me, I would definitely take them.  It will take some planning which would also included taking a month's supply of hay with you so the transition to the local hay can be made slowly to reduce stress on their systems.
I have much time and love invested in my goats.  My girls are from excellent dairy lines so I know their potential.  They also seem to be genetically resistant to worms which is a huge plus (I've never needed to deworm shown by fecal tests).  For me, If I have a safe and secure place for them in the new home, I definitely would take them.
Quite possibly, your answer lays in how emotionally attached you are to these particular goats.

Thanks for your response, Deborah. I will certainly take into account the issue of parasites. 

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

I have never moved with goats, but people who show their goats take them all over the country. People who show at the national ADGA show, for example, may drive 3000 miles for a goat show. And I know people who do big circuits of shows where they are gone for a month or so, and their goats are living in a trailer, driving from show to show. 

I'm not discounting the issue of stress because back when we showed our goats, we would see a drop in production when we took the goats to shows. Some were more stressed than others. 

Since production has always been really important to me, all of my goats have been purchased from out of state and have come from as far away as Massachusetts, Texas, and Alaska! The buck from Alaska was flown here. The others were picked up by car. 

A word of caution ... Keeping goats in AZ is completely different than keeping goats in Alabama. You've probably had zero parasite problems in AZ, whereas you will have issues in Alabama. You will need to be rotating pastures from the beginning to prevent problems. 

Thank you for responding, Glenna. I am definitely very attached to my goats. I'm leaning towards taking them, provided that we can find a property that has a setup.

Glenna Rose said:

If it were me, I would definitely take them.  It will take some planning which would also included taking a month's supply of hay with you so the transition to the local hay can be made slowly to reduce stress on their systems.
I have much time and love invested in my goats.  My girls are from excellent dairy lines so I know their potential.  They also seem to be genetically resistant to worms which is a huge plus (I've never needed to deworm shown by fecal tests).  For me, If I have a safe and secure place for them in the new home, I definitely would take them.
Quite possibly, your answer lays in how emotionally attached you are to these particular goats.

Another thing to consider:  If they have never traveled before (locally or otherwise), you might take them on short trips so they are somewhat familiar with the noises and smells.  It might make a difference on how stressed they are during the moving trip.
I wish you (and your goats) the very best with whatever you decide.

Lil said:

Thank you for responding, Glenna. I am definitely very attached to my goats. I'm leaning towards taking them, provided that we can find a property that has a setup.

Glenna Rose said:

If it were me, I would definitely take them.  It will take some planning which would also included taking a month's supply of hay with you so the transition to the local hay can be made slowly to reduce stress on their systems.
I have much time and love invested in my goats.  My girls are from excellent dairy lines so I know their potential.  They also seem to be genetically resistant to worms which is a huge plus (I've never needed to deworm shown by fecal tests).  For me, If I have a safe and secure place for them in the new home, I definitely would take them.
Quite possibly, your answer lays in how emotionally attached you are to these particular goats.

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