Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Moving our herd - Need advice on converting a trailer for goats...

We are moving our herd 1000 miles from Ontario to Nova Scotia. I have four does, one buck (one doe will have one of her kids with her and another doe will have all her kids with her)

Our original plan was to divide the goats between two trucks but one of our drivers has just decided not to do the trip and we have three weeks to find an alternative way.  I feel a little more relaxed reading the comments posted that doing long drives is fine for the goats and we will not be setting up temporary pens at rest stops!

My husband has an idea of buying a cargo trailer either a 5x8 or a 6x10 and converting it for some of our goats.  So has any one done this? Our concern is making sure we have airflow and not drafts so how many vents should we put in?  Has any one put windows in etc.  Any advice on converting a cargo trailer would be appreciated, any thoughts or if you have done this pictures would be great.  Also any advice to just make sure this goat own remains not worried about her herd will traveling! ;-) How often do you recommend stopping? 

Again any advice you  can give would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Sally, I don't personally have any experience travelling goats long distance, however, I do recall reading about someone in this group who traveled their goats across the US. I think it was Judy H?? It was most interesting. Have you seen her posts on here about that journey? Perhaps she would have some helpful information. - And by the way...welcome to NS! We're in the Annapolis Valley! I hope you get the details worked out, and travel safely!

Hi Donna,  Thank you for this I will search for Judy H and look forward to reading all about it.  We will be located in Granville Centre.  So it would be great to be in touch especially with those who have Nigerians.



Donna Peck said:

Hi Sally, I don't personally have any experience travelling goats long distance, however, I do recall reading about someone in this group who traveled their goats across the US. I think it was Judy H?? It was most interesting. Have you seen her posts on here about that journey? Perhaps she would have some helpful information. - And by the way...welcome to NS! We're in the Annapolis Valley! I hope you get the details worked out, and travel safely!

Sally, no way! You'll be literally just down the road from us! We're in Upper Granville. On the #1 Hwy. We have a herd of 12 Nigerians, and are waiting for hopefully a new buckling by Darlene Elchuck's  J-Nels L Knodel! Would love to meet you and your goats once you're settled in. Can I friend you on FB? ( it will be a different name with pearcey in it, but that's us).

Donna, that is scary we are going to be on Highway 1 as well! lol! Would be great to be FB friends and to get together once we have arrived.  I am FB friend with Darlene so I will search through her friends to see if I can see you.

This is me on FB! :-) https://www.facebook.com/SallyMKnight

Here is our business page on FB, we are moving the whole of the farm! https://www.facebook.com/StrattonsFarm/?fref=ts

Look forward to seeing you soon

Isn't that something! I just sent a friend request, remember- it will come up with pearcey in it- that's me. Can't wait to look at your goats on your business page! Please travel safely with the gang, and we'll have to meet up once your in and adjusted!

I have a friend who raises alpacas, and they bought a cargo trailer and put a very small window on each side. I just checked their website to see if I could find a picture, and I couldn't, but the windows were really small. From memory, I'm guessing they were about 8 inches wide by 14 or 16 inches long, and they opened like single hung windows in a house, so the opening for air would have been about 8 X 8 or so? 

If you have a pick-up truck with a topper on it, that works too. And when we were new, I used to carry goats in the back of my mini van. I had the kind that had all removable seats in the back. I'd set up a dog exercise pen back there to keep them back there. Worked great.

Thank you for this! We have a truck with cap but our two dogs will be in the back.  We have another friend who is doing the journey with us, with her truck with cap so I am going to divide the goats between the trailer and her truck and then I was thinking of putting our buck in a large dog crate.  I am thankful we are not moving too many goats and that apart from our buck everyone will have room to move.

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

I have a friend who raises alpacas, and they bought a cargo trailer and put a very small window on each side. I just checked their website to see if I could find a picture, and I couldn't, but the windows were really small. From memory, I'm guessing they were about 8 inches wide by 14 or 16 inches long, and they opened like single hung windows in a house, so the opening for air would have been about 8 X 8 or so? 

If you have a pick-up truck with a topper on it, that works too. And when we were new, I used to carry goats in the back of my mini van. I had the kind that had all removable seats in the back. I'd set up a dog exercise pen back there to keep them back there. Worked great.

Hi Sally, Donna is right  We did the trip 3 years ago from Northern CA to Western MA - 3000 miles - with our 4 does, 1 dog, 7 year old daughter, hubby and me.  It took everyone's cooperation and participation!  I looked in to a trailer but they were really pricey and I knew we would not need it after we arrived.  Instead we had our does in the back of our pickup, pickup had a topper with sliding windows on the side.  We kept the windows partially open the whole trip for airflow.  I had lots of straw in the back so their bedding was as cushy as I could make it.  I also had a few water hole dog bowls, the anti spill kind https://www.dog.com/item/anti-spill-water-hole-travel-dog-bowl/P037... so the girls had access to water the whole time.  We stopped about every 3-4 hours depending on the conditions.  Driving across the Nevada dessert was the hottest so we stopped every 2 hours then because I was paranoid.  One thing that helped a ton was to find a shady place to stop at for our rests - trees, park, bridges, gas station awning works when in a pinch.  My does are used to walking on leash so it all went quite smoothly.  We'd stop, put the leashes on, two of us would walk them around and get them to browse and the other would get fresh water in the bowls.  Then we'd throw down the picnic blanket and get the cooler and relax and snack with the goats before getting back on the road for the next segment.  We either camped or stayed at hotels.  Camping proved more challenging than we expected - not every campground wants a 40ft moving van, pick up truck, 4 goats and 1 dog!  We had a few bales of straw in the moving van I mucked out the bed of the pickup every night, rinsed it down as best as I could and put fresh bedding down.  End result: the girls made the trip just fine!  It was a bonding experience for all.  The girls were totally cooperative and focused on us, so that helped.  We got a LOT of questions at EVERY stop - folks seemed to think this was a bizarre spectacle ..... that was a bit uncomfortable, all the attention.  But it worked and we all made the journey just fine, in fact we had fun doing it.  3 years later, everyone is thriving.

Hi Judy,

Thank you so much for this.  Knowing that the goats did great through the journey makes it all a little easier to get my head around! Our journey is much shorter than yours it is a total of 16 hours of driving which we are going to break up into 3-4 hour legs.  With a longer break at night.

Again thank you so much it makes me feel so much happier about doing the drive

Sally :-)

Judy H said:

Hi Sally, Donna is right  We did the trip 3 years ago from Northern CA to Western MA - 3000 miles - with our 4 does, 1 dog, 7 year old daughter, hubby and me.  It took everyone's cooperation and participation!  I looked in to a trailer but they were really pricey and I knew we would not need it after we arrived.  Instead we had our does in the back of our pickup, pickup had a topper with sliding windows on the side.  We kept the windows partially open the whole trip for airflow.  I had lots of straw in the back so their bedding was as cushy as I could make it.  I also had a few water hole dog bowls, the anti spill kind https://www.dog.com/item/anti-spill-water-hole-travel-dog-bowl/P037... so the girls had access to water the whole time.  We stopped about every 3-4 hours depending on the conditions.  Driving across the Nevada dessert was the hottest so we stopped every 2 hours then because I was paranoid.  One thing that helped a ton was to find a shady place to stop at for our rests - trees, park, bridges, gas station awning works when in a pinch.  My does are used to walking on leash so it all went quite smoothly.  We'd stop, put the leashes on, two of us would walk them around and get them to browse and the other would get fresh water in the bowls.  Then we'd throw down the picnic blanket and get the cooler and relax and snack with the goats before getting back on the road for the next segment.  We either camped or stayed at hotels.  Camping proved more challenging than we expected - not every campground wants a 40ft moving van, pick up truck, 4 goats and 1 dog!  We had a few bales of straw in the moving van I mucked out the bed of the pickup every night, rinsed it down as best as I could and put fresh bedding down.  End result: the girls made the trip just fine!  It was a bonding experience for all.  The girls were totally cooperative and focused on us, so that helped.  We got a LOT of questions at EVERY stop - folks seemed to think this was a bizarre spectacle ..... that was a bit uncomfortable, all the attention.  But it worked and we all made the journey just fine, in fact we had fun doing it.  3 years later, everyone is thriving.

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