Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Goat Transportation & Gloria

The goats had to go in to get established with a vet in case we ever have an emergency call, and get them vaccinated and de-wormed. The nearest goat vet I could find was in Caldwell. I had no idea how to transport them and I was worried that Billy might bully the others when they are in a confined area. (He did). I ended up hooking dog leashes to the horse trailer and transporting them that way, pictured above.

Getting them in and out alone was going to be an issue. It ended up being ok. To get them in, I put four grain bowls in there and had the goats watch me do it. Then I opened the gate, which is behind the trailer. I used the trailer door as a block on one side and I used an old campaign sign that was 4' long to block the other side, creating a corridor. They ran right into the trailer.

I then stepped in and hooked their collars to the leashes. The vet got in the trailer to treat them. He was a cool vet. He didn't make a big issue of the fact I got the trailer a teeny bit stuck on the way in and had to back up and retry. I asked about overall goat health and care and told him my setup and asked questions. He answered them. When I told him their setup he said it was all good, and when I got to the part about their pasture toys and treats he said "Dang, can I come live with you?" which is the general standard I get because my animals do have a rather posh and well cared for life. I said I know, I know, but I feel if I take on a life I have to be responsible about meeting the animal's physical, mental and emotional needs. He agreed but said not many people view it that way. Too bad. I bet in Caldwell he has seen some low standards of care. I know some farmers and ranchers are really good to their animals, but I have also seen some in deplorable conditions.

In chicken news, I thought Gloria had literally flown the coop tonight, but it turns out she was just hiding from me. I read to give them garlic for parasites so I made them a mix of oat bran, wheat bran, millet and chopped garlic and it went over well. Gloria has scaly legs, and I read that this is caused by a mite and treated by coating her legs in vaseline. So, she got a vaseline leg rub last night. I hope it works. The other four have great legs...for chickens that is. Here's a photo of Gloria, so all pets now have been portrayed on the blog in photographic form.


Roe said...

If you end up transporting those goats much I would be worried about that system, if you get in an accident they'll be thrown around by their necks.

My first thought would be to get some canvas (home depot has some used for painting drop cloths) and then cut it so that it's the approximate width between their front legs and back. Then cut the length so that it will wrap their bodies with about an extra 6 inches left over. A quick stitch to the edges so they don't fray. Then add 2-3 grommets on each end of the canvas. Now you can wrap it around them and hook the canvas up to the trailer with rope or leashes or zip ties. Same effect but instead of hooking them up around the neck their weight would be held in that "sling" of canvas.

This is just an idea of course, I've never transported goats before, but I always worry when I have my German Shepard in the car with me so I give it thought from time to time.

Esmae said...

That's a good thought and a good point. I had also thought I might try using some hay bales to separate them so they can't ram into each other on the journey - and if they got hit with bales in an accident it would be unlikely to be fatal. I can also pay extra for the vet to come to me, which is always an easier logistical option, though the vets hate to do it.