Country Lore: June/July 2017

Readers’ tips about transporting goats, teaching kids through nature, local lumber mills, and more.

| June/July 2017

How to Make a Small Livestock Transporter

I needed to transport my two French Alpine goats to a farm 40 miles away so that they could breed with an Alpine buck. I have a pickup truck that has a full 8-foot bed with a liner, and I was trying to figure out how to rig it so I could transport the goats safely. I thought of building a cage around the truck bed using stakes in the stake pockets along the sides. However, I already have tie-down anchors installed, and I really didn’t want to remove them because I use them all the time.

I searched the web for ways people make livestock cages out of different materials, and I found the classic cage made of sections of wire cattle panel. Basically, you cut sections of the panel for each side and the top, and then join them with zip ties. That sounded easy enough, but it would take a little work cutting the panel, and I’d need two panels to do the job.

I went to my local Tractor Supply Co. to see what was available, and found a variety of panels. All were 16 feet long, but they differed in height and the spacing of wires. I decided to buy a cattle panel that measured 16 feet by 50 inches. My next task was to figure out how to transport it to my farm. The young gentleman who helped me load it had the perfect solution. We stood the panel up horizontally and formed a U-shape that fit perfectly into the truck bed. It struck me that I could put the goats into the space formed by the “U” and then pull the two loose ends together.

I have collars and leashes for the goats. So, when it was time to transport the goats, I attached their leashes to a lower rung of the panel by passing the working end of the leash through the loop. I then snapped the leash to the collar of the goat. After the ends of the panel were tied together, I tied the cage in several places to my truck’s tie-down anchors. This way, the goats were tied to the cage, and the cage was tied to the truck.

I assumed the goats would lie down during the trip, but they stood the whole way and watched the sights go by. This cage also had ample room for them to move comfortably, but it’s good that there wasn’t too much room because there was less chance of them being thrown around by the movement of the truck.

I can store the panel at my farm and use it for moving animals anytime I have to. I’m thinking about getting some young calves in the future, and the cage should work for that as well. If they’re too big, I could move them one at a time. I think I impressed myself with how something so complicated in my mind got resolved with a very simple solution. By the way, I think this would still work if you only have a 6-foot bed, but you might have to leave the tailgate down.

8/5/2017 2:56:57 PM

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