Can Goats Handle Long Journeys?
I live pretty far south in Texas but I would really like to keep Packgoats and take them on trips to Colorado and Wyoming. I have always had a passion for goats and hiking so when I came across The Packgoat by John Mionczynski in a book store in Wyoming in fall of 2016 it was something I had to do! I have been trying to move to the mountains but land prices and older parents are making it look like I may have to put that dream on the back burner for now but I really don't want to let go of the idea of keeping packgoats.
So I was wondering how would goats do traveling that far? They would be in the back of a pickup with lots of hay and I would stop every few hours to offer them water, but is there something else I should do? Would they be up to hiking after being in the car that long? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thankyou! Shy
Most folks use a trailer for such long journeys, but not everyone. Usually at every NAPgA Rendezvous there are at least one or two people who haul across several states with their goats in the back of a pickup, van, or SUV. How comfortable they are will depend a lot on how big they are. Unless you have a custom-built goat hauling crate on the back of your truck, your full-grown goats won't be able to stand with their heads in a normal position, especially if they have horns. You also have to be careful about your windows. Windows on truck toppers are not built for livestock and your goats might break them. If you leave them open for ventilation they'll almost certainly eat or poke out the screens. I'd definitely suggest hauling them on a few shorter trips first and see how they do. If they handle it great you can plan a longer trip. If you discover that they really aren't happy then you'll have to figure out some way to modify your set-up.

A lot of folks find it's just easier to use a horse trailer. Sometimes you can find an old two-horse trailer pretty cheap and fix it up. Just make sure you get one with a solid door in the rear and not one with a 3/4 door. Either that or be prepared to have something welded across the upper portion so your goats can't jump out and so a bear can't get in. With a trailer you will have the bed of your pickup available for hauling gear, and it may also be more bear-proof than the back of your truck. Bears are something I always consider when camping in the mountains. A trailer will also give you a separate area to store your feed, extra bedding, etc. There's a lot of stuff that goes into an extended trip with goats so you want to make sure all of you are as comfortable as possible.

Usually I try to make sure the first day after a long trip is an easy one. You either want to plan a day hike so there is less gear to haul. If you don't have enough time to squeeze in a day hike, then make sure the first leg of your multi-day trip is a short one so you can start late after you've given your goats at least a couple of hours to stretch their legs, browse, and have time to rest and get a drink, with plenty of time to do more of the same once you reach the first camp.

I hope this works out for you!
Thankyou for all that helpful info, encouragement and advice! I actually do have a horse trailer but wanted to pull our travel trailer instead, but we may just have to tent camp. Undecided 
I was thinking that the ride would be more comfortable in the back of the pickup since it has better suspension and would not be as drafty as the horse trailer but I don't know anything about hauling goats that far and I guess it would be nice to have room to store hay and other things. My brother is a welder so we were going to build the hauler for our pickup, Do you you have any advice on things we should think about when designing a goat hauler? 
Right now I am really more of a Day Hiker so it would be no problem to take it easy for the first couple days. Would taking a rest day between each travel day make it a little easier on them?
I am sorry I didn't respond sooner, things are a bit hectic around here, but Thankyou so much for taking the time to help me I really appreciate it! Smile Heart
I can see why you'd want to pull a travel trailer and not have to tent camp. I know some folks that get a camper for the back of their pickup so they can haul their goats in the trailer, which I think generally works better, but you have to use what you've got. The truck suspension is usually better, but there is simply more room in a horse trailer for both goats and equipment. Horse trailers shouldn't be drafty, but they should be well ventilated. Sometimes pickup beds are not ventilated enough, so that's something to think of when designing your truck bed goat hauler. Since your brother is building it himself, that gives you some great options! Make sure it's tall enough to accommodate your tallest goat. If your goats have horns, it has to be really tall! I also suggest making it so it fits over the wheel wells instead of between them. I have a shelter that slides between the wheel wells, which is convenient, but it's tiny. It can only fit two young goats (18 months or less) for a long trip, and it's very tight for them. You may be able to find goat hauler plans on the internet somewhere. I know Marc Warnke made his own, and I've seen several other homemade haulers at various events, but I don't have names of people who made them.

I try not to take a rest day after hauling. Usually we just make sure it's a lighter day, but still a hiking day. I tend to think loafing around in camp is not helpful and may even be counterproductive. What you don't want are goats that are TOO fresh and/or bored because they will fight and pester each other on the trail. Getting them out the day after hauling will limber up their stiff legs, get them breathing harder (which helps clear the dust from their lungs), and relieve any pent-up energy and aggravation they have after having to stand too close to each other for too long. It's important not to overwork our goats, but we also shouldn't mollycoddle them. It tends to turn them into hellions on the trail, or it turns them into lazy bums who convince their owners that they can't work because they still need just one more day to recover. Wink
Thankyou for all the helpful advice! I would have really blown it giving them too many rest days! Dill would have definitely capitalized on that one! But it is really nice to know we can get right on the trail!
We will definitely try to make it tall enough, Do you think 4ft would be enough? We have one of those flat bed trucks so it will be 6.5ft by 7ft, so almost 46sqft. How many goats do you think I could fit in there?
Thank you again it is so nice to be able to talk to someone who is so knowledgeable about Packgoats! Smile

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