Moving 100+ Goats Across Country
Written by Administrator-GL   
Saturday, 17 April 2010

From Rimrock to the Ozarks

Goatlady and those Wonderful Kids


Most said it couldn't be done..
But with the help of great truckers ..alot of prayers and a wonderful man..Dr Ed Huston from Texas A&M, who told me "how" to move them.. We did it!

153 goats (half of them rescues) and 7 dogs - enough straw to bed them all down, 20 water buckets to be filled at individual stops along the way and 40 bales of hay to make a trip across 6 states - MY WAY - SLOW - so I could follow directly behind the semi, and with a stop for checking everyone every 2 hours.
Here's our story...
Well.. We made it FINALLY..
Like to thought we never would... there for awhile.. it was quite a trip to say the least.
We ended up leaving a day later than we had planned.. the mechanic had JUST gotten to Matt's had been in the shop for 3 weeks
and the day we were supposed to leave he went in to check and they were JUST putting the transmission in..
but they did manage to put 4 tires on it in those 3 weeks.. *L*
I had only gotten my van back the day before.. not bad for a total of about $4500.00 for both vehicles.. HA!
Live and learn I guess.. but if the cars ran good that was my main concern

We used a local Livestock Hauling company- Wingfield Livestock Haulers out of Buckeye AZ.. the owner put his brother on the job..Who had his wife as a companion driver.. little did they know I MEANT it when I said we were going to take this slow and stop every couple hours to check the goats - they were not happy but for my money - and it was not cheap mind you - it was how I wanted it. This way I would know right away if any of the goats was having an issue and could deal with it immediately.
This was a double deck trailer so I had the boys on top (about 30 of them) and there was a secondary compartment that fit a few goats up toward the nose of the trailer - this was sectioned off and held closed by a wall , this is where I put Baby Girl (she wasn't yet a year old) and her twin sister and mama along with a couple older gentle goats.

The idea, I was told by Dr Houston, was to give them as much room to move around as I could - instead of packing them in like they do cattle. We used cattle panels along the window openings because they were small enough the smaller goats could maybe jump out if they got scared - or if they had their head in the opening it could break a neck if the truck took a quick move. The upper deck openings were above where the goat could reach.
The 5 gal water buckets were stacked where we could get to them on the rest stops and fill for water breaks - no open water buckets in case someone were to get pitched in head first and drown.
I was pleasantly surprised that there was quite a bit of room for everyone to wander around and not be crowded as this ended up to be a 4 day trek.
The dogs were in what was called the "doghouse" upper rear of the trailer, and they traveled just fine (they were also checked watered and fed along the way) - Next to that is where all the hay was stored except what was being fed during the trip.
The rig got to our place at 5am Thurs July 8th..
not knowing just how huge this thing was..

I thought it would have no problems getting into the place..WRONG!
It got hung up in a we decided to walk each goat out to the truck...WRONG again..

After a friend found a tractor working down the road.. to level the wash out to get the rig unstuck.. we made a loading chute.. sort of *S*

Then some fool left the gate unattended and all the girls got out..

it wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't been scared by the sound of the truck and the ramp.. BUT....
Then to load the 40 bales of hay I made sure to have so they would have what they were used to eating when they got to their new home and not just suddenly getting new hay ...we had 6 bales of left over straw after bedding the truck..the neighbor got that *S*

Then Everyone's finally loaded and ready to go..pouring rain by then.. at 5:05pm

The Mobile home got sold and was leaving out at the same time...

Here we all were.. FINALLY ready to roll..
We got all the way to the gate before my van broke down.. lost the alternator belt leaving my driveway..
The only reason I knew this was cause my windshield wipers the pouring rain...

3 miles down the road.. spent an hour and a half fixing it.. the mechanic decided it didn't need the spacer in the alternator.. Hmmmm


We almost made it to Flagstaff..18 miles an hour on the grade..
At this point I'm starting to doubt the mechanic...We were scheduled to meet the rig at the rest stop ...
We didn't make van overheated.. lost the belt again.. Matt put in a new one and it was dark and yes still raining

We got ourselves on a dead-end road and I can't back up a Matt had to back up both at a time
one then the other.. about 2 miles back up the road.. this was not pleasant *S*
A Highway Patrolman stopped to let us know the neighbors..(on this desolate dark go nowhere road) were complaining we were blocking the road..
and, No .. he didn't offer to help.. 2 hours later we were at the rest stop and

NO RIG! I was horrified! MY BABIES!!!

We tried the pager number and the cell phone but the pay phone wasn't letting us do it..
Out in the parking lot was the Highway Patrolman who so kindly helped us a couple hours before.. *S*.. He did however tell us that my babies and the rig were up the road waiting for us..
The drivers were worried wondering what could have possibly happened to us in 40 short miles
We stopped at Little America in Flagstaff to resettle and decide when we would stop and sleep.. all this on 3 hours of sleep the night before.. it was 1am when we stopped to sleep.. just out of Flagstaff...
Rimrock is only 45 miles from Flagstaff..
Are you getting the picture yet?.. *L*
The kiddies were fine.. and wondering what was going on by now..
 Georgie and BooBoo on top talking to mama..

and little Vitters on the bottom.. looking thru the goatie windows atcha

We did fine the next day and were making good time until Matt's truck lost his rear wheel..
I knew he was in trouble when he got on the radio and asked if the road was bumpy..
I looked back and saw him...doing his best to keep his rig on the road..

I don't know how he did it.. but it was a miracle

Those brand new tires?.. put on by a certified Goodyear dealer?.. well..
they failed to tighten the lug nuts down..

Every one of the nuts came off and sheared the bolts off.. it was no more than centrifugal force keeping that wheel on the brake.. Even the Highway Patrolman was shaking his head

no.. not the same one.. BUT we were still in AZ
when the truck broke down..and had it towed across the NM border
10 hours later.. we were still waiting for the truck to get fixed..
Hadn't made Gallup should have been a 5 hour trip at most
We got back on the road.. AFTER I got my van looked at.. the lugs were loose on it too.. same mechanic.. went in past Albuquerque and slept that night.. the kids were still fine.. even tho it had rained on them thru the little goatie windows..

Ellie was Great with the goats.. she got a kick out of VitVit always helping her.. *S* I'll tell ya.. I don't know what we would have done without Pat and Ellie driving those kids and watching over us..
Bunkin, Boopie and the new twins; Joniko & Claudie were in the van with me..


and the Border Collie...Skunkie made a good babysitter

BooterButts little boy,Jethro Bodine, started to get shipping stress..
gave him a shot of Tylan and put him, Booters and sis, Ellie, in the van with us..

Next day.. I guess this was Saturday by now..we did make good time... until we hit OK.. when Matt lost his steering.. another stop and fix the truck routine...
Now I'm getting a little hostile at the mechanic...stopped and slept somewhere in OK.. before OK City.. now...THAT was quite the drive..
All but one lane was closed for construction.. I like to thought we'd Never get out of OK.. and those toll roads.. You'd think for the money they charge those roads would be better.. oh well.. we didn't stay there long..
but watching that huge rig with my babies in it going thru traffic in a lane I KNOW was narrower than the rig.... whoa..
We made it to MO Sunday... Matt's third gear had been out all this time and he had to drive holding third gear in or it would pop out..

The Arrival..

Well.. I sure wish I would have taken more pictures of the actual trip..
now that it's all over, but at the time... it seemed like we'd never get here *S*
But we did.. the good Lord was watching over us and He answered many prayers
It was so pretty ... you could really see the changes..
This is the main hwy into town- Hwy5.. this is the biggest road out here close by *S*
(keep in mind...I had NOT seen the new place)
..for that matter- I had never even been to Missouri
My son, Matt had made the trip to talk to the realtor and chose the place himself...after looking at about 12 places- this was it.
So this was the first time I would see my new home...and I was loving what I was seeing!
This is the road we live on and our new mailbox *S*..this little country road is 2 miles from the Hwy-which itself is only a 2 lane winding road
Now I'm thinking how in the world that huge rig is going to not only make it thru this tiny road but up into the driveway
The realtor met us here and drove back to the Hwy to get Ellie so she could check the situation's an awfully sharp turn into the place for a 70 foot rig

rig backing into driveway
Matt and Ellie guiding the rig into the driveway... those trees are pretty low and the sleeper is ... well.. you see what I's about 7:30 pm at this point
After a few attempts.. it was decided that the rig would have nowhere to turn around to unload the kids.. it had to be backed down the road to a place Pat could turn around and back it in.....I had bought cattle panels and the realtor had someone put them up for 2 goat yards near the house..good thing since the last thing we needed to be doing now was building goat yards..
jimbob unloading
We got the rig in and started unloading by 10:30pm~JimBob was the first one off the truck
georgie unloading
then Georgie.. who, by this time was starting to like the truck.. go figure *L*
Oops...wrong way Georgie..some of the rest of the boys followed..
unloading was MUCH EASIER than loading..

We had to stop taking pictures here.. the flash was spooking the kids

In retrospect I wish I had not listened to whoever was telling me not to take more pics.. :(
Oh Well
The girls unloaded next and we dropped for a break..only to go out and realize the low hanging tree was hung up on the sleeper-Big Time! There was no going forward without taking that sleeper off..and the dew was forming on the grass.. Pat's tires were spinning and the cab was across the road
Why Not?.. the trip hadn't been easy yet so why should it have changed now?
In the house to find the phone which I packed last.. got the phone plugged in to call a tow truck..we walked away for just a minute.. JUST long enough for Boopie to find the phone cord and chew it in half
OK.. start looking for another phone cord..we finally found one(Their cell phone wouldn't work in these trees)..called the tow truck- an hour and a half before he could get to the house to find the coffee...and wait
A knock at the door..a neighbor on his way home from church..(it's 12:30 now)..he had a tractor and it would be no problem to get Pat unstuck.. Halleluah!! Call and cancel the tow truck and in 10 minutes the rig was unstuck.. a few scratches on the sleeper tho.. made me sick, these people had been so wonderful about everything and now the truck is scratched up
we got the kids watered and settled and were done for the night.. Ellie and Pat slept in the truck to leave the next morning. I really wasn't looking forward to them going.. *S*..
they sure were wonderful people!
Ellie got a kick out of the goats.. (so did Pat but he wouldn't admit it.. hehe).. At one point Ellie was saying she couldn't believe she was starting to know the goats by name and personality..we named one of the new babies Claudie- after her brother-in-law
(Pat's brother who owns the trucking company)
ellie and claudie
Here's Ellie holding Claudie
and since BooterButts babies hadn't been named.. and her little girl is my favorite ..I named her Ellie (Ellie doesn't know this yet..)
We already have a Patrick..
I cried when they left.. you would not believe how wonderful they were.. I truly believe with someone else I would have lost goats on the trip.
First Day at Home


First Day at Home..

Boxes EveryWhere but time to relax a little and watch the kids .. the pens are a little small but we'll get a brush-hog in here to get the pastures down so we can pasture them during the day

There is a barn and it needs mucked out big time before it can be used..
boys yard
The boys are on one side of the house with a tree for shade~ and loving it!!
They never saw a tree before.. *S*
girls yard
And the girls are on the other side of the house...
This is the first time I have seen the girls and could tell there were alot of them..
no cubbies to hide in...
girls porch
The girls are butted right up to the porch.. and no the fence isn't falling down- we had used the panel to guide them into the pen and just leaned it up on the fence..
guess I should have taken it down before the picture.. *S*
booterbutts in tree
This tree thing is really cute.. Here's BooterButts in the back trying to reach a leaf.. Maple trees..with everyone else watching to see if she can do it
vitvit looking at tree
and VitVit looking to see if maybe she could reach..
vitvit and vladamir
Well...a little loving from her son...guess the tree is just too tall.. *S*
AngelFace just wanted to see what I was doing
uncut pasture
Here's the pasture.. I need to find out what is growing in it..
and get it cut before I put the kids out there..
georgie and bonzo
The boys sure didn't waste any time feeling at home, but Georgie is a little depressed.. I think he feels like I haven't payed enough attention to him.. we're going for a walk down the road later and will take him with us.


Last Updated ( Friday, 04 August 2017 )