Goats on the Road

by Maggie Leman

Dan and I have been showing our goats for many years. More than once we have forgotten something essential and hard to find on the road (like goat feed!). Now one of the first things we do when preparing to go to a show is to print out our Show Checklist. Using our Checklist faithfully has made traveling with the “kids” much easier. I remember our first one was printed out on a dot matrix printer! We divide our list into 4 different parts, For the Goats, For the People, To Do Before Leaving, and Goats Going.

Our goats travel in climate-controlled comfort in large kennels in our Caprine Limousine, a large cargo van. Dan built a platform that fits over the wheel wells allowing us to put more kennels on a single level. The area under the platform is great for storing most of the show supplies. We can stack very bulky items on top of the kennels if necessary.

The first part, For the Goats, has a section for our Show Kit, the Herdbook and then various other supplies specifically needed for caring for and showing the goats. Our Show Kit is a large plastic under-the-bed storage container, in which we have separate shoeboxes labeled Set Up, Collars and Leads, Grooming Equipment, Promotional, Goat First Aid, and People First Aid.

There is room for our Pen Signs, and my Maggidan’s Milker and milking supplies. Our Herdbook is a large zippered ring binder. It holds the goats’ registration papers, show information and a copy of our entries, health papers, microchip reader, and is where we keep other pertinent information about our goats like TB, Brucellosis and Scrapie test results, our breeding schedule, full herdlist, and sales papers, sales list, and blank transfer forms. Next is the big stuff that won’t fit into the Show Kit or Herdbook.

We use small 1 to 2 gallon buckets at shows, they are easy to empty and refill. Take an extra bucket for feed so you don’t have to keep walking back and forth to your tack area to feed each pen. We use a Tuna Fish can for a scoop. Our hay is kept in Bale Bags that you can get by mail order from a Horse Supply Company. They sure make handling hay a lot neater! Hay is fed from Hay Bags. These look like a canvas tote with a round hole in one side.

Hay nets are not safe for goats; they can easily get their head through the netting and hang themselves. Some people use small hayracks, and we used to, but the hay bags are so much easier to pack and they don’t rattle! Buckmats are for making a solid visual barrier between pens. We use indoor-outdoor carpeting cut in half lengthwise in 8 to 10 foot lengths. It is economical, rolls up for storage, lasts virtually forever and is stiff enough to discourage a buck or doe from trying to push it aside. We put it up with plastic cable ties. This keeps bucks from trying to butt heads with the guy next door and keeps does from flirting with some stranger.

Some shows offer no penning and to those we take our own pens made of hog panels cut to 6-foot lengths. Dan made a very clever rack that goes into the receiver hitch on the van to carry those panels. A wagon is very helpful in carrying your stuff to and from the truck and barn.

The next part is For the People. Most of it is self-explanatory (okay MOM is Milk of Magnesia, sometimes food on the road does bad things to me….). Not everyone wears hearing aids either, but I sure don’t want to be without mine and spare batteries! Taking the cell phone without the charger can be expensive and exasperating. I hate traveling without a neck pillow for sleeping in the truck and a book to read when I’m awake (Dan does nearly all of the driving, he doesn’t like to just sit). The Director’s Notebook, Christmas tree, Herd and Club Display and paperweights, Potluck dish and kitchen stuff are things most people wouldn’t be taking along, at least not to every show. They are for certain shows that we always attend and I wouldn’t want to forget them.

The third part is the list of things to Do Before Leaving. We leave detailed feeding instructions and our cell phone and veterinarian’s numbers for our caretaker. We let them know when we left and when we expect to be home. We leave the number for our hotel. We turn off the hot water heater and adjust the thermostat to conserve energy. We make sure that all the gates are secure and the barn doors are open to the pasture. We once forgot to open the barn door to the pasture and left a number of goats locked in the barn. The caretaker didn’t think anything of it and we had some very thirsty goats when we returned.

Last is the list of the Goats Going to the show. Since our goats ride in kennels we like to have a “seating chart” worked out beforehand. I list all the kennels we can carry, 6 large kennels, 1 extra large kennel and 1 medium kennel. If I am really organized I can type in the goats’ names, but mostly I just pencil them in. This is to make sure everyone will fit comfortably and we don’t forget anyone!

We use the checklist to gather our supplies a day or two ahead of the show. Dan cleans out the truck, puts the platform in, loads the kennels, buckets, buckmats, hay and grain feeders and the hay bag with a bale of hay and a bag of feed. I go through and check the Show Kit and Herdbook, get snacks, drinks and food ready to go into the cooler, do the last minute wash. The evening before our trip we pack our clothes and personal supplies. In the morning I pack the cooler and we do the last minute loading. We load the goats, usually take a quick run through the shower and change clothes. Just before pulling out we run through the checklist ONE MORE TIME. Then it’s off we go knowing we have everything we need to have a fun time at the show!




[ ]Set Up: Wire Cutters, Scissors, Tape, Hooks, Bungees, Tie Wire, Hole Punch, Tie Wraps, Flashlight, Trash Bag, Raincoat, Sunglasses

[ ]Collars and Leads

[ ]Grooming Equipment: Brushes/Combs, Rags, Hoof Trimmers, Shampoo, Conditioner

[ ]Promotional: Business Cards, Brochures, Name Tags, Pens and Pencils, Sales List

[ ]Goat First Aid: Sterile and Dose Syringes, Eye Ointment, Iodine, Vaseline, Injectable Antibiotic, Tape, Thermometer, Vetwrap, Kaopectate, Nutridrench, Latex Gloves, Alcohol Swabs, Sulfa Drug, Motrin, Nipple, Blood Stop Powder, Meds Chart

[ ]People First Aid: Bandaids, Tums, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, Ace Bandage, Soap, Feminine Supplies, Cold Capsules, Cough Drops, Back Brace

[ ]Pen Signs

[ ]Tack Hook

[ ]Milker

[ ]Milk Containers

[ ]Teat Wipes


[ ]Registration Papers

[ ]Health Papers

[ ]Show Information

[ ]Sales and Transfer Forms

[ ]Blank Paper

[ ]Microchip Reader and spare battery

[ ]Bowls, Hay Feeders, Water Buckets

[ ]Feed, Hay, Scoop

[ ]Buckmats, Baby Netting

[ ]Bedding

[ ]Kennels

[ ]Temporary Pens

[ ]Broom and Future Fork

[ ]Goat Dryer

[ ]Hose and Nozzle

[ ]Wagon

[ ]Fans, Extension Cords

[ ]Stanchion


[ ]Clothes


[ ]Shampoo

[ ]Deodorant

[ ]Aspirin

[ ]Antacids

[ ]MOM

[ ]Sunscreen

[ ]Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

[ ]Feminine Products

[ ]Hairbrush

[ ]Towels and Soap

[ ]Chairs/Camp Table

[ ]Cooler, Eats, Drinks

[ ]Utensils, Paper Towels

[ ]Sleeping Bags and Pillows

[ ]Hearing Aids

[ ]Cellphones and Charger

[ ]Camera

[ ]Book

[ ]Sunglasses

[ ]Neck Pillow

[ ]Road Atlas

[ ]Directors Notebook

[ ]Christmas Tree

[ ]Potluck Dish, Utensils, Hotmitts

[ ]Auction Table Items

[ ]Display (Club and/or Herd), Paperweights


[ ]Feeding instructions and emergency numbers

[ ]Turn off water heater

[ ]Adjust thermostat

[ ]Gates and doors in correct positions

Excerpt from:
The MEMO, Winter 2006 edition, The National Pygmy Goat Association, pp. 14-15

This document is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified veterinary professional. The information provided through this document is not meant to be used in the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or disease, nor should it be construed as such.