The other day Lee and I had to go to a favorite farm store to pick up fencing supplies.
On the way back to the truck I noticed an older service van with solid sides parked
beside us. The windows up front were rolled down because it was a warm day. As I
started to get into our truck I heard a deep, low moan come from the van.
It shook me to the bottom of my old sneakers and I whirled around and without a
moments hesitation stuck my head through the open window of the van. Someone
was in trouble and desperately needing help.
And, what should my wandering eyes see, but the tail end of a big calf that was tied in
the van. Fortunately, he wasnít as startled as I was or I would have been the one
doing the deathly moaning. Reactions of unhappy startled calves are even known to
goat people. I quickly withdrew my head and realized Lee had been saying something
before I had so swiftly gone to the rescue.
"Calf," he repeated.
I glanced at the van again and saw a deodorizer green leaf hanging from the rear view
mirror. Well, it was going to take more then that to salvage that van, I thought. But,
maybe the driver hurriedly stuck it up his nostrils as he drove down the road. That
I couldnít help but ponder about the many ways we had hauled animals and had seen
other folks haul them. One of the first times was right after we were just married. Lee
had got the notion that we needed a goat. I had never owned a goat or even been
around one, but if Lee wanted a goat then, by gosh, we were going to get Lee a goat.
He didnít have clue at what kind of attraction goats would have for me for the rest of
our married life. Iím sure he would have changed his mind if he had known.
We had bought the bottle baby, raised her up on my mom and dadís place and when it
was time to move her to our place, she was full-grown. The only way to haul her was
with me driving the Vega and Lee holding the goat in his lap in the passenger seat.
When we almost got to our place, Lee suddenly said.
"Iím feeling something warm in my lap."
"Oh," I said. No use saying anything else. We knew what it was.
When we set the goat outside the car, Lee was soaked, including the seat. The goat
hadnít been a bit concerned and had chewed her cud the whole time. When you gotta
go, you gotta go.
Now that we raise and breed Boers and Boer percentages, we get to see all sorts of
ways to haul goats when people come to buy one or several. One favorite way is buy
one goat, no matter what the size, and put it in the back seat of the car with the rest of
the two-legged kids. The parentsí idea on this is the two-legged kids can control the
goat, especially if the two-legged kids realize that their life is in danger in the back seat
with a goat. And, those human kids manage it somehow. Nothing like danger to bring
out the best in human kids when there is a chance of being trampled by a goat.
Iíll have to say though, most my goats are so tame that they enjoy riding in the back
seat of a car with the children. They even look forward to a quick stop at McDonalds.
The children or the goat never get tired of those Happy Meals.
Iíve seen stock trucks, two horse trailers, stock trailers, and even had a lady drop by
and pick up a full grown super stinky buck and stick him in the back of her Scout. She
didnít mind the smell of riding with the buck inside her car. He was so surprised he
rode like he had been given car rides all of his stinky life. He was a real gentleman all
the way to his new home.
Now, we do have a stock trailer for hauling, well, stock, but it is huge and if you want
to haul just one goat, itís a nuisance to use. The truck isnít set up with racks to keep
anything in. Itís on our to-do list and soon as we no longer need it, we get it done.
Mainly, we use our old van, the Goat Mobile, to haul kids around in a large dog cage.
Weíve taken all the seats out of the í88 Astro van and just left the driverís and the
passengerís seat. Not only is it great to haul kids around in, but it can haul up to 1100
lb. of feed, if necessary.
Sometimes we do have to haul an adult goat. Itís pretty simple to do this. We lay a
tarp down, gather up paper towels, put in a large empty margarine tub with a lid for
catching any goat bodily fluids, and a big white bucket to sit on.
One word of caution on the bucket. I had a friend tell me that if you have any
renegade buckets on your farm that tend to tip over if you try to sit on them, get rid of
them. They tend to breed other renegade buckets. Keep only the docile buckets on
Iím afraid I have to disagree with her. Buckets donít breed other buckets. But, they
do teach other buckets to be renegades. They learn quickly how to tilt you over once
they see another bucket do this. Itís best to just get rid of all the buckets then and start
Once we have the tarp laid down, the empty margarine tub with lid, paper towels, and
a tame bucket to sit on; we go get the goat. Like I said earlier, most of our goats are
friendly. Usually they happily crawl in after us as we get in the van. If not, Lee lifts
the front end, I lift the rear end and heave ho them in.
Then Lee sits in the back on the tame bucket and holds the lead rope to the goat. I do
the driving because the theory is if the goat gets scared and tries to come to mommy
while she is driving, Lee has the strength to hold her back. Unless, of course, weíve
picked a renegade bucket and the bucket has thrown Lee. Then it can be utter chaos
everywhere for a while.
Usually, the goat faces the rear of the van, looks out the back door windows and
enjoys watching the cars come up and tail gate us to see what kind of dog we have
looking out the window. The goat particularly likes it when young children wave to
If you truly want to know how creative a person is, watch them try to haul a goat. Itís
an experience most people remember for a lifetime.