For transporting goats, it's best to use either a livestock trailer or a horse trailer. If you don't have that option, you can safely move goats from place to place in the back of a pickup truck bed, if you take the right precautions. You can construct homemade goat pens for your truck bed out of readily available materials used for other farm purposes. For smaller caprines, you can use carriers designed for other species.
Crates, or Goat Totes
If you're transporting a small-breed goat or a kid in the back of your pickup truck, a large dog crate is probably the easiest way to go. However, you must secure the crate so it doesn't tumble or slide all over the truck bed during the trip. Anchor the crate with bungee cords, ropes or tie-down straps. Make sure the crate won't move before you put the goat in it. Another alternative is a goat tote, a large wire cage you secure in a pickup truck bed. Because goat totes have wire tops, you should bring along a tarp or blanket to protect your goats if the weather is inclement.
You probably have wire panels on hand to use for various goat-related purposes such as pen dividers and fair and show use. These panels, available at farm supply stores and generally available in 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-foot-tall sections, can serve in hauling goats in a pickup. In about 15 minutes, you can put together a cage with two 6-foot panels along the cargo bed walls and four 4-foot panels -- one on each end and two on the top. Connect the parts with goat crate hinges and clips; use spring and snap hardware for the rear gate. Such a cage must be secured in the bed of the pickup.
If your truck has a cap on it, you can put the goats in a crate in the cargo bed, under the cap; or you can put bedding on the floor of the truck bed and allow your goats to travel loose. Tape a tarp to the cargo bed floor and place shavings or straw over it for bedding. Make sure the tailgate and cap door shut tightly so there's no chance of loose goats falling or jumping out of the truck bed.
Unless your goats are quite small, they will have to get into and out of your truck's bed under their own steam. It's important to have some sort of ramp system in place for easy access and egress. You don't want the goat jumping off the truck -- he could break a leg or otherwise injure himself. Probably the simplest type of ramp is a bale of hay placed beneath the tailgate. Once you've transported your goats, you can use the bale for feed or for bedding.
Jen Grantham/iStock/Getty Images
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.