It was late fall 2018 and I woke up before the rest of the house, and before I got myself out of bed to take care of the animals I perused social media. If you are a goat person like myself, several of your social media pages include goat sales! I came across a lovely chocolate and white painted doe for sale in Florida. I half jokingly tagged my husband in the post and got up to go about my morning chores as usual.
When I came in from taking care of the animals and started making breakfast for the family my husband came into the kitchen to keep me company. We started chatting and I discovered he had been in communication with the current owners of the doe I tagged him in earlier in the day. "She is still available" he said, "We should get her". I looked at him incredulously, I asked him "Are you serious?" he replied "yes" Then I said you don't have to tell me twice to buy another beautiful goat! We began our preparations that day to bring Zoey home!
After a lengthy discussion with her current owners Winning Streak Farms, we agreed to come get her after she had been bred to their buck Wood Bridge Farm Count on Me. Rob and I discussed at length how we would bring the doe home. Should we have her shipped by a livestock hauler? Should we buy her an airline ticket? Should we go down and bring her home ourselves? After much deliberation we decided the least stressful way for her was to bring her home ourselves.
What did that mean for us? Should we drive the truck and trailer down to Florida, load her up and drive her back? Or should we fly one way to Orlando and then drive back to Pennsylvania? We decided the most cost effective way was to fly to Orlando, use Rob's hotel points to stay near the farm and drive Zoey home all in one day. We arrived in Orlando without a hitch and rented the SUV we used to bring our newest goat home. Then we found a tractor supply, where we bought a tarp and bedding, We constructed a make shift goat stall in the back of the SUV. The next morning came very early as our 4:30 AM alarm went off. We showered, had breakfast and arrived at Winning Streak Farm at 6 AM. After a short review of the doe, her paperwork and exchanging money, feed and hay we were off. According to the research we did it was a fifteen hour drive that we were determined to complete in one day.
The first part of the journey went off without a hitch, Zoey bahhed for about 10 minutes when we left her farm, but quickly quieted down. It wasn't until our first stop for fuel in Georgia we realized she was not traveling comfortably. She had not touched her hay, she was refusing water and would not lay down. At that point we realized for the health of Zoey and her pregnancy we needed to get her home as soon as possible. We only stopped two more times during the journey, both for fuel, lunch and dinner. She was still refusing grain, hay and water. At 9:39 PM we pulled into our driveway where a wave of relief washed over my husband and I.
Zoey still was not eating or drinking, but otherwise seemed no worse for wear. We decided to let her settle into her new home with fresh feed, hay and water and decided we would check on her in the morning.
How would you have brought a goat from Florida to Pennsylvania? What do you think we could have done to reduce her stress?
Come back next week to read about Zoey's transition to our herd.