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maryjane Posted - Feb 19 2015 : 09:46:36 AM
I spoke with Dr. Barrington on Tuesday about many things but I'll start with our discussion about pregnant cows and travel. He said his approach mimics the advice given to women who want to travel when pregnant--good care, nutrition, and rest along the way makes travel in the later stages of pregnancy not only doable but perfectly okay. His comment was, "Pregnant women who are in their last trimester get on airplanes or into uncomfortable cars all the time. What pregnant woman wouldn't prefer a spacious trailer and dry bedding to bed down in when traveling?" He also said that once you've provided for a cow's needs during travel and she has problems, it's because she was going to have problems anyway at that stage of her pregnancy.

Food/Water/Pine Shavings
When I travel with any of my cows or bulls for distances longer than an hour, I make sure they have enough room to lay down with plenty of dry pine shavings to absorb their discharge. I stop along the way (about every 2-3 hours, depending on the time of year) and offer water and feed. I remove their water bucket and feed before I start up again.

I once dropped one of those hay nets over the top of our trailer's partition for my bull, Samson, and he proceeded to get his foot caught up in it. No more hay nets, just hay put into a plastic bucket. With a bull, I just lower the buckets over the top of the partition with a lead rope.

Free Range
I don't take an animal out of a trailer at all so I have them secured inside either with a halter and lead rope or a partition when I stop to feed/water or add more pine shavings. There are just too many variables in new locations. An animal should NEVER be tied during travel.

Although, I do have a fantasy that someday, I’ll travel with my camper on my truck, milk cow in trailer … for fun and frolic along the way, days at a time. In my fantasy scenario, I’ll have my cow diapered and together we’ll saunter down the main streets of small towns across America:)

Trailer Locked
I always lock the trailer if I go into a restaurant or hotel because I heard of bored teenagers once opening the back of a trailer parked in a parking lot. If you’re going to camp out in RV lots, let them know you’re traveling with a large animal, they might tell you they don’t allow stock trailers with animals on board. I’ve discovered I’ll have to change some minds, because my cows are pets, just like dogs or cats--almost always allowed in an RV park.

Milking Along the Way
I've never had to milk a cow along the way but could. I did purchase a Honda generator for that purpose should I ever need to.

Vets On Call
I also make a list of Veterinary clinics along the way, along with their hours and I call ahead. I was glad I called because one of the clinics I put on my list didn't have vets actually there during the day but brought them in if need be, sometimes creating a four-hour wait.

You need to travel with the animal's records (for any vet help you might need along the way) and of course the necessary travel papers they’ll need to be on the road legally. When I sold Cassidy, I gave the buyer a packet that included all of the above.

Type of Trailer
If you’re traveling in the dead of winter, your animal should be in an enclosed horse trailer not an open air stock trailer.

Hired Trucker
If you hire a trucker, make sure they’re willing to stop for feed and water. I hired a trucker a couple of weeks ago and the company provided an online map of his travels (like they do with airplanes now). I had his cell phone and we chatted several times while he was en route.

Life Insurance
And as I pointed out in my book, you can purchase life insurance on a cow or bull that stays in force for a year afterward. I always purchase the insurance just in case. It’s not easy to walk away from thousands of dollars. I brought two animals here worth $9,000 total once and another time a single cow for $5,000. Both times, I insured them. I also insure animals when I’m the one transporting them.

And last, I purchased one of those dash board video cams and mounted the camera in the trailer so I can watch my animals on long trips. I’ve actually learned a lot about their behavior when traveling. Pretty mellow existence. I had the thought that I’d rather sleep in the back, someone providing room service as I traveled rather than do the driving.
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txbikergirl Posted - Nov 21 2015 : 4:35:59 PM
Lorinda, I am a newbie at this so not as full of info as everyone else. that said, we just transported a cow and calf from idaho to texas in late September (31 hours each way) so i will share my experience.

we have a 16 foot trailer with a center divide, and after watching those cows during the entire trip with our cow cam (search HJO and you'll find my amazon purchase links) i would NOT want multiple cows in the same open area. i thought they would lay down right away and just relax, but the first day they were up constantly. after that it was up, down, up, down - never down for more than an hour at a time.

with the extra four feet in your trailer i could see getting another divider in there or two. if we had more calves, i could see putting a divider at the front half round of the trailer for a small calf, and then perhaps dividing the back half into two areas for two calves.

but the one thing i wouldn't know how to do was nighttime. we had to stop at night to sleep. so we opened up our divider to let momma with calf, and let them nurse, and they could stretch out and truly rest. with even one more cow i don't know how i would have opened up dividers for them to do that.

also, we had a situation where momma decided she was going to go OVER the gate to get to the calf the first night (we thought they could stay separated the first night). we luckily slept with the hotel window open and heard the ruckus and went out there, and then got her off the gate divider and opened it up for her to be with calf. as mary jane pointed out to me, she could have broke a leg... devestating.

i am sure there are lots of old timers telling you it is fine and just put them in there. only you can make that call. i only have two cows and they are my family milk supply, and truly members of this family - i could not do that to them. i don't mean to imply that i am better than anyone else or that i am right about this, this is just what would feel right to me.

but if you could rig up separate areas with dividers and have two drivers and go pretty much nonstop and do it in one day, then maybe it could work for you. we had to milk enroute, and that took longer in the trailer environment. we were also so much more exhausted than we planned on, we got to idaho in 3 relaxing 10 hour days - it took us 4 days to get home with the cows, and we were exhausted for a week afterwards.

i am so interested to see what works for you so share the details. i know sometimes us women are a little too cautious with these things, but sometimes it is our intuition or nurturing sense and is needed, and then other times the men just have to make the calls and we have to buck up.
Milkmaid Lorinda Posted - Nov 21 2015 : 2:16:29 PM
It's possible to put the new calf with the smallest two of this year's heifers with the divider between them and the bigger cows. All our cows are Mid-size to barely Standard. A second trip is a possibility but we would prefer to avoid the diesel cost an additional two times (back to KS with an empty trailer, then back to ID with it loaded.) Of course, we will do what's best for the cows.
Ron Posted - Nov 21 2015 : 04:33:57 AM
No little ones with the big that possible? 20' seems a little tight for 6 cows...2 trips possible?
Milkmaid Lorinda Posted - Nov 20 2015 : 10:31:43 PM
Our trailer is 20'. I'm very excited to have found this forum to ask my burning questions.
maryjane Posted - Nov 20 2015 : 7:31:23 PM
Welcome!!! What is the length of your trailer?
Milkmaid Lorinda Posted - Nov 20 2015 : 7:07:30 PM
Great tips! We're preparing to relocate from KS to ID in the Spring. I want to bring 6 cows. I'm nervous the larger cows might hurt the smaller cows by bumping around. We have a center divider gate, rubber mats, covered trailer with window slats, brakes and all redone, new tires. But, I'm so nervous about such a long trip. Is it best to drive there in the least amount of time possible, or do they need a long break to rest? It's 24 hours of drive time plus breaks. I stress when we move one or two on short trips. We'll have a 2 month old Mini calf by then too. Suggestions? I love the camera idea!
CloversMum Posted - Feb 23 2015 : 09:04:14 AM
Please do post more details when you find out, Ron. And, thanks for more explanation, MaryJane.
Ron Posted - Feb 23 2015 : 08:20:33 AM
Ah! Got it. Will find out more when they get in.
maryjane Posted - Feb 23 2015 : 08:14:29 AM
They probably had a commercial size truck and trailer over or approaching 10,000 lbs. total. Most RVs are exempt from the weight but if you have a 1 ton Dodge diesel truck for example (common in the farm/ranch world) and a trailer on the big side, you could be cited for that. It just means that you have to pay to have your truck registered as a "truck."
Ron Posted - Feb 23 2015 : 07:14:03 AM
Something else just came up. Some friends just got pulled over in Iowa transporting a horse by trailer and pickup for not having a DOT permit for interstate commerce. Just might be worth checking into as well. Don't know if it applies to just moving a cow but just one more thing to consider.
chives Posted - Feb 20 2015 : 05:57:15 AM
Great information, as always. Your the best.
Ron Posted - Feb 20 2015 : 05:33:42 AM
I can just see that picture of Cowgirl with diapered cow in tow heading down the Main Street of any town USA. Next cover of MJ Farm? Lol..
CloversMum Posted - Feb 19 2015 : 8:22:45 PM
Another great resource, thank you.
Sydney2015 Posted - Feb 19 2015 : 4:09:26 PM
That is very helpful MaryJane! I need to look at this the next time I have to trailer around a cow!
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 19 2015 : 1:10:35 PM
Great information. Thank you.
tcboweevil Posted - Feb 19 2015 : 12:40:20 PM
Awesome topic, and great details!
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 19 2015 : 11:00:20 AM
WOW - ask a question and get a whole new post in the forum, complete with all the detail any newbie could ask for. thanks!