Anyone selling or buying livestock needs to give some thought to transporting sheep and goats.
Sheep should be handled gently and firmly. Never pull small livestock by their wool or by theirhorns, if they have them. The former is the same as pulling a person by the hair and causes bruising; the latter distresses the animal – horns are sensitive – and the horns can break.
Some say that sheep aren’t stupid ….. but remember that they are prey animals so they behave in such a way as to avoid being a predator’s dinner.
Do not drag sheep or goats with ropes around their necks.
If you are selling, prepare the forms beforehand. If you are buying, it makes sense to download the forms beforehand, in case the seller does not have them.
Use a suitable vehicle for transporting sheep and goats. You can use a bakkie, but unless you have railings around it or a canopy, it will be easy for the sheep to jump out. A trailer with railings would be preferable.
Do not move a sheep or goat in the boot of a car, as there is no ventilation and don’t carry them on the roof of a vehicle.
Do not transport sheep or goats with other species. Avoid overcrowding and keep the vehicle hygienically clean.
Avoid loading in extreme temperatures of the day and night.
Do not tie the legs together or tie the animal to the railings of the bakkie.
On arrival at your plot, try to ensure that you have help for offloading. Sheep really are not very bright and they will be nervous, so be prepared for them to rush around mindlessly. If you are putting them into a pen straight away, make sure that it is clean and ready for them beforehand.
Keep dogs inside, unless they are trained sheepdogs, as they are not likely to help the proceedings. Ensure that there is water at hand.