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Sheep Trailers Help

8451 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mark in N.C. Florida
Hello, I am wondering what everyone is using for trailering livestock. I only need a small one to travel about 16 hours to buy a new breeding pair. I then might use it to show a couple of sheep at the fair, or bring to the abbatoir in the future.

So I would just need something small. Are there recommendations for a particular type or suggestions on something homemade? The first time I got a breeder pair they sat in the back of my SUV! Which was o.k. but I think I need more room in case I decide to purchase four instead.

Thanks for your help. I just love this forum.

Thunder Bay, Ontario
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Hello Sabina,
I had a similar problem until I found a used stock carrier for $50. It sits in the bed a pickup truck. It is very slick because it only takes 1 person about 3 or 4 minutes to load it on and tie it down, and about the same to take it back off when you get home. It was specialy built for sheep and goats. I would think a average welder could slap one together. It occured to me that you don't have a truck? Anyway it has saved me the expense of a trailer and it has 60 square feet of hauling space, that must be fair amount more than a 2 horse trailer. I have had 12 ewes on at once and they seemed quite comfortable. hope this has helped.
Kind regards,
Depending on the size of the sheep you want to haul.

I used to ship sheep all over the I know.....
An Airline approved Dog carrier/kennel would work just fine. Most Walmarts carry them, and they come in different sizes.
We've used the giant breed dog crates too. You'd be pushing it getting soem of the bigger breeds into one though. I have a 16X6,6 box trailer with ventilation, but that's a bit of over kill for 4 sheep. I keep sayign I'll build a slip in box for my little 4x8 utility trailer but I might just build a small box trailer out of a camper trailer I was given.
We found a set of wooden stock racks at a garage sale several years ago for $25.00. It is a bit bulky to put on the truck and we have to lift the woolies into it as we don't have a ramp, but for only $25.00 it works great!

We have seen all types of carriers when we go to the auctions. From the fancy to the homemade. I've even seen a few sheep traveling inside of a station wagon - WAIT that was my rear view mirror!!! :D
I transported my goats in the back of my Honda Civic. Certainly created a stir when children noticed them. We also used the pick up with one of those shells enclosing the back end, but that involved heaving them up into it. Not something able to do easily anymore. I was thinking about getting a small trailer that I could haul down to the place the utility company dumps wood chips, since it is easier on the shoulders to shovel into a trailer than into a pick up bed. And then making some sort of slide in box with ramp that could be used for hauling small livestock. Multi-use trailer. Ross also expressed a box-in-trailer idea. I was wondering if this would make a light weight trailer top heavy and tippy. And also wondering just how strong this contraption would need to be to confine 2-3 sheep. Anyone built anything like this?
We've fit quite a bit in our mini van...we transported a full grown ram, 2 full grown intact male alpacas (that was actually a mess...they hated each other and there is still alpaca spit on the ceiling after a year), goats, chickens, and a miniature donkey. If you just need to transport 2 sheep, I wouldn't buy a trailer...especially if you have a van, station wagon, or truck, or know someone who does and would let you borrow it.
It's hard to look cool with a sheep in the car!

Any way, I have seen cattle panels used as a slide in for trailers. I've seen them cut and made into nice square cages and also just bent into a circle. Since I've never done this myself I couldn't tell you how well it works.
It is not really difficult to make a stock crate for a small trailer or pickup truck.

Wooden ones are easy to make and dont require much carpentary skill! Just use 3x1 timber (minimum) and carriage bolts. Depending upon the height of the sides of the vehicle you only probably need 3 rails which of course are all above the rails. Make four units, each with two uprights and the rails. Two of these units are equal in legth to the width of the internal dimensions of the vehicle while the other two are equal in length to the pickup up bed or trailer. Place the uprights near the ends of the rails, add intermediate uprights if you wish.

Just stand these units inside the vehicle bed and secure the corners with leather straps, good lashing or even fence wire.

The uprights should be long enough to extend above the animals head height.

If you organise it carefully you will be able to release one of the rear corner fixings and open up the back for loading and unloading.

Once the animals are on board throw a tarp over the whole thing preferably leaving a bit of space for ventilation.
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Thanks everyone for the advice on trailering.

I was just concerned that I would be the only one using a homemade trailer since all I see around here are the expensive horse trailers.

This time I need the room in the SUV for luggage too!
I can't imagine why a homesteader would be embarassed to use a 'home made' piece of equipment, surely that is the essence of homesteading?

Anyway, I have been thinking over the last two days on how a real nice 'stock crate' could be made with little effort. I have come up with a design that might fit the bill.

My idea is to buy four sheets of flooring ply or maybe lighter if flooring is too expensive or you think a sheet is too heavy to handle.

The only tools you need are an electric jig saw (do you call those 'sabre saws' in the US?) and an electric drill or a brace with about a 1" drill.

The idea is to build a box that will fit neatly inside the trailer or pickup bed, I assume the trailer and/or pickup has a 'wellside' not a flat deck.

The corners do not need to be rigid in fact they may be more durable if there is some 'give'.

So, cut the four sheets to fit neatly inside the vehicle, you will most likely have to do a cut out over the wheel arches and for the pickup you might need to do a cut out so that the tailgate latch can still be reached.

Now drill a series of holes about 6" from each corner, by this I mean say 4 holes equal spaced in a vertical row from near the top of the sheet down towards the vehicle. Do this on each end of each sheet.

Use some rope to 'sew' the corners and just for extra security make the ends of the rope fast to the vehicle.

If my idea is any good, and I must stress I have never tried it, you should have a very sturdy box in the vehicle that no animal will be able to break out of.

Now for the artistic component. Your sheep enjoy a bit of a view and need some fresh air so draw some appropriate shapes, stars, moon, sheep, etc on the sides and cut these out with the jig saw. More or less holes according to your climate I guess.

Cut one more hole in the rear of the box just big enough for your intended animal to pass through, don't cut it right to floor level as that would weaken it. I have in mind an oval shaped hole about 6" up from the bottom. When the vehicle tail gate is up most of this hole will be covered which may or may not be enough to stop attempted escapes, you will have a few pieces of ply offcuts so if necessary just drop one of these down between the box and the tailgate to block off this hole.

Put a tarp over the top to stop suicidal jumpers and to keep off the sun or rain.

If the corners have been laced in a sort of cross over you should be able to just release one of these and fold up the crate when it is not in use.

Painted, this will be the smartest stock crate on the day!

If anyone ever makes one let me know please!
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depending on weather you will want to restrict air flow through your trailer. not to bad on a short run but this time of year and your local hypothermia could be a problem.solid top and vents on the sides and ends that you can close off and good deep bedding . old horse trailers make good sheep haulers but may have to pass safties.just go to any sale barn on sale day to see what works and what does not. even good heavy canves tarps do not give enough protection !any sides should be bolted (nails work loose and rope breaks) also go for a two inch hitch and twice as strong as you need never hurts to have it strong and rough roads take their toll. not that ontario is cold or has bumps in the road!
Best protection against hypothermia in sheep is more sheep, pack em in so that each supports the other. You do not want sheep lying down while travelling, ok for one or two on their own but if one goes down she might not be able to get up again. I have seen sheep transporters that carry several hundred sheep, truck and double trailer combos with three decks on the truck and four on the trailer. Sheep are packed in and all are standing, if the truck is not filled the pens are adjusted for standing room only.

I disagree on the comment regarding ropes, corners laced as I described will be much stronger than a few bolts that will only localise the stresses around the bolt holes. Agree regarding nails.

I am sure old (or even new) horse trailers will carry sheep OK. I agree on the safety issues, of course the vehicle used must be safe for the job.
FORD FAIRMONT Station Wagons will easily haul a dozen Finns and I think I have had 20 in there!
I hope they each had their seat belts fastened Pilot_34!
You've never seen my brother tie ropes, or seen what he would call rope John! :D (I didn't have to check the post for my brothers IP, I recognise the typing.) I like the idea of a collapsable box, it could be adapted to suit available hardware and weather conditions. I'm not sure I agree with packing in sheep, we leave room for the animals to walk with some effort. Packed tight if one falls it can not stand up again, and on long hauls it would be pointless to provide in trailer water bowls if they can't move at all. You wouldn't want then having running room!! Our 16 foot trailer has a gate half way for smaller loads or to seperate loads. You do have to restrict airflow in stock trailers (for winter) here in Canada or you would risk injuring the animals from the cold. -5c at 100kph is darned cold.
I built a slide in crate out of stock panels and 2x4's. It is 7'6" x 42". I origionly built it to slide into the back of a fullsize longbed pickup but use it now on my 5' x !0' utility trailer. I can load the crate by myself on the trailer or truck. Sometimes I use the crate on the ground for extra holding space.
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