How to Bring Them Home


So you found a San Clemente Island goat, but she's 800 miles away. What now?
Geographical distribution is the biggest problem faced by San Clemente Island goats. We need to fix that.

Getting Ready

First of all, if you're going to ship in an adult doe, you might as well get a pregnant one. After all, her mate is going to be hundreds of miles away, so you've already made the first step to diversify the gene pool, because whatever buck you're hoping to get won't be related to the mother or her daughters (hopefully). Don't expect any guarantee of pregnancy or delivery—goat pregnancy testing can be a liitle "iffy" to begin with.
But if you let a breeder know that you're hoping for a pregnant doe, most of them will oblige as best as they can.

You may prefer to ship kids. . . they're small and easy, and will probably sleep for the entire journey.

As we add states to the Breeder Map page, we also add import regulations. If you'd like us to put your state's goat import regulations on there, please contact us.

You don't want to bring cooties home, so you may wish to ask the breeder to deworm before the goat ships out. If they deworm 3 days before shipment, it will reduce the physical stress on the goat. Avoid vaccinating immediately proceding or following shipping, as this could add to the stress.

Make sure your goat's home is completely ready for arrival. A bucket of warm water with molasses mixed in can be a nice treat to help settle her in. Keep it peaceful, and reduce her stress however possible. Don't be worried if there's an asymptomatic flare-up of coccidia upon arrival—it should settle down as your goat settles in, but keep a tight eye on all aspects of her health.

Transport Options

Here are a few shipping possibilities:


If you're going to make a road trip, you might want to check to see whether there are any other prospective breeders in your area. You could bring them a goat, too, and they could pitch in for gas money. If you'd like to explore this option, but don't know who to ask, contact us—we have a rather long list of people who'd like to breed San Clemente Island goats.

As San Clemente Island goats are so small, they fit pretty easily in any compartment that would hold a very large dog, unless you're shipping a buck who has large horns. They usually travel quietly. Kids are extremely easy to transport, and will usually sleep the whole time (goat kids, we mean!).

If you use a pick-up truck, be aware of wind chill, and whether or not your tarp is going to act as a wind tunnel.

Hired Trailer

You may wish to hire someone to ship your goat in a trailer.
Ron Keener offers this service for small ruminants, and has experience with heritage breeds. Keener goes nationwide, but develops his route according to demand. His pricing (ballpark) is about $500 for the first goat to travel about 1000 miles, but after that each added goat is rather cheap (about $50). He may be able to add you onto the route at the last minute if he's going to be 'in the neighborhood,' but your best bet is to contact him at least a month in advance. Keener is open to segregating your goat if you'd rather it didn't rub noses with the other animals on board.
Ron Keener's website is at

Paws 'n Claws will transport any animal that fits into a dog crate. They transport animals in half of the United States for a $400 flat fee. We just found them, so we haven't gotten any reviews in yet, but they are sensitive to biosecurity issues and willing to work with small goats.

Zeigler Horse and Livestock Transport is a professional licensed horse and livestock transport company that is up for going the extra step in biosecurity with the ability to carry goats in seperate compartments from other livestock. You can ask them to wash down stalls prior to transport with 10% bleach solution to minimize risks of CL and they'll oblige.
Al Zeigler & Rebecca Redman
Phone 641–843–4351

UShip is an interesting online spot where people can bid to transport your goat. The transporter may or may not be good with goats, and prices can vary greatly. However, you might luck out and find a great person who will transport your animal for the extra gas money.


Amtrak accepts service animals only. Nice idea, though.


Airlines will ship goats. This is a very good option if you want to buy a kid. Each goat must be accompanied by health papers and be in an approved dog crate etc. Make sure you tape a ziplock bag of goat chow to the top of the crate in case of some kind of delay. You can fly a 14-week old San Clemente Island goat far or near for about $200–$400. It's calculated by crate size, and you need the crate to be an extra 2 inches above the top of the goat's head. Crate size terms such as "intermediate" or "large" vary by manufacturer, so you're best to get the price quote by giving the dimensions of the crate you'll be using.

Breeder Tips (thank you, Carole!):
Make sure that you check the airline's health certificate requirements. Although most states require a health cert. to be completed withing 30 days of shipment, some airlines will have their own rules about having the health cert. made within 10 days of shipment.
If you ship on a Saturday, you'll have less chance of having a dog on board with your goat.
If you'd like to ship C.O.D., you may be able to set up an account with the airline to make this happen.
If the airline temperature rules are too limiting for your goats, you might want to get an acclimation certificate from your vet.

Delta makes it pretty easy to check the status of your travelling goat. Their pet cargo number is 1–888–736–3738.
Delta's pet web page is at

Continental's PetSafe number is 1–800–575–3335
Continental's cargo website is at

Westjet's (Canada) cargo number is EXP-Air 1-866-952-2746. They only ship goats within Canada.

The price differences between the airlines can vary greatly. We suggest you call around, no matter what your previous experiences have been, and you might save $200.

America West, Independance Air, Jet Blue, United Airlines, and US Airways do not ship goats.

Import Regulations

When you're sending out a goat, please ensure that you follow the import regulations of the state you're shipping to.
The regulations vary strongly from state to state. To find out the import regulations of your destination state, please visit the USDA-APHIS site at

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Chopin Valse No.10

San Clemente Island Goat Association
3037 Halfway Road
The Plains, VA 20198