Loading Your Animals
Whether you plan to travel regularly with your animals — like for vet visits or trips to the fair — or just want your trailer for emergencies, it’s a good idea to train each of them to load into the trailer well before the day you need to haul them.
Most types of livestock are naturally claustrophobic, and won’t willingly go into what looks to them like a big metal box. It can take time and patience to teach your animals that the trailer is a safe place, and they should enter it whenever they are asked.
The best way to introduce your animals to a trailer is to feed them in it. Park the trailer where they can see it (hitched to the vehicle for safety reasons), and place some of their food on the floor, close to the entry, with the door securely propped open. Your animals will learn to eat out of the trailer while standing just outside of it.
Once they are comfortable with this, move the food farther into the trailer. Eventually, your critters will have to enter the trailer to get at the food. Once they go inside, let them come and go at will out of the trailer. This will help them feel comfortable with being inside it. Eventually you can close the door while they are eating, and leave them inside for short periods of time.
The next step is to take them on short trips, making sure they have plenty of food they can munch on while inside the trailer. Even if you just drive around the neighborhood for 20 minutes, a short ride will help them adapt to the trailer’s movement. Be aware that you may have some regression in loading after that first ride in the trailer, now that your animals know that it can move. You may have to go back to putting the feed near the door again, slowly working them back into getting inside.
Careful driving will help ensure that your animals are comfortable while the trailer is in motion, and will be willing to enter it whenever they are asked.