Shipping livestock

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
MonkeyX
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Shipping livestock

Postby MonkeyX » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:34 am

This was something that came up in last nights game and just out of curiosity I have a few questions that people may be able to shed some light on.
1 how many goat-sized creatures would a ton of cargo contain?
2 would the crate have grazing space or would the be penned in battery style?
3 A thing we thought would be a good idea would have the cargo crate effectively be a large Low Berth, freezing the animals and reducing the need to feed them. The cargo crate could contain its own power supply and the animals could be on slidable shelves. Has anyone used something similar?
Hopeless
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Hopeless » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:00 am

Have you watched the Firefly episode on this?
Epicenter
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Epicenter » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:22 am

In Traveller a ton is 14 cubic meters (it's a cube about 2.41m on a side). This is ~500 cubic feet (a cube 7.93ft on a side).

I'm not sure how much a "goat-sized" creature takes in volume, but with those numbers you should be able to figure it out.

As opposed to transporting them, it depends on how.

1. If you're keeping them as long-term livestock like in a barn, a single goat requires about 2.46 square meters of space; the height requirement isn't as great, so perhaps we can assume 1m of height. Goats are social creatures and you want at least two. 2.41 is pretty close to 2.46 so we'll say that it might be a little cramped but a two-level goat enclosure could be made in a single displacement ton. Clearly this is a pretty inefficient way of transporting goats.

2. If you need the goats alive, but they're only going to be in transport for a relatively short period of time (perhaps a week?), you might be able to keep them in very cramped conditions. Maybe. It'd cause them a lot of stress, and it'd be detrimental to their health which is important both for meat quality and if they're going to be sold as herd animals at the destination.

3. If you really look at the death rates for Low Berths, you'll realize that nobody is going to transport live goats in Low Berths. The losses would kill your profits.

4. If what you're transporting is meat, you could just slaughter the animals at the source and just transport frozen or otherwise 'packed for transport' carcasses using some TL12 technology we don't even know of and pack in a whole bunch of sides of goat without much concern for the safety and comfort of the goats.
CaladanGuard
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby CaladanGuard » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:21 am

Well, mostly on topic. Highguard does have rules for Livestock. Stables are done in 10t lots. With one "Stable" able to fit 20 "Human" sized or 10 Cattle Sized creatures. With associated life support costs. Obviously for shipping live animals (For whatever story or semi-science reasons required, not having prize breeding stock die coming out of low berths or cryo I imagine)

There is even a 2500t ship designed for nothing but moving Agricultural produce (Living and more traditionally packaged) in Great Rift Book 2: Reft. The Bovine class Agricultural-Transfer Ship.

Don't see any reason why you couldn't freeze cattle though, stick them in modified crates (Like a contemporary cattle truck) or just Firefly style free roam them...except for mess, machinery damage and life support stress I suppose.
AndrewW
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby AndrewW » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:27 pm

Brief mention of animals and low berths:
Alien Module 1: Aslan wrote:They are converted agricultural transports. The low berths are actually double or quadruple berths, designed for freezing large animals for food. A Hkisyeleaa would land on an agricultural planet and load up on hundreds of live animals, then bring them to be devoured by rich nobles.
steve98052
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby steve98052 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:34 pm

If you're shipping breeding stock, pack newborns into low berths along with lots of milk formula, milk feeding stations, and a few female adults to comfort the newborns.

Or at more advanced technology levels, ship frozen embryos, artificial wombs, and the formula feeding supplies and comfort adults.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:23 pm

The reason why humans stand a risk of death in low berths harkens back to where the Traveller low berth was 'borrowed' from - the Dumarest series. In the books it is explained that low berths were purposely designed for livestock transport - using them on humans is why their is a risk of death. So you are fully within the spirit of the original game to say that animals transported in low berths have no risk of death.
Condottiere
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:50 am

Unless it's Kobe beef, or the importer has no local access to that particular grass eater species.
Reynard
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Reynard » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:21 pm

If the owners really wants their livestock to reach the destination as intact as possible using low berth, there will be a competent veterinary staff and medical facilities to negate the risk as much as possible. A doctor of veterinary medicine (+3) using an onboard Medical Bay (+1) taking their time (+2, +4, +6 as the ref allows) aided by the vet staff (varies) on a TL 12+ ship(+1) makes an Average Medic check 8+, EDU (+1 or +2) modified by animal's END DM (varies) and non-human DM (-2). Survival seems stacked in the shipper's and ranchers' favor. This would be for long hauls of probably more than a month or two. The Stable facility and the attendant crew should be more than adequate to care for the animals for short periods no different than being cared and raised in a barn.

"Stables come with their own air scrubbers and
waste-collectors, avoiding the need to tax the
existing life support systems of the ship."

Just have adequate cargo space for silage and water. They could even store the wastes for use at the destination.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:12 pm

Reynard wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:21 pm
If the owners really wants their livestock to reach the destination as intact as possible using low berth, there will be a competent veterinary staff and medical facilities to negate the risk as much as possible. A doctor of veterinary medicine (+3) using an onboard Medical Bay (+1) taking their time (+2, +4, +6 as the ref allows) aided by the vet staff (varies) on a TL 12+ ship(+1) makes an Average Medic check 8+, EDU (+1 or +2) modified by animal's END DM (varies) and non-human DM (-2). Survival seems stacked in the shipper's and ranchers' favor. This would be for long hauls of probably more than a month or two. The Stable facility and the attendant crew should be more than adequate to care for the animals for short periods no different than being cared and raised in a barn.

"Stables come with their own air scrubbers and
waste-collectors, avoiding the need to tax the
existing life support systems of the ship."

Just have adequate cargo space for silage and water. They could even store the wastes for use at the destination.
If you carry livestock in low berths, you don't need to bring their food and caretakers, you don't need animal handlers, and losses with livestock are more acceptable than with humans or other sentient creatures. In certain cases, individual animals are of exceptional value, such as race horses for example, and you don't want to risk them dying in a low berth, so you carry them in a stable with an animal handler. Since the ship is assumed to have artificial gravity, the rest is pretty simple basic life support. Under normal circumstances, the passengers and crew should not feel the ship accelerating, if there is combat offered by pirates however, it may be different.
Condottiere
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Re: Shipping livestock

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:50 pm

One thing, it was the center of a considerable cattle country. The cattle were native to the planet, heavy-bodied unicorns the size of a Gram bisonoid or one of the slightly mutated Terran carabaos on Tanith, with long hair like a Terran yak. He had detailed a dozen of the _Nemesis_ ground-fighters who had been vaqueros on his Traskon ranches to collect a score of cows and four likely bulls, with enough fodder to last them on the voyage. The odds were strongly against any of them living to acclimate themselves to Tanith, but if they did, they might prove to be one of the most valuable pieces of loot from Khepera.

...

Nobody, not even those who had collected it, quite believed their eyes when the loot was unloaded. The little herd of long haired unicorns--the Khepera locals had called them kreggs, probably a corruption of the name of some naturalist who had first studied them--had come through the voyage and even the Battle of Beowulf in good shape. Trask and a few of his former cattlemen from Traskon watched them anxiously, and the ship's doctor, acting veterinarian, made elaborate tests of vegetation they would be likely to eat. Three of the cows proved to be with calf; these were isolated and watched over with especial solicitude.

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