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Author Topic: Shipping a horse across the stars  (Read 2201 times)

Frabby

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #30 on: 14 June 2018, 03:02:20 »
I want to say there's a canonical variant on a dropship specifically meant for shipping cattle and other agricultural critters.  Maybe of the Princess class?
I agree with the previous posters that avoiding the task of moving full-grown live animals would be the first thought; but since you cannot always avoid it, there ought to be some sort of cattle transport DropShip. I don't recall one mentioned in canon, but I have two designs statted and fluffed should CGL decide to take me up on my offer for another aerospace (X)TRO (working title: TRO:3157 :) ).

One is a large, Star League-era cattle transport built for colonizing purposes. It is conceivable in a universe and time where individual planets were hyper-specialized manufacturing centers and interstellar travel was cheap and plentiful. It is a variant of a large passenger transport for colonists, reconfigured for livestock.

The other design is a much smaller vessel specialized in animal transportation, with large inclosures, extensive medical facilities, all the bells and whistles. This is the kind of ship used when large animals of large value have to be shipped around - the Turin horse breeders would use such ships for their Liao Stallions, the Branthkeepers for Branth, and the Ghost Bears for, well, Ghost Bears. All of these animals have been mentioned to be shipped around on DropShips in canon. (Or on a somewhat more mundane level, Tabiranth or Galisteo Range-bulls.)

I imagine there isn't much difference between life support for humans and life support for animals, so construction rules wise such a lifestock transport DropShip would follow the rules for a passenger DropShip, perhaps with a markup on space/tonnage relative to cargo carried (i.e. the life support and living space for luxury quarters for 10 people would only support 500kg worth of livestock).
Zero-g isn't much of an issue as the DropShip will be operating under thrust most of the time. Handoffs on a pre-arranged bus line, booked months in advance, are the most likely approach. We've seen this done in canon for passenger vessels with the Silver Eagle; switching JumpShips seems to be a fairly common, if perhaps expensive, thing.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2018, 03:03:59 by Frabby »
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Iracundus

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #31 on: 14 June 2018, 06:21:36 »
Please see my post on shipping rice to the stars at https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=vpobojutv59frregd2sp0h9r54&topic=54402.0

For this horse shipping situation, the cost of the jumps alone at the going rate of 50,000 C-bills per jump means 1.55 million C-bills for jumps alone.

There are some unknowns as well since we do not know how long the wait time between jumps will be or whether there will be stopovers at planets.  All of these will add to the costs. 

Frabby

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #32 on: 14 June 2018, 06:55:40 »
Shrug. I've come to regard the stated costs for individual jumps as more of a rough guideline, subject to a zillion factors.

Remember that in this universe, there are still individual Master and Commander-style private captains who own their JumpShip (wholly or in shares). There are small-time merc units whose travel costs for a job would exceed the material value of the entire unit, and larger ones whose turnover from their JumpShip fleet alone should make the mercenary part pale in comparison. Canopian Pleasure Circuses (plural!) roam the Inner Sphere, and House Davion put at least seven JumpShips on the Vagabond School project.

Therefore I have no problem whatsoever to assume that high-profile organisations like the Branthkeepers or the Turin horsebreeders (or the associated megacorporations) would own DropShips and a JumpShips. They might even be operating them at a loss, but consider the benefit to the organisation and its members worth it. And that's the most likely agency to contact when you want to ship a live horse across the Inner Sphere - contact the Turin horse breeders who will likely have the infrastructure sitting around doing nothing when they're not using it themselves. They will probably let you use the service at cost.

Sure, we're looking at niche application here. But let's be honest, those mercenary BattleMechs that are always front and center in BT fiction don't account for a significant share of the total shipping volume either.

Edit: Typos
« Last Edit: 22 June 2018, 02:37:33 by Frabby »
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Robroy

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #33 on: 14 June 2018, 08:13:11 »
That $50,000 cost is for a dropship  being carried per jump. You might be better off chartering a jumpship  with a grav deck capable of creating 1g, and letting the jumpship hire out the docking collars

Then convert one of the cargo areas on the grav deck to a stable. This would remove the stress, and cost of a dropship flying around to simulate gravity. As far as exercise, we now have horse size treadmills put one in there. The biggest thing is keeping it healthy, this means mentally also. Buy a couple cheap riding horses to keep them happy (must resists Friendship is Magic joke). A projector on the wall in front of the treadmill, and some air fresheners of different outdoor scents and I think you would be good.

Yeah, I have paid way to much attention to the local zoo employees tell me what it takes to keep an animal happy in a enclosed environment.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2018, 08:58:37 by Robroy »

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #34 on: 14 June 2018, 08:54:08 »
Just because I'm surprised that no one mentioned this...

Captain Malcolm Reynolds: You ever see cattle stampede when they got no place to run? It’s kinda like a meat grinder.

His ship had gravity. Here, the corrected quote would be "You ever see cattle stampede in zero-G? It's kinda funny... and messy."
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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #35 on: 14 June 2018, 09:03:24 »
...a jumpship  with a grav deck capable of creating 1g...
This may not exist. I don't remember if we have firm numbers as to the G ratings of decks, but it's possible verging on likely that you can't get a full 1G outside of the big decks on stations and maybe some WarShips.
Quote
...cargo areas on the grav deck...
This definitely does not exist outside of large stations, and even then I'd be surprised to find one, except maybe on a B5-style habitat station. There's little to no point to put a cargo bay under gravity(and in fact eliminates the best part of space cargo), and you ALWAYS have something else that needs the space.
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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #36 on: 14 June 2018, 09:07:59 »
I just had a thought. Literally, almost spat out my coffee thinking about it.

An earlier post mentioned the Hells Horses. And that made me realize... the Clans. When we got our look at the Clans, they all were named for animals (Spirits aside). Some were creatures that already existed on the Pentagon worlds, like the cloud cobra. But others didn't, like the jade falcon or hells horse- those were modifed versions of standard Inner Sphere stock.

Fine. But... Kerensky's fleet was in space for a long, LONG time. How the hell did they get falcons and wolves and black widow spiders and such out there? And much more importantly, WHY? What reason would Kerensky have to load wolves on a Dropship to take on the Exodus? Space that could have been used for supplies and such instead used to bring predatory animals?

This never occurred to me until just now, and it's making my brain hurt.
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Daryk

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #37 on: 14 June 2018, 09:14:25 »
My money would be on iron wombs and genetic libraries.  I'm sure no live animals were shipped all that way.

Frabby

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #38 on: 14 June 2018, 09:28:33 »
But we know for a fact that large animals are shipped across thousands of light years.

Live Ghost Bears were shipped from Strana Mechty back to the Inner Sphere, for a natural preserve on Alshain. One DropShip crashlanded on Trondheim, and Clan Ghost Bear organized an impromtu Clawing ritual to deal with the problem before the escaped specimen could cause more damage than it already had. (BC Story: The Clawing)
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snewsom2997

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #39 on: 14 June 2018, 09:31:00 »
I'd imagine that livestock would be shipped in the slings they use to hold dairy cows, the problem is waste, water and feed. 30 something jumps is 6 months travel, that is 6 months of food/water for the herd, and 6 months worth of poo that needs to be shoved out an airlock. Figure daily exercise too, just like exercise in a prison yard, and the dropship would have to be under constant acceleration. A herd of cattle in 0g is going to be messy and dangerous. Your would need a bunch of ranch hands in addition to the ships crew just for that.

Except for the first colonies I doubt you are jumping livestock from 30 jumps away, you are going to go one to 4 jumps tops. No more than a months travel.

A good analog to explore would be the way livestock was moved from Europe to the Americas during colonization. They brought all their livestock in wooden boats, locked in a hold for weeks at a time.

Do livestock get TDS? that would also be a concern.

Now jumping a single horse would be easier, expensive but easier, just need a shipping container to hold it, and daily walks around the dropship hold, which would require the captain use fuel, $$$, and you still have to account for food water and waste. Some dropships have notoriously bad air filtration systems. Crew may toss you and your horse out before you get where you are going.

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #40 on: 14 June 2018, 09:33:32 »
But we know for a fact that large animals are shipped across thousands of light years.

Live Ghost Bears were shipped from Strana Mechty back to the Inner Sphere, for a natural preserve on Alshain. One DropShip crashlanded on Trondheim, and Clan Ghost Bear organized an impromtu Clawing ritual to deal with the problem before the escaped specimen could cause more damage than it already had. (BC Story: The Clawing)
Sure, after the Exodus... but on the Exodus itself?  My money is still on the iron womb angle.

Iracundus

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #41 on: 14 June 2018, 09:52:33 »
I'd imagine that livestock would be shipped in the slings they use to hold dairy cows, the problem is waste, water and feed. 30 something jumps is 6 months travel, that is 6 months of food/water for the herd, and 6 months worth of poo that needs to be shoved out an airlock. Figure daily exercise too, just like exercise in a prison yard, and the dropship would have to be under constant acceleration. A herd of cattle in 0g is going to be messy and dangerous. Your would need a bunch of ranch hands in addition to the ships crew just for that.

It is not that long if the dropship can keep transferring from one ready Jumpship to another.  For time critical cargo or cargo that effectively spoils, which a prize racehorse presumably qualifies as, this is the best way.

massey

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #42 on: 14 June 2018, 10:24:43 »
I just had a thought. Literally, almost spat out my coffee thinking about it.

An earlier post mentioned the Hells Horses. And that made me realize... the Clans. When we got our look at the Clans, they all were named for animals (Spirits aside). Some were creatures that already existed on the Pentagon worlds, like the cloud cobra. But others didn't, like the jade falcon or hells horse- those were modifed versions of standard Inner Sphere stock.

Fine. But... Kerensky's fleet was in space for a long, LONG time. How the hell did they get falcons and wolves and black widow spiders and such out there? And much more importantly, WHY? What reason would Kerensky have to load wolves on a Dropship to take on the Exodus? Space that could have been used for supplies and such instead used to bring predatory animals?

This never occurred to me until just now, and it's making my brain hurt.

Iron wombs for "beneficial invasive species".

If I had Battletech level technology, and I'm setting off on a one way trip to colonize a distant world?  I'm bringing rats and cockroaches.  Why?  Because as much as we hate them, we know what rats and cockroaches do.  We don't know what nasty ass critters live on the colony world.  If there's something too dangerous living on that planet, maybe we see how they deal with a couple million New York City sewer rats.  You unleash something that disrupts the local ecology, and hopefully takes the place of the bad thing.  You'd want an array of different animals because you're not sure what is waiting for you on that world.

For larger predators like lions and tigers and bears, maybe you also bring those because once you have your society up and running, you want zoos.  Get a bunch of fertilized eggs and they just take up a couple shelves in a freezer.

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #43 on: 14 June 2018, 10:54:37 »
The ecological equivalent of the devil you know, essentially? That makes sense.Bring herbivores to feed you, and to control local plant life(assuming it's edible), bring predators to control your herbivores and local wildlife, and bring scavengers that you already know how to kill to displace the ones you don't. Humanity as a whole probably collectively wept on the day we realized that not only were we going to be unable to escape terrestrial pests by moving to the stars...but we needed to take them with us. :'(

Given how most terrestrial critters changed in Clan space, I don't EVER want to see a Strana Mechty roach. :o

You wanna have nightmares? Try to imagine landing on a world where roaches and rats tried, but failed to gain a foothold. :yikes:
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Daryk

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #44 on: 14 June 2018, 12:06:45 »
What world did crana come from?  And of course, there's the infamous Proserpina Crop Devil...  ::)

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #45 on: 14 June 2018, 12:33:28 »
The Bears were not the only ones to bring their totems to the IS- each Clan did . . . the Cats brought Nova Cats and they did exist in the wild on their worlds though I imagine the Combine hunts them out after 3140s- or it becomes a Samurai special.  The Diamond Sharks brought both the Diamond Shark and the Sea Fox- in fact it was the switch of the Fox thriving over the Shark in the Inner Sphere that helped prompt the name reversal.  The Wolves have brought Strana Mechty Wolves to the IS, and presumably transferred some from the OZ to the Empire.  Not sure if the Warden Wolves brought theirs with them from the Homeworlds sibkos & Omega, took some of the OZ stock with the legacies, or Trialed for them after the split (explains the Lobo in Warden hands . . . ).  Falcons of course brought Jade Falcons with them, I would think birds might stand up a bit better to zero-G.  Pretty sure Hell's Horses were also transported with the Clan when they made their move, same with the Ravens.

Now we know the Bears brought live specimens . . . and since all are predators and would be released into the wild to survive and adapt on new worlds IMO you need to bring adult specimens for a simple reason.  They would have to teach young how to hunt and how to survive.  Sure you may only bring a few males with mostly females (say 95% fem) . . . and you may have tracking tags on the fems so that when its breeding season you can find them.  Tranq them . . . and either use AI or just transfer embryos to the females, which is a solid plan to promote genetic diversity.  A couple of breeding cycles and you have created a robust wild populations.

Imagine being the scientist handed the responsibility to relocate the Clan's totem to the IS and being given orders from a Warrior who has barely any understanding of biology or genetics.

Finally . . . we are told early on that the Clans brought their own pets to the IS with them, like the surat.
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massey

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #46 on: 14 June 2018, 12:33:39 »
Something like the trachazoi could probably be kept in check by introducing leopards into the ecosystem.  Leopards are also ambush predators who jump down out of trees, and they'd probably view the trachazoi as an easy meal.  Plus, we know how to control leopards.  Them being larger may make them easier to keep track of.  And maybe it doesn't work, maybe the native life wipes out the big cats.  But then you haven't really lost anything except some frozen embryos and the time required to grow them.

As far as the crana goes, they're attracted to body heat.  I'd suggest using a cold blooded predator to wipe them out.  Komodo dragons might be worth a shot.  Big enough to make the kill, doesn't set off the bugs' instinct to attack, and hungry enough to make a dent in the population.  Or you could try something like a Grizzly.  It might be that their thick coat is enough to prevent the crana's mouthparts from penetrating the skin.  Alternatively, maybe something like a sparrow or a bullfrog will make a huge dent in crana larvae that have just hatched.  Or maybe hyenas or vultures would devour the bodies of crana victims, preventing the eggs from reaching maturity.

You never know what Earth critter might seriously screw up the lifecycle of a dangerous alien.

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #47 on: 14 June 2018, 12:56:42 »
But the embryo thing for big predators gets back to how much of their success/behavior is based on learning to hunt & survive from adults.  Look at the problems of introducing captivity bred predators back into the wild- or even wild predators who learn to cheat (Do Not Feed the Bears!).
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Robroy

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #48 on: 14 June 2018, 13:00:39 »
This may not exist. I don't remember if we have firm numbers as to the G ratings of decks, but it's possible verging on likely that you can't get a full 1G outside of the big decks on stations and maybe some WarShips. This definitely does not exist outside of large stations, and even then I'd be surprised to find one, except maybe on a B5-style habitat station. There's little to no point to put a cargo bay under gravity(and in fact eliminates the best part of space cargo), and you ALWAYS have something else that needs the space.

Whoops.  Got my jumpship grav decks confused with warships.

Well that blows my post out the air lock

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #49 on: 14 June 2018, 13:13:51 »
Well . . . there COULD be a modified JS to get that sort of thing, but the expense of shipping a animal is going to drastically increase.  And where would the demand be for that sort of thing except for colonization efforts.  So yeah . . . modified Star Lord class DS of the late Star League era, operated by BuCol.
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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #50 on: 14 June 2018, 16:15:03 »
Weren't the majority of Clan fauna native to Strana Mechty or surrounding worlds? They weren't brought along on Exodus.

His ship had gravity. Here, the corrected quote would be "You ever see cattle stampede in zero-G? It's kinda funny... and messy."
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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #51 on: 14 June 2018, 16:18:27 »
Some where like the Ghost Bear, Sea Fox, Burrock, and I think Nova Cat . . . others were genetic experiments (Hell's Horses & Diamond Shark) or mutations (Wolf).

But like I said, the Clans that returned brought their totems with them- and supposedly enough genetic diversity to keep the populations healthy.
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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #52 on: 14 June 2018, 16:29:16 »
so the most cost-effective option is to move to the horses rather than move the horses to you?

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #53 on: 14 June 2018, 17:55:17 »
Sell the horse.

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #54 on: 14 June 2018, 20:00:50 »
My money would be on iron wombs and genetic libraries.  I'm sure no live animals were shipped all that way.

Then how did they get the accidental introductions?  Did someone switch labels around and the scientist responsible for growing the critters suddenly say "oh no!  These aren't giraffes, they're giant black widow spiders!"

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #55 on: 14 June 2018, 20:06:44 »
Accidental introductions?   ???

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #56 on: 14 June 2018, 20:15:37 »
Read the first few posts but skimmed the rest.. if we are only talking a few horses here why not just use a small craft. Most jumpships have SC bays and the transport costs would be MUCH MUCH cheaper. Not to mention you can still launch and provide 1g for the animals (or use the extra funds for the JS to provide gravity in its own way). Remember, docking collars run 100,00 c-bills per jump. More if you are the only attached craft. And even using a SC there are plenty of plot hooks you can use and abuse as a GM.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #57 on: 14 June 2018, 20:22:43 »
I want to say there's a canonical variant on a dropship specifically meant for shipping cattle and other agricultural critters.  Maybe of the Princess class?

I can't find the DropShip I thought I was remembering...

but I did find that the transport bay rules in TM (pg 239) account for being used for livestock.  So the problem of transporting a horse, or even a whole herd of horses, is from the point of view of the rules has as simple an answer as throwing tonnage at the problem.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2018, 20:24:42 by Tai Dai Cultist »

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #58 on: 14 June 2018, 20:56:11 »
Accidental introductions?   ???

Several of the Clans' totem animals were listed as having been accidentally introduced to Strana Mechty.

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Daryk

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Re: Shipping a horse across the stars
« Reply #59 on: 14 June 2018, 20:59:49 »
I think that description stretches the limits of "accident", even if live animals were transported for some reason.

 

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