Cross Country Move on tap; Bring 'em, or Start Over?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 15, 2010
It seems that I may soon be facing a cross country--or nearly so--move soon. I just started the chicken thing this March, and I currently have one standard and one bantam rooster, five bantam hens and twenty four standard hens all different breeds. They give us tween 10-20 eggs a day. I hate to start over, but I am concerned about getting them there and the transition.

Does any one have a past experience moving or shipping a flock of this size a long distance? What did you do? How did it turn out? how much did it cost?

I am not sure of my final desination yet but it seems that it would either be upper midwest or northern west coast. I now live in Maryland on the east coast.

I would start over. The cost of shipping is sky high and the shipping containers are very expensive as well. As far as trucking them with you, I think that is not a good idea either. We moved ours only 30 miles in the back of a U-Haul in packing boxes. The shock of the move and strange surroundings caused a lot of fighting and they almost all stopped laying and have not started again and it's been several weeks. Plus, you would have to have housing and a secure run ready on the other end which may be hard to do. Unless you are hopelessly attached to these birds I would find them a new home locally and start again when I had everything ready. The stress for all of us during the temporary housing was awful. Even if you started over with hatching eggs, you could have a flock of layers in the Spring, if your move is soon.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Thanks for sharing your experince; it would make the whole moving experience a lot easier if I did start over....oh well. I guess I need to look forward to starting all over again.....
I think it would be so hard on the chickens that I would have to sell and start over. If it were me, as soon as I found where I was going I would start looking for breeders in my new area.

But I sure would hate having to start over..

good luck and let us know what you are doing...why and when... It might help others that choose the same path.
I have often thought about this..
Interested in seeing what you decide and how it works out.

I have some purebreeds I am working with so some would have to come with me if I needed to move.. No real starting over with a order from the hatchery for me...

Good luck
I would only move them if they were somehow special, like special pets or a rare breed.

If you just want egg layers, it's not too hard to find some young hens to get you back into eggs soon. Check out the "Where am I?" forum here to find other chicken people, I can usually find someone local with some pullets to sell if I just ask.
IMO, moving them is no different than people that pack up their birds and take them to shows. I just packed up a bunch of birds this past weekend and trucked them 10 hours to NY for Chickenstock and then 9 hours home and they are perfectly fine. Granted, most of mine are teens and not laying yet.

If you aren't real attached to them (like I am to my older ones), then by all means, find them a good home and start over. But, you are attached, you can move them. They may not lay for a while, but as long as they have good ventilation and aren't jostled around while you are moving them, they should be OK.
Another thing to consider is the laws in various states you drive through regarding transporting poultry/livestock. If you are planning on trailering your flock with you, you'd want to have your documents in order (NPIP) and be informed about any regulations involved for the state where you're moving to.

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