Have you ever relocated and taken your flock with you?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Contessa, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Contessa

    Contessa Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2010
    Bethany, OK
    I hope this is the right place to post this.

    I have a VERY small flock (4 hens) and we consider them to be pets with benefits. I don't want to leave them behind. I'm sure this will sound foolish to some people (which is fine - I am used to being a bit of a fool), but I am very attached to my girls.

    Has anyone done this and do you have any tips? We won't be moving for several months so I have plenty of time to plan. It will be a kind of long trip (it's about 1350 miles) so I would like them to be as comfortable as possible.

    Thanks in advance and if you MUST laugh at me, please be gentle... [​IMG]
  2. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2009
    Newaygo Michigan
    Cetawin did. She can be found on the Sdwd thread. If I remember right she had to deal with snowstorms when she moved too. It shouldn't be too hard to move just 4 chickens.
  3. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    Four chickens wouldn't be the end of the world, I'd definitely trek that far with some chickens. This thread made me think about how I would move all my birds cross country. Wow that would be an endeavour!!
  4. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    I have never moved with my chickens, but I recently had to relocate them to my brother's for a month. Not nearly 1300 miles, but far enough to know that given a decent container, they will make the move. There was a fair amount of stress involved for the chickens. They also moved to lesser accommodations and egg production all but stopped. I will say that egg production returned to normal in three weeks after their return and that was in December. [​IMG]

    I served in the military for 25 years and moved frequently and hauled my exotic family members with me crossing the country, East to West and North to South. I have only lost one animal due to the moves. That one got squished while on the bottom of the rabbit pile.

    IMHO as long as they have a secure kennel, they get water and feed and if over nighted, some personal interaction, I think they will be fine. Expect them to be stressed.
  5. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    I moved mine twice, but they were short trips. Lease expired, so we had to move out. We couldn't find a rental to take them and our dog and ended up in a tiny apartment with no yard temporarily. We didn't want to rehome them, either. We decided to buy a home (long process!) so we ended up moving the 16 of them to a friend's house 20 miles south, then 4 months later moving them to our new house 30 miles north.
    They did fine. The second trip was easier on them because they got to take that coop with them and after their adjustment time got to be let out again. The first time they had to stay in the run the whole time so the dogs didn't eat them.
    Just keep them confined to their run at the new place for 1-2 weeks till they understand it is home. After that, no trouble at all!
  6. Contessa

    Contessa Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2010
    Bethany, OK
    Wow, that was fast - thank you!

    Hillbilly hen, that is one of the reasons we're waiting until spring. The area we're moving to gets a lot of snow and we want to be settled before we have to winter in! Thank you, I will look for her.

    cluckcluck42 I agree! Now, if we had 12 I would be panicking, hahaha...

    spartacus_63, yes I figure they will be rather stressed. I'm trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to keep them together (we have a very large dog kennel which was what they brooded in) or give them their own space. I would even consider pairing them off but keeping them visible to each other. I would like to minimize the stress as much as possible.

    I moved two ferrets with me ten years ago but they were a little easier because they were used to being confined most of the time. The hens are going to be pretty annoyed at me - they're used to having free run in a yard all day.
  7. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    To be safe, you'll need to check the laws in each state that you will pass through. They may have different requirements regarding veterinary health certifications. If you do NOT do this and are stopped, authorities in that state may be able to seize your birds as you would be illegally transporting them across state lines.
  8. Contessa

    Contessa Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2010
    Bethany, OK
    Quote:Thank you. I will do that. Good to know and it makes a lot of sense.

    We have three dogs as well. I'm not so worried about them for some reason. The oldest dog has moved a short distance once but handles most things well. One of the younger ones will follow his lead. The third dog is the most mentally challenged intelligent animal I have come across. I'm sure we'll have some good stories when this is all over with, hahahaha!
  9. Contessa

    Contessa Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2010
    Bethany, OK
    Quote:Oh wow I never considered this, thank you so much for the warning!
  10. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I moved 19 chickens and 11 ducks from Oregon to Kentucky....through two snow ins and a white out so I have tons of experience with moving them. hahahaha

    This is how we transported them....





    They had battery operated fans back there for circulation, They had food and water available...water was made available by soda bottle waterers and we stopped every 3 - 4 hours to open the back, check water and food and to give them fresh air and so forth. When we were snowed in and forced to stay in hotels, we just unlocked the back of the u-haul and the
    door automatically came up a couple of inches and we left it like that...so they had fresh air circulating all night. I added extra straw in each level so they could nestle in to stay warm. Everyone did great on the trip.

    When you move it will be warmer so you will have a more problematic trip with the temperatures. I would recommend using dog crates in your vehicle or provide tons and tons of water, many battery operated fans and stop ever couple of hours to open it up for them.

    You will need to have a health certificate from the vet and NPIP paperwork to transport them across state lines...some states will check...avoid California at all costs if possible as far as entering the state. If you purchased your girls from a hatchery, call the hatchery and see about getting your npip paperwork from them. Meyer Hatchery sent me mine almost 2 years after I purchased them because they had the record of my order. [​IMG] Check the agricultural department websites for the states you are traveling through...the vet certificate can never be older than 30 days of your travel dates, but check each state to see what else may be needed.

    This is my roo when we went to the vet's for the health certificate....he was afraid to stand up on the exam table...it was funny...he also scared the snot out of a dog or two while we were there. hahahaha

    riding to the vet's:



    in the parking lot watching one dog:


    on the exam table:


    Let me know if I can assist you with any further ideas or suggestions. I understand not leaving them behind...I did rehome about 20 birds but my favorites came with me. [​IMG] I had a state tropper in Utah ask that I open the back so he could see the birds because Thor was crowing and he still had a young sick sounding crow...and a deep voice. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

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