If you were moving cross country would you take your flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by The Howards, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Yes, what a silly question!

    24 vote(s)
  2. I would take a few favorites.

    4 vote(s)
  3. No way, No how!

    5 vote(s)
  4. It would be a hard decision, glad I don't really have to make it.

    6 vote(s)
  1. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    Hey folks. Does anyone have experience moving cross country with your flock? Next summer/fall we will be moving to North Dakota from North Carolina. Yes, I am taking my flock, can't leave my babies behind. I know the travel will be stressful for them and any advice to help with the move will be most welcomed. I thought to find a small horse trailer and fix the inside to contain them. Thinking I will need to divide it in half horizontally and to make sure they have enough space. Ducks on bottom, since they poop so much, and chickens on top. Have also thought putting them in travel crates would be wise. Just not sure which....
    There us currently 45 in the flock, 20 chickens and 15 ducks. I know stopping often for water and feed breaks will be a must. Boosts of vitamins, electrolytes, and probiotics will be required as well as treats to keep them distracted. I don't want to lose any of them but realize there is a possibility that one or 2 may not be able to handle the move.
    So, any advice from your experiences or pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
  2. First and most importantly you have to know how crazy this is...even though I would do exactly the same thing with my 47 birds, 7 dogs, etc. Now, it is going to be a minimum of a 26 hour drive if you were to drive straight through and since I have never heard of a poultry friendly motel you may have to drive straight through. I would not do the rest stop thing specifically for the birds as that may actually add to their stress. Here are a couple of suggestions...

    One - Contact a hatchery that actually ships grown birds and see what advice they can give you. They do this all the time and must have some knowledge of how to reduce stress and the best way to "pack" them.

    Two - I would not do the trailer thing as they would be more likely to be injured if they have a lot of room to move about and/or be tossed around as you take corners.

    Three - Consider the weather. If you do this move in summer you are going to have birds that are stressing the move and stressing the heat. I would try for mid to late fall if at all possible.

    Four - You will need to figure some way that they will have water available (with electrolytes) that will not just splash out all over and leave them with nothing...don't know how you are going to do that.

    I am sure there are a hundred other things I am not thinking about but hope that a professional can assist you.

    If ever I advised someone to get professional help it would be now and you. I am not talking about a shrink but a hatchery that knows the particulars of shipping adult birds.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Phionex Man

    Phionex Man In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    whould they still lay their eggs??? haha that would be a good/bad thing
  4. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    LOL! You may be right, I am a bit crazy. After typing out my post I started thinking crates would be best. Small ones so only 1-3 per crate but they are going to have to be in a enclosed trailer (or something) with ventilation. DH suggested a huge U-Haul our stuff in the front and crates in the back closest to the door. But I worry about ventilation.My hubby is already there and it took him 2.5 days to get there. Trying to figure the water situation out myself. But, he agrees with me, have to take the flock. They are my babies, what can I say?
  5. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    They may the first day but I bet they stop till they get situated and used to their new home.
    I have an image in my mind of a frustrated chicken butts backed up to a window shooting eggs all the cars behind us on the road [​IMG]
  6. louie2037

    louie2037 In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2012
    Western, New York
    I'm one of the 33%'ers. My gut reaction would be no, there are too many variables, with "...cross country" being the biggest consideration. How far is cross country? Next, would be whether or not my new location allowed them, or if my new location had enough land for them to live comfortably. At present, we have 16 acres, where our house and part of the side yard are actually in a small city, on a city street, and the adjoining 14.5 acres being "...in the country ." In some respects it's nice because of the city water and electricity; but I get stiffed on taxes big time. (Not to mention I live in New York State.)
    The other thing is, while I like my chickens, I don't have the same attachment to them as I do my dog or my cat. Chickens are fun to raise, they're entertaining, funny, and a great hobby; but they're chickens, and serve but one real purpose; eggs while they're still saying, then chicken soup when they quit. That may seem a little cold to some of you who have chickens as "pets", but we've raised beef and pork, some of which is still in the freezer. The cows and pigs were all cute as baby's, and everyone enjoyed feed, watering, and just being around them, but we've all enjoyed eating them even more. So, I guess it all depends on how you view your relationship between yourself, and your animals.
    Sorry, but my personal reality is based mostly on Genesis 1:26, "Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground." It is our responsibility to care for those animals that can't care for themselves, and not abuse them, or allow them to be abused. But, some of them are going here simply to proved nutrition for us. Reality sucks.
  7. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Songster

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    Post #2 has excellent advice!
  8. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    Just thinking out loud here. No matter how you do it, it will be stressful for the flock. Another option to consider might be if you could find someone (or few) locally interested in starting with a flock and then carrying fertile (marked) eggs with you to restart your flock once you get there.
    I might try that or take a few favorites with me.
    Whoops, did I just mention, many are on my favorite list? I would probably take 12 of 18.
  9. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    Ha, all are my favorites. Well except for one large SL Cochin roo. He is a beast and not one of my favs. He may have to find a new home around here before we leave. That is a good suggestion with the eggs but all but 5 are different breeds and they vary greatly. It is a consideration though.

    No complaints over your opinion. I can respect that. I originally started out thinking they would end up in the freezer but DH agreed that they were pets. So for me I have a stronger attachment to some of them than to my dogs. We are planning to move about an hour away from the closest city, between small towns so there will be plenty of land. Most of the houses we have looked at have between 10 and 20 acres. I plan on expanding our livestock once there: cows, pigs, "eating" chickens, etc. and growing food for them and us. It is a very agricultural based area all the houses for sale already have pasture fenced off and barns on the property. Having them will not be a problem at all.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I have to agree with louie2037 - I would leave them home. Why? In short, because it would be the kindest thing to do for them. They wouldn't be stuffed in crates for 2 1/2 days (probably longer because you'll have to make frequent stops to care for them) in the back of a trailer, being terrified and stressed out for the entire trip. My animals' well-being is important enough to me to want them to be comfortable and happy. I'd rather sell or give them to someone who can give them a good home, and when I'm settled in my new place and am sure I have a place for them, I'd get new ones. This, of course, is all just my opinion. You have to do what you think is best for your flock.

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