Moving across country with chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 5horsegirl, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. 5horsegirl

    5horsegirl Hatching

    Apr 14, 2007
    I have 21 chickens and plan to move from Southern California to Mississippi in about a year. I want desperately to take my hens with me. Does anybody know about state agricultural regulations or check points or health certificates needed to move chickens cross country. I have nightmares about getting to a state line somewhere and having my hens confiscated because I did not get permits or whatever....If anybody has any info about transporting chickens safely and legally, please share that info with me. I know what I need for horses to travel (Coggins), but I cannot find anything about hens, and my vet just stares at me and scratches his head, thinking, "Why would anyone move across America with chickens?" He is a large animal vet and does not "get" my chickens! Thanks so much for any help.
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    No idea - but did want to say GOOD LUCK - we made a similar move last year - before I got chickens, we had to travel with two cats, two fish, and the two kids [​IMG] the horse came a few months later.

    (I also moved from So.Cal)
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I'm not sure if there are any rules about moving chickens across state lines since people ship adult birds and I don't think they have certificates of passage or anything. Good luck with your search.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Take your chickens!
  5. 5horsegirl

    5horsegirl Hatching

    Apr 14, 2007
    Thanks for the responses. I am relieved because nobody reported any state regs which might be an obstacle to moving them. I appreciate the wishes for good luck, and I have a feeling I will need lots of luck, planning, patience, and prayer to get the horses, chix, dogs, cats, goats, pigeon, and African gray parrot moved safely across America. If I were not moving from 1 acre to 18 acres, I would not undertake this monumental move. But 18 acres...I want the land for the horses and for all the animals. So I will push on. I hope you don't see me on CNN next year in some kind of trouble if somebody tries to take the hens!
  6. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    I've never been stopped at state lines and I've moved from MI to AZ and back again.
    18 acres!!! Good for you! I have 10 and wish it was a 1000!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  7. FourFussyHens

    FourFussyHens In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2008
    Your vet sounds like a dolt, IMO.

    Your chickens will need the same health certificate that your vet will be providing for all the animals you're taking to MS. He DOES know about interstate transfer of animals, right? If he doesn't, find a new vet NOW.

    Fortunately, you are moving OUT of one of the states with the most requirements and restrictions. Still, you will need health certificates to legally cross state lines.

    Yes, I know people will tell you that they've never been stopped. That easy in-&-out can change in an hour. Try leaving CA without any certificates, and then have AZ or NV have a rabies or scabies outbreak. The checkpoint will be INSIDE AZ or NV, and they will send you back to CA to get all your animals checked and certified. But CA WON'T LET YOU BACK IN, because you're coming from a state with a recent rabies outbreak! Is that beautiful or what?

    The month before you intend to leave, check over all your animals very closely for all visible health conditions, like mites and lice on your birds. Deal with any problems immediately. Keep your cats and dogs up to date on their topical flea med. You don't want ANY sign of health problems. All your cats and dogs should be up to date on their rabies vaccs. All the D of Ags are mostly interested in are diseases that can be communicated to people, and diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to livestock.

    Find out how long the health certs are good for, then make an appointment(s). The same-species animals MAY be able to be grouped together, like birds and cats, etc.

    You could go online and google each state you'll be entering and check out their Department of Agriculture laws on the importation of animals, just so you don't have any surprises.

    If you aren't currently using heartworm preventatives, you will need to get your dogs started on them before you leave CA. I THINK it's 3 months before exposure for safety, but I'm not sure on that.

    Arrange for secure containers for all your animals, and try to set them up so the doors don't need to be opened very often. If you have young children, put fasteners or locks on the crates that the kids can't open. You don't need to be chasing a cat across a rest area.

    All your animals should have ID on them; several forms is not overkill.

    If you are only going to secure the dogs on tethers, make sure they are either steel cable or strong chain. Again, the kids should not be allowed to walk the animals on this trip. Don't beg for trouble.

    I hope you have a nice, peaceful (!) and safe trip without breakdowns, escaped animals or surprises. If the worst that happens is that it is a boring trip, so much the better.

  8. 5horsegirl

    5horsegirl Hatching

    Apr 14, 2007
    This is really great information, and I appreciate your taking the time to address chickens, as well as the other animals. I will certainly go to each state Dept. of Ag. and find required certificates/vaccinations for the animals who will travel through the states. It is so much better to be prepared and overprepared for the move than to run into a nightmare because I did not prepare. I pray for a boring trip! Thanks again for the information.
  9. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I hope you are blessed with a very boring trip !!!

    18 acres sounds to be worth the hassle though, congrats !!

    Julie [​IMG]
  10. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    Above all, get your health certificates! You may make the entire trip without incident or you may have a routine traffic stop and the cop decides to check out the zoo.
    You will also want to have a list of pet-friendly places to stay overnite. There are a lot of motels that will let you park a horse trailer in an area that is well - lit and where it can be seen from your room.
    We traveled from Wisconsin with a cat, 2 ferrets, a 4ft iguana, 3 turtles, 3 snakes, 2 fish and several potted plants in a Ford Ranger! All the animals were in the extended (NOT king!) cab.

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