Preparing for move to new farm

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by deacons, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. deacons

    deacons Songster

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    I have 10 laying hens: three 5 year old Golden Laced Wyandottes and 7 year-olds (Silver Laced Wyandottes, Speckled Sussex, and Dominiques). They have all lived here since arriving as day old chicks. Currently, they have an 20'x25' screened run and free range a couple hours a day.

    In mid-May, we're moving about an hour north to a new farm. The space we'll be setting up for their new run is an old equipment shed built off the back of our new horse barn. It needs a little work, but when we're done it will be very similar to their current set up, structurally.

    I have three questions about getting ready for the move.
    1. There haven't been animals on the new farm in years, and I'm not sure if there were ever animals on the ground where I'm planning to build the coop and run. Still, it's just a dirt floor in there right now. Is there something I should do to treat the ground before moving the chickens there?

    2. In the spring- and after the worst of the mud- I usually deworm with horse Safeguard following a protocol I know a lot of people here use (one dose followed by another a couple weeks later). That would usually happen right around the time we're going to be moving. I'm not sure I want to stress their systems with dewormer, and stress them again with a move. And, since they'll be on new ground, would worming even be effective for the long run if done before the move? Would you wait to worm after moving or go ahead before?

    3. I've never moved with chickens before, and these chickens have always lived in the same place. Is there anything else preventative I should be doing for them before or after the move? I know coccidiosis, for example, may be different strains on different properties. Do preventative treatment for that? My horses will be coming with us to the new farm, and they are currently boarded so the chickens have never been around them. So, we'll be introducing the chickens a new environment plus adding more livestock to the mix which I know may mess with their systems and immunities.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I don't think the move will be as stressful as their age. You may very well loose some of these birds, but you might do so at anytime due to their age even without moving. The end has to be coming for some of them, sooner rather than later.

    Move them at dark, after they have roosted, keeping them dark during the move.

    You might pick a sacrifice couple of birds if you are very worried about the soil of the run. I would not worry about this, but put down the same bedding you have now on top of this rather deeply and I think you will be fine.

    I would not treat them for worms right after the move. At their age, I don't think I would treat them for worms unless I see evidence of worms. You might treat them for worms 3-4 weeks before the move.

    Chickens hate change, however, will adjust to it rather quickly. I would not worry about the horses and chickens, both will adjust quickly and mostly ignore each other.

    Good luck,
    Mrs K
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    You are wise to have already thought of giving the chickens a preventative round of a coccidiostat knowing that there could be different species of coccidia in the soil of their new home. But wait until you've installed them there before beginning treatment as it involves building resistance to the new coccidia and they need to be exposed to them.

    You can help reduce their exposure to stress during the move and right after by administering electrolytes in the water, but hold back on including vitamins as it would interfere with the coccidiostat.

    Hold off on the worm treatment until after the chickens are established. There is no big hurry on that.

    Make sure there are no toxic substances polluting the storage shed or grounds. Spilled motor oil, hydraulic fluid and fuel can pollute soil where chickens pick up grit for their gizzards. This can cause neurological damage and death.

    As for treating the ground, good old sunlight will take care of a lot of pathogens, and trying to treat could actually be counterproductive as it would interfere with the good ones you want in your soil for good balance. Save yourself that extra work. Moving is hard enough as it is! Good luck in your new place!
     
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  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello..You really have nothing to worry about. Just move them into the new Coop and Run. Leave them for a week to adjust to the new home and if you choose too, free range after a week. I'm pretty sure nothing will happen. They will get stressed a bit and that's about it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    They should be fine! Worming as 'preventative' doesn't work, so don't bother. Their new place will be high and dry, I hope. Mud is nobody's friend!
    You can have fecals run after a few weeks, to see if any worming is needed then. New dry ground is better than new wet ground, or ground that had poultry recently.
    Mary
     
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    Hey deacons

    While I am not specifically answering your questions, I will share our move story which might help put your mind at ease a little.

    We moved our then 4 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old bantams over 1,500kms [900 miles] to our new home.

    Hubby had arrived before us and built their coop and run and on the morning of their trip, they were picked up early by the pet transport company, popped in crates, then in to a van, then on to a plane, in the cargo hold, right next to our cats.

    On touch down, they were put in to another van and delivered the final 1.5 hour drive to their new home. They started their journey at approx 07:30AM and did not arrive until approximately 4PM that day.

    They actually coped better than the cats and were quite happily fossicking around their new run within minutes of being released. It took the cats a couple of days to venture out from under the bed! :p

    So, while chickens do hate change, that does not mean that they will not adjust. I think it helped to have a familiar face [hubby] and a fresh supply of meal worms at the other end ;) I think I was more of a mess than they were :p

    I did choose to dust them for mites and worm them prior to the move which was just on 12 months ago and they are still with us, happy and healthy.

    Best wishes with the move, I hope all goes well!
     
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  7. deacons

    deacons Songster

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    Just thought I would come back with an update! Our move happened two weeks ago, and it went even better than I thought it could.

    After reading quite a bit of advice, we decided we would move the girls in large metal dog crates, pulling them off the roost around 4am while it was still dark.

    We got everything ready the night before, and the girls were very interested- mostly they were excited about fresh straw, one of their favorite things to play in!
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    They were surprisingly good car riders for the hour long trip. They settled down into the straw in the crates and barely made a peep.
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    When we arrived, we unloaded them directly to the new space, which is a coop and covered run built off the back of our horse barn. They were a little confused about the new run, which is a bit smaller than their old run unfortunately.
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    But after just a day in there, they were begging me to let them out, so I relented and let them explore the new property.

    They had no trouble figuring out the coop and their new roosts, which are "ladder style" rather than just the single 2x4 they had in their old coop.
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    They have access to a lot more forested area here than they did in their old home, and seem to really love being in the woods.
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    I was prepared for laying to stop, maybe even an early molt to come on. But to the contrary- they are thriving. They didn't pause with laying at all; still getting 7-9 eggs from 10 chickens daily. Their feathers are shiny and eyes bright; most faces are nice bright red, though there are a couple I am keeping an eye on who seem a little pinker than I might like. Eating and drinking normally and happily foraging a few hours a day ("supervised free ranging" as we like to say).
    [​IMG]
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    The only physical thing I'm seeing is that their poop is pretty wet and runny. I don't see worms or blood, but it's certainly been more liquid than solid. I've done probiotics in their water daily since we got here, but am considering trying something else? Because of how wooded it is here, they (and we) get less direct sunshine than previously, so not sure how, if at all, that's affecting them. Will do some research on supplements to see if there's something I should try.

    Anyway, just wanted to share how everything went so that others who are considering a move with adult hens have some reassurance. I was worried about this for weeks before it happened, and wasn't sure if it would turn out ok. But, I'm fortunate to be able to report that my girls seem to be handling it all really well!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Moving is anxiety producing enough....doing it with live animals just adds to that exponentially. Good job!

    Maybe just try plain water for a few days before 'adding' anything else?
     
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  9. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Congratulations on a well planned and smooth move! You managed to move your chickens with a very minimum of stress so they are rewarding you with no interruption of eggs.

    The runny poop might be from the change in surroundings. I would put electrolytes in their water for a few days, especially if it's warm.

    Chickens do need direct sun to absorb vitamin D, but if you free range them for a bit each day, that will do. You'll see them flopping on their sides and spreading a wing to catch the rays. Chickens have sunbathing down to a science.
     
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  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Their poo will likely be fine in a few days. They are eating different plants out there, and need to adjust.
    Mary
     

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