taking our flock to Texas from out of state?

artemischa

Hatching
Jun 5, 2020
6
12
8
We're moving to Texas from California (I know, sorry, but I'm not originally Californian and don't identify as one XD) and would like to take our small backyard flock of seven birds. TAHC requires each bird to have avian influenza and typhoid tests. Few vets here will work on chickens- I've found two that do and one didn't know the prices for the tests and will get back to me sometime next week. The other said the combined price for the tests per bird is $50, and they can only be administered with an exam which costs 110 for the first bird and 45 for each subsequent. They said it's 61 for the call to TAHC for the permit, and she's not sure whether that's per flock or per bird and can let me know next Thursday!

I can't afford all that (and even if I could it would be pretty ridiculous to spend), so our options are to either rehome the hens (who we and our roo are attached to) and just take my son's beloved pet roo, or to just take the whole flock without doing all that (or maybe just with the test for the roo) and hope we get lucky. I've seen old threads in which people claim TAHC are really not all that worried about a few pet birds, but I'd hate to get to the border and have them face a terrible end when we could have rehomed them safely and lovingly here.

Does anyone have experience with taking a pet/backyard flock into Texas? Thanks!
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
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Feb 24, 2013
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We're moving to Texas from California (I know, sorry, but I'm not originally Californian and don't identify as one XD) and would like to take our small backyard flock of seven birds. TAHC requires each bird to have avian influenza and typhoid tests. Few vets here will work on chickens- I've found two that do and one didn't know the prices for the tests and will get back to me sometime next week. The other said the combined price for the tests per bird is $50, and they can only be administered with an exam which costs 110 for the first bird and 45 for each subsequent. They said it's 61 for the call to TAHC for the permit, and she's not sure whether that's per flock or per bird and can let me know next Thursday!

I can't afford all that (and even if I could it would be pretty ridiculous to spend), so our options are to either rehome the hens (who we and our roo are attached to) and just take my son's beloved pet roo, or to just take the whole flock without doing all that (or maybe just with the test for the roo) and hope we get lucky. I've seen old threads in which people claim TAHC are really not all that worried about a few pet birds, but I'd hate to get to the border and have them face a terrible end when we could have rehomed them safely and lovingly here.

Does anyone have experience with taking a pet/backyard flock into Texas? Thanks!
Contact your state veterinarian in California to see exactly what you need to do. Some areas of California are still not allowed to take their poultry out of state because of the Newcastle Disease fiasco. I find it difficult to believe that California would let you take the birds out of state without a Newcastles test too.
 

TK421

Songster
10 Years
May 24, 2010
293
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191
Central TX
I never condone breaking the law, but those laws are written for poultry producers and farming operations. There are no checkpoints in Texas where authorities check for chicken papers. Even if a state trooper pulled you over for speeding, I’d be Completely shocked If they looked twice at your birds much less asked about these tests. There aren’t border patrol checkpoints on the highway either. They’re all south of I-10 checking northbound traffic. I live in San Antonio.
 

TK421

Songster
10 Years
May 24, 2010
293
161
191
Central TX
I'm not sure why this question is bothering me, so I did a little research. Most importantly, I repeat my last post that says no normal law enforcement officer in Texas cares about your pet chickens. The government cares about diseases being introduced into the poultry farming businesses. If the tests are that expensive, its only economical for a business that is shipping hundreds of birds into Texas at a time.

1. You'd have to be cited by an agent of the TAHC that inspects a shipment of poultry because state troopers and local Police can't write tickets for that kind of stuff. I can't imagine that any law enforcement officer would call a TAHC agent or that a TAHC agent would drive out to a traffic stop for 7 birds (Source: this link)

2. I just spent a few minutes reading the Administrative codes and there are exceptions out the wazoo for shipments of birds to slaughter houses. Title 4, Chapter 51, Rule 51.3 a6 says that an exception to entry permits is for birds headed to slaughter and accompanied by an owner-shipper statement. I can't find the actual code (see #5 below) for what is required on an owner-shipper statement, but I'd just write one of those bad boys up and carry it with me . Then hold your head up high if any state trooper asks about them, which of course they won't. "Are you licensed to bring those animals into the state?" "Oh yes, officer, would you like to see my Owner-shipper statement as mentioned in the TAHC code?" "No thank you. Have a nice day."

4. The USDA has a form for Owner-shipper statements with a drop down that includes several types of livestock, but doesn't list avian/poultry/fowl. This leads me to believe that OSS forms aren't often used for chickens.
5. More about Owner-shipper statements: from this link, relevant bits copied here:
"An owner shipper statement is a statement signed by the owner or shipper of the livestock being moved stating the locations from which the animals are moved interstate; the destination of the animals; the number of the animals covered by the statement; the species of animal covered; the name and address of the shipper; and the identification of each animal are to be included on each document." In my book, that means my chickens' identification numbers are Female1, Female2, Female3, Female4

More information: https://www.tahc.texas.gov/regs/EntryRequirements_Poultry.pdf

So in summary: unless you're a sneaky chicken hatchery that smuggles chickens across state lines seven at a time, and asks for advice on a pet chicken forum, my advice is this: Write up a 2 paragraph Owner-shipper statement on your computer and spend less than 5 minutes doing it. Drive right past any signs you see about livestock, wave at it, and don't give it a second thought. While you're in Texas, wave at people in your rear view mirror that change lanes for you to pass them. If you find yourself in the country and you see another driver on a dirt road, wave at them too.

And welcome to Texas. I hope you like it here.
 
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artemischa

Hatching
Jun 5, 2020
6
12
8
Thanks so much, that is really helpful! Sort of along the lines of what I was thinking, and helpful to know there are no checkpoints on our way in. And yes, I learned well from my great grandparents in rural Arkansas- I always wave at folks on dirt roads and say thank you to courteous drivers (of which there are few here, one of the changes I'm looking forward to!) I think we are going to like it a lot! :)
 

birdsrfun

Songster
Aug 22, 2013
243
220
146
S.F Bay Area
Thanks. I called and as of June 1st that has been eradicated.
When I read this, I had to check it out. Here’s what the USDA says about the Virulent Newcastle Disease:
vND in California 2018-2020
“*On June 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) certifies that the United States of America (U.S.A.) has satisfied the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) criteria for eradication of virulent Newcastle disease (vND) from poultry as defined by the OIE and exhibition birds. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and USDA have announced an end to the vND quarantine in Southern California. The State quarantine for VND encompassed Los Angeles, western Riverside, and western San Bernardino Counties, an area where millions of commercial and backyard poultry live. This action once again allows poultry to move freely within California without a CDFA permit. All necessary actions and surveillance requirements have been completed in accordance with the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code with no further detections of the disease. The virus has been completely stamped out and there are no further infected zones. All restrictive measures in relation to vND in the U.S.A. have therefore been lifted. The USDA APHIS, now considers the vND event officially closed and resolved.

Between May 17, 2018 and May 31, 2020, USDA confirmed 476 positive premises in California as infected with vND, including 4 commercial premises. These positive premises were found in six counties, including 263 in Riverside County, 164 in San Bernardino County, 46 in Los Angeles County, 1 in Ventura County, 1 in Alameda County, and 1 in San Diego County. USDA also confirmed 1 infected premises in Utah County, Utah and 1 infected premises in Coconino County, Arizona, both linked to birds that were moved from the quarantine area in California.”

From https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ou...ease-information/avian/virulent-newcastle/vnd
 

texsuze

Songster
8 Years
Dec 17, 2012
239
369
174
Texas Hill Country
Good luck and safe travels. There are some older threads floating around BYC from folks who moved state-to-state with their chickens, so might be worth mining the data to get some tips if you haven't done a similar trip in the past. Main thing to consider, IMHO: It is hot down here right now, and going to get hotter as the summer progresses, so plan accordingly.:cool:
 

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