To move my ladies or not to move.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ahwhite, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. ahwhite

    ahwhite Chirping

    May 25, 2016
    Hello! Looking for advice about relocating my chickens. I have read other threads about moving flocks, but have some specific conundrums I need help making decisions about. I appreciate you reading while I ramble.

    So I'm moving my little family from Wyoming to Vermont first or second week of June. It really would be easier to just rehome my small backyard flock of six rhode islands, but I see them as pets and I am animal crazy and can't imagine others will treat them the same way. For example there is one with a permanently broken leg that takes a little extra attention, and one that gets egg bound once a year it seems, anyway just obviously over attached. So much to my husband's chagrin I have been trying to figure out how to move them with us.

    The problems are as follows.
    1) We have to stash them with family in Vermont. We are staying with my mom who wont allow the chickens so my aunt said she could take them temporarily.

    2)We likely won't stay in Vermont longer than 3 months, and we don't know where we are going afterwards. We probably will move to Maine, which is obviously not far, so maybe that wouldn't be so bad, but it's possible depending on jobs etc that we could end up coming back out west. Maybe I would rehome them at that point so they didn't have to move twice?

    3) What would be the best way? We have a 4runner that will house our daughter and dogs, and a toyota 85 van with no back seats that we could either put some stuff in or put the chickens in in dog crates. This would be easiest then maybe we could get a small uhaul trailer for the 4runner for some stuff (we aren't moving all of our stuff right now until we know our final destination). BUT the van does not have air conditioning, and it will be June. We have driven it ourselves in the dead of summer and it is pretty ok in the back with the windows open. But I don't know if it would be too breezy? My other thought is to buy a small horse trailer then resell it at some point.

    4) This is the one that really got me questioning moving them...we currently rent and have a small backyard and it's possible our landlord will want us to tear down the coop and run and work on re sodding that patch of the grass. If so how would we do this unless we got rid of the chickens first? The only thing I thought of is that we know some people who have an empty coop in town, maybe we could keep them there temporarily while we work on our yard then move them from there?

    Basically this is me wanting to move them even though it's crazy and I need some direction from people who know, but also understand the emotional attachment! End of the day I want to do what's least traumatic for the chickens. Likely that's to find them a new home...right? Even if it means it might be with someone who will kill them when they become a nuisance or stop laying?Or do they do OK with moving?
    Willowspirit and SurferchickinSB like this.
  2. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    Feb 23, 2018
    I feel for you! If I had to move I would most likely want to take mine with me too! Just want to wish you luck in your move and if you decide to take your chickens, sounds like you have quite a project ahead of you.
    ahwhite and Stiletto like this.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there. :frow

    Did you know it's illegal to transport chickens (even hatching eggs) and most other livestock animals across state lines without permits or health certificates... Each state will have their own import rules.

    I would re home them to somewhere that agrees not to "kill them" Noting that all animals are going to die eventually and some may actually NEED help out of their misery... aging isn't pretty.

    Moving your birds to someone else's coop, even empty... puts too much risk of catching something IMO.

    It's a tough decision... moving is already stressful to me. Sounds like you've got a plate full! Hang in there and good luck. :fl
    aart, Criticalicious, ahwhite and 3 others like this.
  4. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    Feb 23, 2018
    Wow, that’s really good to know! I had no idea it was illegal to transport chickens over state lines. I guess because I think of my chickens as pets, so that would never have occurred to me. Good information.
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Especially with things like the virulent New Castle, mandatory euthanasia taking place in some California counties right now... It's important that we are as responsible as we can be. :hmm :thumbsup
  6. MNchickaroo

    MNchickaroo Chirping

    Apr 12, 2019
    Maybe you could use this site as a resource...and find someone in your area who loves chickens and would be willing to take extra good care of them! We were gifted an unwanted rooster (and a hen to keep him company), and we love them! Sometimes, it's hard to let go, but I think it's best for the chickens if you re-home them, and maybe much less stress for you and your family as you travel.
    ahwhite and Willowspirit like this.
  7. This is what I would do first before I would do all of the moving. Maybe you could find someone who wants to start in chickens and would appreciate some proven layers. Maybe you consider only taking your special needs hens with you. That's more like having a couple couple of pets.
    Criticalicious and ahwhite like this.
  8. McChics

    McChics Songster

    Apr 10, 2015
    I feel for you. I moved mine twice - but it was a short distance. A couple of thoughts on what we did. One, I reworked the existing coop to go mobile. I bought a winch from Harbor Freight for my trailer and made up a way to pull it on and transport it.

    Two, I used a large dog crate to put the girls in while in the vehicle and waiting.

    Three, I got standard 5' high horse fence and T posts and was able to pop up a nice sized yard (at the rental house) quickly that kept them in and safe.

    All together, I probably invested an extra $400 in the mods to the coop, winch, dog crates, fence, and T-post. But, all of it came in handy later and is still used one way or another today.
    EggSighted4Life, Tycine1 and ahwhite like this.
  9. ahwhite

    ahwhite Chirping

    May 25, 2016
    I did know vaguely that there are state regulations...I figured I would get that all figured out when I had decided whether or not to take them. I guess I thought if theres a will theres a way in that regard!

    But...It seems most people think we should rehome them, and I do agree it seems like the best idea. It just makes me sad! I'm not sure there will be anyone on the forum in my direct vicinity. small. But we can probably find someone suitable...I hope.
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  10. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    David, Chiriquí, Panama
    I'm concerned that the one with the perpetually broken leg won't travel well. Your hen that has the annual occurrence of egg bind might suffer as well, as sometimes a hen will go off-lay due to stress, and moving would definitely be stressful. McChics proposal might work for you.
    I didn't know that, but seems about right... The land of the free and the home of the brave just ISN'T anymore.

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