Preparing the Homestead for a Move

Moving

My husband and I finally made the announcement that we will be moving back to Texas. For those of you who don’t know, we were both born and raised in Texas and both of our families still live there. We have been living out of state for about 4 years now and we are more than ready to be closer to home! Although exciting, moving a family can become stressful and a little complicated at times, but we have grown pretty accustomed to it. This go around not only have we added a child to the equation, but more animals as well! With these wonderful additions comes a slightly more complicated process. Here’s how I got things started.

Transportation
The first factor for this move that we had to consider was transporting our animals from point A to point B. When the goats were little it wasn’t a problem putting them in the back of the 4-Runner with a little bit of hay and some blankets. Unfortunately, this will not work when driving over 1000 miles (at least not for us). My husband and I knew we would be moving some time in the near future, so in the months prior we would frequently search Craigslist for a good deal on a small livestock trailer. We were able to find a decent sized trailer in a city about an hour an a half away from us, so we jumped on that deal quickly! Even if you aren’t planning on moving you should make sure you have access to a trailer or vehicle large enough to accommodate your animals in case of an emergency. Another reason for you to get connected with other neighboring farmers!

Who’s Coming with Us?!
Our next step was deciding what animals would be coming with us. Due to the fact that we are moving out of state we had to consider the laws and ordinances for the incoming state. Different states require different tests, documentation, and procedures. We quickly came to the decision that we would sell our chickens here and start anew after the move. Many states will not allow chickens to cross state lines and some require that you get a bill of health for you chickens. We were not willing to consider those costs and decided it would be easiest to start over when we got there. Fortunately, it was a pretty painless and easy process to sell them on craigslist. We had a buyer come by and get them all on the day I posted my ad!

Next in line were the goats. It was no questions that we would keep them, but this was going to require some more research and a few phone calls. I first reached out to the Texas Department of Agriculture and had them brief me on their requirements. They informed me that if the goats were not registered they would need SCRAPIE (a disease that affects goats and sheep) tags, a Bill of Health from a vet, and a Premise ID number. Most of these things sounded foreign to me and I had no idea how to go about obtaining them, but luckily the man I was talking to was nice enough to walk me through the process. The next person I called was the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. They were able to direct me to a Veterinarian as well as quickly set up a premise ID. So great! Two things down! Of course the last piece was the most difficult part of process. This is not anyone’s fault but my own. I was informed that as long as my goats were registered and tattooed, I would only need their registration paperwork instead of SCRAPIE tags. The problem was, I forgot to complete their registration process. Without going into too much detail, it took me over a month to complete that process. So my advice to you, is if you purchase registered goats or any other animal, make sure you complete the process right away!

The New Homestead
The last thing to be considered was the set up of the new homestead. Fortunately the house we purchased already has a structure perfect for the goats as well as fenced in pastures. This makes things A LOT easier. We can literally open the trailer door and welcome them to their new home! We have already started planning out how we will setup and rotate chickens around the separate pastures but they will need a new structure (future blog post?). The next several months will be spent planning out exactly how we setup our new homestead and what new challenges we want to take on (besides baby #2).

All in all, moving can be a lot for anyone to take on and adding animals to the equation definitely doesn’t make it much easier. If you prepare yourself ahead of time and familiarize yourself with the process, it can make things go a lot smoother. I will be sure to keep you posted with updates on the new homestead. Thanks again for reading! Wish us luck with the move!

Malorie