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How to Move a Homestead

Truthfully, I don't know if there is a perfect format for this but, we've been frequently asked our plans for moving animals on top of an entire household.

To answer the question: Yes, it is going to be a challenging project.


Here's What We'd Recommend...

1. If you can find someone to board your animals while you move, take advantage of it. Moving is stressful, especially for livestock. We are doing this with our donkeys - while they are living carefree, we can focus on packing up the barnyard without them being in the way, or a flight risk. This also works out well for them, as they don't have to move to a temporary shelter that may not be sufficient for them, in between. They will be cared for in an environment that suits their needs, and will come home to a perfectly set up new paddock.

Moving puts a lot of stress on livestock. They like their familiar surroundings and routines. It's very important to make the process as straight forward as possible, and to not drag it out. When livestock experience stress, it can cause a number of illnesses to arise, which can make it that much harder on their caregivers later on.

2. Make a plan, dedicate a day to moving them and settling them comfortably. Ensure they have enough water, food, and maybe some additional treats for distracting them from all the noise.

Don't be surprised if you find some unusual BMs after the fact - the stress on their bodies can cause that. Just keep an eye on things, and watch for them to return to normal within a day or two.

3. For our goats and chickens, and other fowl, we'll be spending a whole day with a whole lot of extra help moving their living quarters, and selves. The goats and birds can be crated (in a large dog crate - it's good to have some spares on the homestead for this purpose!) and put in the backseat of the truck for travel. Placing a blanket over the crate can help to keep them calm. Containing them also helps to reduce the mess inside the vehicle. Recommend placing a tarp below the crate to help with this, too.

The goats will be penned at the new house ahead of moving their shelter. The temporary pen is sufficient for their needs, and they can later be moved into the normal shelter once it is done being set up. This will prove to be a long day...

The chickens will be able to head right into their shelter as soon as it arrives, and will be kept inside overnight so they can acclimate to the new location. As for the ducks and geese - since they free range predominantly, we will pen them at the new house, and then let them explore. They are very intuitive.

Photo Credit: Beaux & Arrows Photography, ME

4. Once everyone is settled, make frequent checks on the herd or flock. Monitor them and their housing to ensure nothing is damaged and no one is injured. Examine the area for risk - check to see if predators (or escape artists) can access the shelter in any new ways that were previously considered mitigated.


We plan to follow these steps, moving the shelters on a large trailer, the weekend we move in. I'm not sure how much setting up the interior will be accomplished, but when you have livestock depending on you, they have to be a priority. Alternatively, the Homestead Husband would be faced with a lot of commuting to the prior house to care for them each day until they could be moved... we're ripping the Band-Aid off and just doing it all at once.

With winter fast approaching (let's be honest, it's already here - we've had two snow storms...) we just have to buckle down, and get-r-done so we can move forward with our future!

Photo Credit: Beaux & Arrows Photography, ME


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