Exporting Chickens

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chrismahon
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Exporting Chickens

Post by chrismahon » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:48 pm

As many of you know we are exporting our chickens to France -36 of them. This is easiest as there are no other Countries to pass through to get there.

The logistics are fairly straightforward at first glance. They will travel as groups in separate dog cages, overnight and through the morning. Hopefully to them it will be like a long windy Winter night. The van will have an air vent fitted in the roof and the windows will be blacked out. The coops will be in a large trailer behind. Journey time must be less than 12 hours otherwise they need to have a stop for food and water which would wake them all up and be chaotic !

Of course loading the birds them takes time, disassembling all the coops and runs and loading them takes time as does unloading and reassembling at the other end. This is the main problem because the journey time is on the limit as it is. Leaving coops behind isn't an option as they will certainly be stolen before we can return to collect them. Such is the nature of our neighbourhood. So the plan is to utilise the 4 coops we are leaving anyway, leaving just one to dismantle on the day. I will build 5 more with runs which will hold breeding sets of up to 6 large fowl. These will be 'rapid assembly' designs -coop and run 5 minutes initially, then another 15 minutes each for the finishing touches. Basically enough screws to hold together, birds in, then the rest of the screws to follow. The other coops we want to take will go into safe storage before departure, as will absolutely everything else not screwed down or dug in!

Now for the paperwork which is managed by the Carlisle Office not the local Stafford. There are three types of export -pets, domestic and commercial. The numbers dictate commercial, which requires a health system certified and maintained for at leat 12 months. But as we are running small separate breeding flocks DEFRA suggest TWO applications under the domestic system which is for less than 20 birds (so 19 or under). So we will export two flocks of 18 each. Caged and identified in the van as to which flock they belong. The vet (who is specially qualified for and only deals with poultry export and drives 30 miles to get here) is happy because they are also separated physically within the Orchard, which is divided into two sections.

Aside from the obvious information the following is needed:-
Full description of each flock -breeds, sex and quantities. Age helpful, names not necessary.
Full postal address of destination.
Written declaration that the birds have had no vaccinations at all. I think to have had them presents the possibility of being carriers and an acknowledgement that they are at risk in their present environment. The vet accepted that we have two hybrids that have had oral innoculation -that's OK as long as it wasn't administered on our site. Particular no's are vaccination against Avian Flu and Newcastle disease. More of this later.
Animal Health registration number and centre issuing it. Now this is compulsory if you have over 50 chickens and voluntary less than that. We did have 76 so we registered but could not export without it.

The next stage is blood tests. As the flock is less than 250 we only need the two chicken risk Salmonellas done, not the four human risk Salmonellas. There are hundreds of different ones in this group. The sample is based on statistical analysis considering risk. We have to do EVERY bird, so 36 blood tests. Haven't got the prices yet but sounds expensive. At this stage the flock is closed. Nothing in (obviously), or out (why?) as required by regulations.

The results are returned and if negative the vet completes the export paperwork. On the day of departure he revisits the flocks checking that they are still in good health. If so he issues me with the export certificate with his special stamp on it. He keeps a copy and sends one by fax immediately to DEFRA at Carlisle. The major obsticle (apart from the Olympics) is an outbreak of Newcastle Disease or Avian Flu. These coincide with duck and goose migration and he hopes we will miss them as we are leaving a few weeks before. If an outbreak occurs all poultry exports are banned. The UK then has to apply to the EU for a 'localisation' status. This means that if the outbreak is in say Lincolshire it only affects export from or through that County. Takes 10 days for that to be granted. If it's in Staffordshire or within 10 days of departure we're knackered!!

If anyone can think of anything I've missed or has any thoughts or questions please post. There was a lot to go through when the vet called and I, or he as it's his first domestic flock export, may have missed something. In which case I will update you and keep you informed of progress anyway.
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Marigold
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by Marigold » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:11 pm

This is very interesting, Chris. If one of the birds is sick on the day of departure when inspected, what happens? Does s/he have to be put down, or only if it's something infectious or dangerous? What about cases like Daffodil?
Do you have to keep the flocks physically apart in the orchard once they are technically two closed flocks? Does this mean you have to divide your grazing, or do you have to keep them in runs?
Let us all pray for good industrial relations and no ferry strikes or storms in the Channel!
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chrismahon
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by chrismahon » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:46 pm

If one is sick, until diagnosed as not serious, we can't go. Daffodil is fine, the vet has seen her in the kitchen sunbathing. The flocks must be physically separated with no contact. That's only for the vet who is certifying that they are two separate domestic flocks and that we are not trying to shortcut the commercial export process. They are physically separated anyway. Can't have them out together as the cockerels would fight through the fence which divides the Orchard into two sections. Each section is timeshared, some out in the morning, some in the afternoon. Then some in fixed runs with double or solid fencing. We have a very complicated setup really with 6 flocks of varying sizes, each with their own cockerel. Bottom has 11, Claude 3, Frankie 6, Arnold 3, Boris 3 and Basil 4. The final breeding setup will be rather different. Basil the Buff Orpington only has Verity (absolutely fantastic layer) as Bottom has the other 4. But Basil also has Frankie's 3 Gold laced Wyandottes. Frankie has 5 of Arnolds Blue laced Wyandottes plus a Buff ( who wanted to stay and not be rehomed). Boris and Claude are sorted. Guess we couldn't make it more complicated if we tried!
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darkbrowneggs
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by darkbrowneggs » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:48 pm

Very interesting How much has it / will it all cost in vets fees and government fees etc
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by tygrysek75 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:30 am

I think you are well orginized Chris,everything like military precision:)but logistic nightmare:(
Do you think 12 H will be sufficient to get to the southern France,maybe you should think of plan B if you need to stop somwere and feed and let them drink somwere on the way?
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chrismahon
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:47 am

There is no plan B Tygresec. In Winter they go 16 hours in the coop with no food or water. The legislation is for bird welfare in commercial cases, day or night transportation. There is no way I will risk our birds so the best way is to let them think it is still night -least stress is important as that's what will kill them in transit.

There are no DEFRA fees DBE. The vet has yet to advise his costs, I'm expecting about £400. The shipping will be about £500 in fuel, ferry and motorway charges. £100 for the van air vent and £3500 for the trailer plated to suit my towing capacity and French legal.
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darkbrowneggs
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by darkbrowneggs » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:05 pm

WOWEE - :o

That's about £150 a bird. Sorry if I missed it in an earlier thread, but WHAT are you taking over there :shock:
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chrismahon
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Well you can't include the trailer and air vent as we will be breeding and selling birds and moving all our furniture plus materials in the trailer when we are over there. So really it's £25 each, which would be the cost of replacing them if we actually could. We would still need to move all the coops anyway. They are all good stock and it would be very difficult to replace them, even over here. Brown English Leghorn Bantam pullet breeding quartet, Blue laced wyandottes, Gold laced Wyandottes, Black TNN's, Buff Orpingtons. Apart from that most are 'pets' and one is a housepet. We'll add Marans when we get there as Rosie has always wanted them and it will give us chance to establish ourselves with the local breeders and clubs.
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by cherrycoop » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:39 am

Good luck with your move - I did briefly investigate bringing live birds here but as you have so expertly and thoroughly covered the process of exporting birds, hatching eggs in hand baggage was my only option.
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Re: Exporting Chickens

Post by chrismahon » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:44 pm

So the prices are in. Blood tests are £12.84 per bird = £450.
Vet charges at £92.41 per hour and £48.17 per hour travel. He has to visit twice and blood tests will take couple of hours even if we have them penned ready so £400 odd.
So it does work out at £25 each as my earlier guesstimate.
Will need two of us catching and taking birds to the vet to keep the costs to a minimum. He needs to take a blood sample every minute or less.

Assuming we could replace them, at prices here, we are looking at £1000. Then there is all the time searching and travel. With less birds and if the vet was closer the price would come down obviously. Not sure if you could take them to the vet to cut out the first visit, but that's not practical for us. So it is perhaps worth considering taking your own birds from here anyway, but not buying new to take over.

Blood tests are a month before we go. I need to ask if we can bring it forward otherwise it is going to be a bit hectic, because all the furniture is going into storage that month as well.
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