Rving can be a quirky world where it seems just about anything goes, including people who travel with farm animals like chickens.
Is it possible to RV with a few chickens for fresh eggs on the road? What other animals can you legally travel with, and will RV parks accept your “pets?”
Most people stick to cats and dogs when they RV, but this article dives into what farm animals you may be able to take on the road or are ideal for permanent RV campsites.
If you love RVing and want to raise some poultry or livestock, stay right here to learn more!
What Farm Animals Are Legal to Own as Pets
I see people traveling with an array of unusual or exotic animals in my years of full-time RVing, but outside of pot-bellied pigs, I don’t recall any other “farm” animal.
Livestock and poultry animals often fall under a different jurisdiction than other traditional pet animals and can create havoc at campgrounds on the legality of allowing them on site.
Traveling state to state in an RV will require adherence to local laws or regulations pertaining to the ownership of farm animals, which only adds to the confusion.
Here is a list of farm animals most states allow as pets:
- Pygmy Goats
- Miniature Donkey
Because each state and county regulate farming differently, you may have issues stopping at various campsites in your RV and letting your farm animals out for some fresh air.
Choosing RV parks that will accept your “pets” is going to require plenty of planning, as some will be very welcoming to unusual animals while others will forbid them entirely.
Off-grid camping may be much more conducive for RVers who want to travel with chickens or a goat.
How long you plan to stay at campgrounds will also play a role in what farm animals are best for life in an RV. Travel creates stress in both humans and animals, so the more stationary you are in your RV, the easier it will be.
Even if you plan to raise farm animals to eat them or sell them, you must take care of their essential needs, including veterinary care, safe and comfortable housing, and proper nutrition and exercise. Of course, all of these needs will be much more difficult to achieve if you live and travel in an RV, but it isn’t impossible.
What Farm Animals Are Best for RV Life?
The reality of trying to travel with farm animals means there are only a few that mesh well with the RV lifestyle. The animals must be quiet and certainly small enough to fit inside a travel trailer, motorhome, or fifth wheel.
In general, I’ll have to say that if you keep the number of farm animals to one or two and keep it low-key while at campgrounds for short-term stays, you can easily get away with no one knowing you have them in your RV at all.
Consider it very much like the many pet owners who RV with four dogs and a cat, even though most campgrounds limit pets to two or three. As long as you don’t pull in and set up a little barnyard at your campsite, chances are other guests won’t have a clue.
Even if park staff notice, if your animals are not causing issues with other guests or park property, they will more often than not just leave you alone.
Suppose you want to travel with farm animals. In that case, whether you declare your “pets” to RV park staff or not, it’s best to reserve the most private campsite within a park to provide your animals a calmer environment, especially if you want to take them outside during the day.
Next are the best farm animals for RV life, along with tips to make travel with them less stressful.
RVing with Rabbits
Rabbits are quiet and can be kept in an enclosed cage both inside and outside the RV, making them a good choice for life in a recreational vehicle. Many owners travel across the country to rabbit shows with no ill effects on their animals.
You can take rabbits outside on a harness leash and let them enjoy some time in the grass and sunshine without camping neighbors giving them much notice.
You can DIY a rabbit hutch to blend in with your RV decor, and you can train rabbits to use a litter box to keep messes inside your camper to a minimum.
Lop Eared rabbit breeds tend to have a calmer demeanor and do better adjusting to traveling than other breeds.
On the downside, rabbit droppings have a distinct pungent odor that requires constant removal to maintain a pleasant RV living environment. Travel is also a stressor to breeding rabbits, so you may have to time trips around this schedule.
Owning more than a few rabbits will be difficult for RVers who move about weekly or monthly. However, it’s possible for long-term RV stays to find campground management who will allow you to set up a roomy hutch outdoors on your campsite to house your rabbits.
RVing with Chickens
Chickens are another top choice for RVers who move campsites less often. Who doesn’t want the ability to enjoy fresh eggs while on the road?
Another benefit of having chickens when your RV is you can feed them your food scraps from fruits, vegetables, and grains which helps reduce the amount of waste you need to toss in the dumpster. Chickens also do an excellent job clearing your campsite of pesky bugs.
Do be aware that interstate travel with chickens will require a CVI, or certificate of veterinary inspection, that is typically only valid for 30 days.
This certificate is necessary to prevent the spread of diseases. Unfortunately, many hobby chicken owners are unaware such rules exist, so RVers who love to travel need to consider this.
Another tip is not to travel with chickens in an RV if you plan to visit very hot regions, as chickens have difficulty keeping their bodies cool.
If you want to travel with chickens, the key is to own no more than two or three at a time. This number helps keep the disruption and maintenance to a minimum yet gives chickens friends for socialization.
Never travel with roosters, as they are much more vocal, especially at sunrise, and will disturb campground guests. However, chickens still make noise, which is very distinctive and will draw more attention at a campground than other farm animals.
Chicken Housing While RVing
Setting up a chicken coop in an RV may be a challenge. All birds are messy, and flapping wings will send feathers, bedding, and droppings flying, so creating a comfortable and safe traveling coop is the first priority if you want to RV with chickens.
You’ll want your indoor coop to be in an area that receives fresh air and sunlight and will make the chickens feel safe. The space will need a perch and a nesting box or roosting area for the chickens to get cozy and lay eggs or sleep.
The indoor coop should be easy to clean and have a place for food and water that won’t easily spill during travel days. Many RVers with chickens find it easier to alter an existing cabinet or shelf space inside the camper for this purpose.
Constant cleaning of droppings will be a must to keep the smell down. This issue is the top complaint among RVing chicken owners and is almost impossible to avoid.
Next will be providing a portable and collapsible outdoor chicken coop or run because they will need to spend many hours outside each day to keep themselves happy and healthy.
Your outdoor chicken run must be enclosed and secure to protect your chickens from predators or other campground guest pets. Most RVers buy a convenient portable chicken run, so air circulates, and the bottom exposes the grass or ground so the chickens can forage and scratch up insects.
You can also DIY a metal wire mesh crate for extra security from wild animals that may want to attack your chickens.
Chicken Health While RVing
Thankfully, chickens are pretty hardy and can tolerate changes and travel well. If you notice a reduction in egg laying, chances are your chicken is ill or over-stressed.
Other symptoms of a sick chicken include:
- Loss of appetite
- Irregular droppings
Ensuring your chickens are getting the rest, nutrition, and outdoor time they require will help keep them in good condition, but do plan for occasional trips to the vet in your RV budget.
Overall, keeping chickens in an RV requires constant maintenance and expenses for food and bedding, which offsets any savings from not having to purchase eggs. However, RVers with chickens state that they make good travel companions and are worth the work and investment.
RVing with a Pygmy Goat
Pygmy goats are super cute, gentle, trainable. Most pygmy goats top out at 20 inches in height and not more than 50 pounds, so they aren’t much different in size than many dogs, making them another top pick for RVers.
Pygmy goats are very friendly and active, which means you’ll need to provide them with plenty of attention and activity or even consider owning two so they always have a companion to frolic with.
On the downside, pygmy goats can make a lot of noise when under stress. The bleating can cause major issues at most campgrounds, so a more remote and stationary RV life or camping off-grid may be the best solution if you want to own this farm animal.
You can leash the goat for walks, but they will also need enough room outdoors to run, jump, and forage to keep them happy and in good health.
With effort, you can RV-train pygmy goats to use the bathroom outside, and you can also train them to follow other commands to make your life on the road with them a bit easier. Teaching them not to chew will be a significant task if you want your RV interior to remain intact.
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You will need to desensitize your pygmy goat to dogs, as you’ll encounter them constantly in the RV world, so keep this in mind before you set out on trips.
As for housing, you’ll want to create your goat for travel days to keep it safe, but otherwise, you can give it a floor pillow for resting.
For sleeping, goats need good ventilation. You can make a little house in your RV by taking off the door of a cabinet or making an opening in the base of a dinette booth.
Aside from treats like fruits, vegetables, or grain scraps from your meals, pygmy goats will need hay and a commercial goat mix for optimal health.
RVing with a Pot Bellied Pig
I’ve come across several RVers with pot-bellied pigs, so this farm animal isn’t as unusual as others. I met one man with a very expensive Class A motorcoach, who takes his three full-grown pigs on every camping trip, even to busy tourist-area RV parks!
The biggest mistake RVers make about pot-bellied or “mini” pigs is that they remain small. However, after the first year, they will reach about half their mature size and continue to grow over several years.
While adorably cute as babies, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs can grow up to 20″ tall at the shoulders and reach 200 pounds! That can add a lot of weight to an already loaded camper full of supplies.
On the bright side, pot-bellied pigs are relatively easy to train. You can walk pigs on a leash and act much like a dog inside and outside the RV, eating and resting a favorite activity.
For housing inside the camper, giving your pig a room or area to itself is key to keeping them stress-free. Bedding should be old blankets and pillows that they will tear up to create a nest of their liking.
Training a Pot-Bellied Pig for RV Life
Outside, you’ll need to tie them up securely at the campsite to ensure they don’t break free and roam off because they are powerful.
Keeping them entertained, so they don’t damage campground property is a high priority if you want to own pot-bellied pigs.
Unless you train them not to dig, pot-bellies will quickly tear up any grass or landscaping as they follow their instincts to root around and can leave you paying hefty repair bills to an RV park.
Pot-bellied pigs can be noisy, but most are happy grunts that aren’t any more bothersome than a barking dog.
The biggest tip to keep pigs content and quiet is maintaining a routine, no matter how often you move campsites. For example, try to time road travel between other regular activities such as feeding and walks to prevent stress that will cause them to whine.
How to Train a Pot-Bellied Pig (Video)
Feeding a Pot-Bellied Pig
Feeding your pig will also come at a cost. The average meal of 1/2 cup of food per 25 pounds of weight adds up fast. You can purchase a commercial pig mix and some hay and add in roots, berries, vegetables, nuts, worms, seeds, bugs, and even raw eggs as treats.
It’s imperative to spay or neuter any pot-belly pig for RV living, as both sexes will be much more docile and easier to maintain.
Do be aware that pig urine is very high in ammonia, which leaves a strong stench, so try to avoid any indoor potty accidents by RV-training them and taking them outside often so they can relieve themselves.
The ability to travel in your RV with chickens or other farm animals is possible and is becoming more popular every year.
As with any animal, you’ll still need to adhere to common courtesy by always cleaning up after them and keeping them quiet and under control while at campgrounds.
By RVing with farm animals that are also considered pets, you can avoid many issues or objections from campground staff if you want to travel and explore the US. Another option is to only camp off-grid or on private property, which will give you the freedom to create an RV mini-farm.
You don’t have to settle for store-bought eggs or only have the companionship of traditional pets like dogs or cats. Farm animals can work for RV life, so keep an open mind!
Exotic Pets – RV Life with Rabbits (Video)
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