Backyard Chickens Must Be Registered in North Carolina for Your Own Safety

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By Daisy Luther

There isn’t much that feels more self-reliant than going out to your backyard hen house to get fresh eggs for breakfast.  There’s no need for USDA approval, you know what your hens have been eating, and you don’t have to pay a premium price and hope that the farm who raised the chickens that laid those grocery store eggs actually treated the hens humanely.  Bonus points if the bacon you fry up comes from a local farm, and bonus BONUS points if you raised that little piggie yourself. Raising backyard chickens is incredibly rewarding.

It’s pure freedom, this control over your own food.

Of course, until you have to register your chickens. Then, as food freedom activist Joel Salatin says, “Everything I want to do is illegal.”

With so many people moving towards self-reliance, you had to know it was only a matter of time before the government got involved.

And now they have. But don’t worry, it’s all for your own good.


In North Carolina, the state’s Department of Agriculture wants to protect you against the avian flu. So regardless of the number of chickens you have, you must register for a state farm ID number as of August 1, 2015. Surprisingly, this if free. Not surprisingly, this is mandatory.

Up until the recent avian flu fear, farm registration was voluntary. Now, even families with two or three hens in a nifty little moveable chicken tractor in the backyard must register.

According to State Veterinarian (who knew there was a State Veterinarian?) Doug Meckes, this is vital. “In planning our response for highly pathogenic avian influenza, one problem we’ve come across is that we can’t protect birds that we don’t know exist. We need to know where poultry are located so we can properly protect commercial and backyard flocks.”

Chicken owners must fill out a FORM LIKE THIS and declare all of their animals. According to the state’s website, this won’t be used for any other purpose than health tracking. “Information gathered through registration will be used solely for animal health purposes. This critical data will provide animal health officials with necessary contact information in case of an animal health concern and help identify animals and premises that may have been affected.”

Of course, I figure once you register your chickens, they’re no longer really your chickens. The state is just letting you use them. Think back to Michigan, a couple of years ago, when a farmer was forced to destroy his heritage pigs because the state said so. Who can forget the shepherd in Canada whose beloved sheep were thought to be a threat and summarily destroyed? Personally, I’d prefer that my chickens remain happy little libertarian chickens, footloose, fancy free-ranging, and unfettered by a license.

Given the history of any type of registration (cough *guns* cough), is it any stretch of the imagination whatsoever to think your backyard chickens or your small homestead will not become vulnerable to some kind of future “public safety” mandate? Don’t you think they could be subject to seizure or execution based on the whims of the state? And what do you think will happen to families who don’t register their chickens? Do you really honestly feel safer with the state knowing your business? Am I going to have to write an article about stealth chicken keeping to aid and abet wannabe backyard chicken bootleggers?

While this is presented to the public as a way to keep everyone healthy, don’t be fooled. It’s “game on” in the war against self-reliance.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Tell them you will register your birds when they have all the States wild birds that they are responsible for registered and accounted for.

    • Roger, you have it right on the mark.
      In addition, they are not going to test my chickens, they will only come tell me to destroy them if they *believe* a problem exists (most likely found in major agriculture not a small time operation)

  • I’m new to this, so please bear with me. Is it impossible for this to be a sincere health concern? Do you believe avian flu is not a real threat? I think that I would want to know if there was bird flu in my area, in the same way that I would want to know if Listeria had been found in my batch of ice cream.
    I do like Roger’s comment, though. 😉

  • Well, while I don’t like the idea of having to register animals with the state, I do understand why it exists. As to the form you linked to, that one is for commercial purposes. The one for people with their own backyard flocks for private use has not yet been posted. (It’s due out August 1st.) I would have to read it for myself before forming an opinion about it.

  • Gee, sorry, my bantams are free-range and I haven’t a clue as to how many are in the flock or where they are on the acreage. I just collect the eggs I find.

    Now please leave. You’re trespassing.

  • I don’t know of one instance where free range (backyard) chickens got any kind of sickness. A different situation occurs when you pack them in houses for mass confinement and production. Registration of a damn chicken does nothing but create another bloated government building, stuffed with overpaid, underworked, early retired, suck the taxpayers dry government employees. I was watching Fox today and everyone should tune in and watch the guy in Florida get threatened with a fine because his bbq smoke from the grill is blowing across the street. George Carlin was right, the fabric that holds America together is nothing more than pure unadulterated Bulls@@@t. Sad, but so, so true. What an absolute mess.

  • Once the government knows what you have, they will be able to control it and tax it! “For your safety” yea, sure.

  • Since this flu poses no human risk, I see no need to let the state know about any chickens I may have. In short, “I will not comply.” I plan to contact the NC state vet’s office and inform them of this fact. Please consider doing the same. If enough people refuse to comply, they will abandon this foolish registration scheme.

    • This worked for those folks in New York when it came to the “Safe Act”, people refused to comply and it put a kink in their system.

  • >Am I going to have to write an article about stealth chicken keeping to aid and abet wannabe backyard chicken bootleggers?


  • Sad when don’t have to show ID to vote, drug test to get welfare but have to register for an ID number to have a chicken. Guess get ready to start registering your dogs because of this new dog flu going around. This is ridiculous all it does is give them a right to come on your property and kill all if they even have a suspicion of it in your area. Look what has happened in Virginia and Georgia. By what measures are they so called going to “protect your animals”? Did not see by which means in their plan that was listed only hurry and sign up!

  • It is sad but true, once you register anything with the state, the state assumes control via your acquiescence to the unrevealed contract you sign whenever you register, ie your marriage (marriage certificate), your children (birth certificate), your property (Recorded Deed) (your a tenant whether you own your home or have a mortgage), that’s why they want you to register your chickens and your guns, so if they take a long time trying to find your guns they can cook your chickens for dinner.

  • RE: “Information gathered through registration will be used solely for animal health purposes.”

    Is that kind of like how “they” once said Social Security numbers were not to be used as identification numbers?

    Anyway, the whole thing fits in this bit, here:

    “What has happened is the worst thing that could have possibly happened: in full view of the entire world, “Western values” have been demonstrated to be null and void.

    If you think that these are just some specific examples of difficulties or mistakes that could potentially be overcome in some dim and foggy future, then you are wrong: this is all of the “Western values” worth mentioning, and they have all been invalidated by observation. Note the past tense: they already have been invalidated. Are there any “Western values” left intact? Oh yes, just one: the rights of sexual minorities. But it is not possible to maintain Western civilization on the strength of gay marriage alone. […] it is not possible, for the non-delusional, to identify with something (“The West”) that no longer exists.” …

  • I just received a letter today from my State’s Department of Agriculture informing me that they knew I had chickens and that I needed to register them.

    They are only 1 month old, and we ordered them through the mail. They are still in a brooder, and not visible and no one else knew about them.

    What I’d like to know is how in the world did the government know we had chickens?

      • Not sure. The only other entities that would have ANY knowledge would be the post office, as we had to go pick them up from there, and tractor supply where I purchased chicken feed with my debit card.

        It is indeed creepy, and I’m not happy that this information was shared without my consent.

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