How to Transport Chickens
If you’ve ever been responsible for transporting chickens, then you know that it can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider when transporting these delicate creatures, from the type of vehicle you’ll use to the way you’ll pack them in. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for safely transporting chickens and how to carry out each of those steps.
Create a Healthy Environment
Chickens are very delicate and need their environment to be just right to survive. One of the most important things you can do is create a healthy environment to travel in.
Pack Them Properly
One of the most challenging parts of transporting chickens is packing them properly. There are many ways people pack their chickens, but not all of them are effective or humane. It would be best to pack them properly and carefully according to your needs and distance.
Loading the Vehicle
When it comes to loading the vehicle, you will be used to transporting chickens; it is vital to be very careful not to damage them. Try to avoid putting too much weight on the carrier and avoid dropping it.
Small Dark Boxes
Chickens are very sensitive birds that are easily stressed. When transporting them, it is essential not to let this happen. Chickens are sensitive to changes in their environment, so it is necessary to keep their stress levels low when transporting them. One of the easiest ways is to use small dark boxes instead of large open carriers. And keep them as relaxed as possible. If possible check our article on Types of Moving Boxes.
Quiet and Smooth Trip
Try to make the transportation process quiet and smooth. It is essential to maintain a steady speed, avoid sharp turns, and not make sudden stops. These things will only stress the chickens out more.
While transporting the chicken, it is essential to prepare their housing. Prepare food and water for them as well. If they are spending the night at their destination, make sure to keep them in a quiet place where they can rest.
Don’t forget to stock up on food and water. Straw or shavings should be used for bedding. A safe refuge from predators is another must.
Suitable carrying container
The safest and most secure way to transport your chickens is using chicken cages. You will need a bigger crate if you are transporting your birds for longer distances because it is necessary for them to move about a bit. The crate has a locking door made of metal and ensures that your hens cannot escape.
You may also want to look into purchasing a metal dog cage that is large enough for your hens to stand up in. The metal wire may seem like a bad idea to some, but it is safer because your hens cannot chew through it. Having one side that locks and the other side which folds down so you can easily access your birds also makes it far more convenient than chicken crates.
If you are transporting one or two chickens, one cardboard with a few whole will be more than sufficient. If you are transporting more than that, you will need to look into something else.
What to keep inside the crate
- For each crate, there should be a small feeder and water dispenser.
- Use Piddle pads or something similar to keep your car clean.
- You may also use a thin blanket or sheet to cover the crates.
- Straw is a soft material ideal for smaller cages with hard floors.
- You can put a few soothing herbs such as lavender inside the crate
- Place a lot of flock blocks and fresh fruit such as watermelon.
- For a stubborn chicken, keep spare cardboard boxes on hand.
Include Some Natural Calming Remedies
Hanging a bundle of fresh herbs in each cage will attempt to soothe the chickens while they travel. Use lavender, rosemary, thyme, chamomile, and lemon balm in each bouquet; this helps to repel flies and provide a calmer atmosphere, and it also gives the hens another treat to enjoy.
What to do during transport?
It would be best first to load the crates with your hens and put them in the truck. To do this:
- If possible, take them straight from the coop and place them in the crate.
- Take the feeder and water container along.
- Load them up earlier, so your hens do not get thirsty or hungry during the trip.
When it comes to housing your chickens, keep the following points in mind:
- Put families with families and friends with friends because they will go further together rather than alone.
- Chickens with special requirements should be organized in the same manner you don’t want them to be picked on.
- Try putting an apprehensive hen with a peaceful, older chicken for protection.
- If you have trouble hens, transport them alone in a modified cardboard box to keep them calm.
- Finally, place rooster(s) in their crates with their favorite hen(s).
Once all the chickens are packed and loaded on the vehicle, now comes the time to drive carefully, avoiding sudden stops and fast acceleration. You should also keep a steady speed; this way, if any chickens fall off the back, they will not break their necks.
It is also advisable to watch for bumps in the road. Keeping your eyes on the road at all times will help prevent any accidental bumps or collisions with other objects that may injure your birds.
Check to see if they’re doing okay
It’s very tricky to transport chickens, even after taking all the necessary precautions. Therefore, you should check to ensure they’re doing alright now and then during your drive. Ensure that all the crates are securely locked; if not, open them up and close them as soon as possible because you don’t want any of your chickens to get out.
You should stop and check the chickens every 4 hours and remove any dead ones. And check whether chickens are panting, holding their wings away from their bodies, pale combs, loose water poop, or pecking at each other. If yes, then these signs indicate that the chickens are stressed. Do the required remedies and stop the vehicle immediately.
What to do after transport?
Once you arrive at your destination, unload each crate right away, feed and water all chicken good food with clean water. If any chickens are sick or injured, it is best to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.
To prevent stress in the future, keep these points in mind:
Always keep the vehicle clean and sanitize it before putting your chickens back in. If there are any dead chickens, shovel them right away, so other chickens don’t eat them.
Keep all the necessary equipment with you when transporting to avoid running around for supplies if anything happens. Keep their coop or pen in an open space, so they have room to run around.
Ensure the coop is safe from predators but still give them enough freedom to stretch their legs. All in all, transporting chickens is not an easy task. It takes lots of preparation and patience; otherwise, you can even lose your precious chickens. So make sure to keep these points in mind the next time you transport your chickens.
Transporting chickens can be a daunting task, but it can be relatively easy if you take the necessary precautions. Make sure to load the crates with feeder and water containers, check on them every 4 hours or so, and unload them as soon as you reach your destination. Be prepared for any bumps in the road by keeping an eye out for potential hazards. Finally, make sure to clean and sanitize the vehicle before putting the chickens back in.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you keep a chicken in a crate?
You should check on your chickens every 4 hours to see if they are okay. You also want to remove any dead or injured chickens right away. If the crate is not secured firmly, it’s best to open it up and secure it properly because you don’t want any of them.
What do you use to transport a chicken?
You may move chickens in a cardboard box. Ensure the cardboard chicken boxes are sturdy and have adequate ventilation holes. Two extended cut-outs on opposing sides of the cardboard container offer excellent cross ventilation. You’ll need more than just a couple of random air vents.
How big of a box do I need to transport chickens?
Each chicken requires an 8-inch wide, 12-inch deep, and 10-inch tall nesting box. Each box of chickens should have the exact dimensions.
What do you put in a cardboard box to transport chickens?
You can put an old towel or sheet on the bottom of the crate for comfort. Do not use hay because they will eat it. Put food and water in each crate. You can place some pine shavings on top of the water to keep it clean.
How do you transport chickens?
You can put 4-5 chickens in a tiny box with 5-6 inches of ventilation space on each side. The more boxed, the less ventilation they have, so be careful. Don’t overcrowd them, or else they won’t be able to move around at all.