How to transport chickens

Jdmatt15

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2020
14
14
24
Good evening everyone!
I'm going to be moving here in a week, and the birds are coming along. My question is, what's the best way to transport chickens? We have a 2.5 hour drive, and I have 12 full grown birds. How do you think I should accomplish this?
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,306
16,062
832
Nevada County, CA
I JUST did this with 10 adults. I put them in dog crates and a large rabbit cage. I had 3 in the larger crate, 3 in the rabbit cage, and 2 in each of the smaller crates. I put puppy pads in the bottom of the crates and bedding in the rabbit cage. I probably should have figured out a way to keep bedding in the crates, though, because I think the birds in the rabbit cage were much more comfortable. I only traveled for about 2 hours late at night, so I didn't bother with food and water. It was no problem. I fit them all in my hatchback
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,162
17,045
706
USA
I'm going to be moving here in a week, and the birds are coming along. My question is, what's the best way to transport chickens? We have a 2.5 hour drive, and I have 12 full grown birds. How do you think I should accomplish this?

Put the chickens in some container that will keep them safe, with enough ventilation, and just a little bit of space to move around. You don't want them bouncing all around as the car drives, but you also don't want them stacked on top of each other.

For 12 chickens, you may want to use several containers.

Put something underneath them to deal with droppings, and to provide traction for them. The wire floor of a dog crate with a tray under it could work (check the size of the holes), or you could use an old towel and throw it away afterward, or shavings/hay/straw (but those are more likely to make a mess in your car.)

Since the drive is only 2.5 hours, do not give them water or food while traveling. Just pack them up, drive, and provide food & water again when you get there.

For containers, I have personally used a dog crate, a plastic storage bin with hardware cloth on top, a cardboard box with chicken wire on top, and a large garbage can (I forget what I covered that with--it might have been the metal grating from a barbecue grill.) I tend to tie a rope around the container to hold the makeshift cover in place.

The chickens flap and try to get out and act panicked for a short time, but then they settle down, and when the car is actually going they tend to just sit down and wait for it to be over, at least for the first hour or two. They might get used to it and start moving around more later in the drive.

It is a good idea to make sure all the containers fit in the vehicle, before you actually put the chickens in them.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,543
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I have used a few things, but honestly my preference is a cardboard box with air holes. Chickens stink and chickens poop, a lot. Your vehicle will smell like chickens, chickens poop through the bars of dog crates. With a box you just throw it out after transport, keep your vehicle clean, minimizes smell, no clean up.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,960
707
Cleveland OH
Only 2.5 hours? Cat carriers, depending on the size of the carrier/birds it would not be unreasonable to put 3 to a carrier. You can also use cardboard boxes with LOTS of airholes. No need for food or water on that short of a trip - they'll be OK - but maybe use some straw bedding and put down a tarp.

I like these because they keep it dark so the chickens don't fuss but give plenty of air still. On a short trip it's ideal to keep them dark and quiet and fairly immobile IMO.
 

woodworm

Songster
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 31, 2015
219
580
201
North Wales, UK
My Coop
My Coop
We had 10 ex batts to collect, though only an hours drive but we put them all in one extra large dog crate with straw. Our dog crate had a plastic tray base rather than some you see that have a wire base.

They even laid us an egg on the journey

1606220158932.png


Still finding bits of straw in the boot of the car though :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,657
143,740
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
We had 10 ex batts to collect, though only an hours drive but we put them all in one extra large dog crate with straw. Our dog crate had a plastic tray base rather than some you see that have a wire base.

They even laid us an egg on the journey

View attachment 2423288

Still finding bits of straw in the boot of the car though :)
Yep, I moved my 10 birds in a crate like that.....only a 40 minute trip tho.
Flat floor of van helped a lot.
Putting tarp down first would be good.
 

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