MOVING DAY - Birds and All


10 Years
May 16, 2009
Hi, I'm looking for a little advice on safe, humane transportation of poultry. I am moving from Minnesota to Colorado next month and I am feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of transporting our small flock.
We have 14 chickens (plus 3 roosters), 4 ducks, 2 farm kitties, 1 silly dog and 2 inside kitties. Now I know I can use carriers for the cats and dog. It's the chickens and ducks I'm worried about. The chickens are in two groups because the Polish don't get along with the Arucanas.
I don't have a pickup and we are planning to rent a U-haul truck (the kind you drive). Now I have some people telling me to make crates and just rent a bigger truck than I need and put the chickens in the back of the U-haul. But the first thing I think of is WILL THEY HAVE ENOUGH AIR in the back of a moving truck for 13 hours? And won't it get too hot back there? (End of July crossing Nebraska)??? So I thought about blocking the back doors on the moving van open a bit and securing them but then wouldn't the birds get exhaust fumes?
I just don't have the money to pay someone else to take them out or the time and skill to build fancy transport pens.
There MUST be a safe way to transport them.
Any suggestions will be MOST appreciated.
Thank you.
If i was me, i'd travel at night. Leave about 8 pm and arrive at about 9 am. I like the idea of leaving the door open a crack. I think if you put the critters in last and on the floor, they would be fine. It's all a crap shoot but that sounds like the best way to me. Good Luck
I would be worried about leaving the door open a crack. Not because of fumes but because of some state laws. Just be sure to check laws on securing loads and make very very sure its secure enough. Maybe you could rent an old 2 horse trailer from somebody and put the chickens in it? Im not so sure about this. Good luck though!
I moved from NC to TN and it was a ten hour drive in July.
I left at night and arrived early morning and the chickens were in a dog carrier type kennel. They were fine as they don't normally eat or drink at night but I did have them in the back of a pick up.
The chickens adapted just fine once here.
I had to ride in the back of a UHaul truck across town a few years back. Just across town... no problem... right? WRONG!!! I almost died from the exhaust fumes pouring into the truck from a leaky exhaust or something. I would be hesitant to put birds in that environment for 12 hours- I almost keeled over after 20 minutes. And leaving the doors open would just allow the fumes to get to them quicker.

Can you allow them into the back of your car? I know it sounds messy, but... Maybe rent an SUV or minivan and pack them into crates?

I would never have thought twice about packing them into a moving truck if I hadn't been back there myself. Seriously, we were pounding on the partition between us and the driver to get him to stop so we could get out and breathe. Unless you are sure there are no exhaust leaks, (and most moving companies do not allow live freight in the backs of their trucks) I would find a different means of transporting your birds.

Good luck.
Thank you for the thoughts. I just have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that the u-haul thing is not the way to go. Especially after hearing about a "human's" experience in the back of one. (Thanks CMV) I would never forgive myself if anything happened to my daughter's pets. She's raised most of them from day old hatchlings.
Sounds like a trailer is my best bet because my car is too small to hold all of the chickens and the 4 ducks. Now I just have to figure out how to rent one that will work, how to pull it and what kind of crates to make for them to ride in. I yi yi....
Put the chickens in a dog carriers in the back seat of your vehicle...2 carriers stacked on top each other and the 4 ducks in a plastic type carrier on the floor.
Unless you have alot of people riding in the back seat it should hold your animals...
They will probably sleep thru it all and you can keep a watch on them.. Less stress on all of you! good luck...
Another thought, rent an open trailer to pull behind either the car or the truck. Circulation should be ok for that ride. The night idea is a good one. I recently (last July) moved my flock, chickens and geese, 600 miles, mostly at night and in a pickup bed. We gave them water at each stop and spritzed the geese with a spray bottle. Everyone was fine........Pop
Last edited:
Might try to pick up a small used trailer and fit it for them. Around here I can buy a new one for under $200 that would only need a top. Think how chickens are transported by the commercials -- jammed in too close, of course, but lots of air flow. And they can be pretty close together for an overnight ride; think how close together they sleep.

Good luck. You'll figure it out.
Last edited by a moderator:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom