Taking a chicken to school....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by carolinasculpture, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2010
    Hello! I have a weird question, and wasn't sure where to post...
    Every once in a while, I have a request to bring a hen or two into a classroom for the "life cycles" unit. My hens are more than happy to go as they get lots of treats. My concern is the transport. I usually put them in a dog crate of one size or another and have put down everything from newspaper to wood chips. Nothing seems to keep them from sliding around during the trip. I even put a roost in hoping they would just sit it out.
    Anyway, how do you transport your chickens so they don't slide? I am worried about leg injuries.
    Thank you! I am looking forward to your suggestions!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Stay away from newspaper. Lots of pine shavings and put a towel or something else over the carrier to make it dark and they'll sit it out.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I've done 2 such sessions with first grade children. The first year, I took a Dom hen. The second year, I took a few chicks. Both times, I put them in a cat carrier, b/c that's all I have available. A good layer of shavings or perhaps some hay. IMO, a smaller container will result in less sliding.
  4. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2016
    How about wedging a section of split (so one side is flat) firewood or chunk of log in there? Something to elevate them and help them grip something?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do it routinely. See link below. Will do it again this coming Wednesday and Thursday to separate locations.


    Cat carrier is what I use with hen or hen with chicks. Rooster is generally not contained as he is introduced to audience first. They are taken off feed the evening before we depart so they fast for at least 12 hours to allow clearing of gut which greatly reduces defecation during transport. Birds loaded into cat carrier immediately prior to departure. When birds to be displayed outside or where feces is not considered to be an issue, then birds in cat carrier are not provided anything special to absorb feces. If location particular, then have old rotten rags or even kitty litter without additives placed in carrier before adding birds. Place carrier(s) into large baking pan(s) to catch anything that comes out. You can also clean hens feet with wet wipes upon release.

    Much of the time life cycle is part of my display, therefore sequence setup so at least one hen is covered by rooster and he is allowed to indicate where he thinks a good nesting location is. I also take a pre-made nest with table-eggs to demonstrate what nest looks like and how broody hen tends them.

    My birds are allowed to move freely about classroom with students sitting on floor in a circle. Mealworms and large intact grains are tossed about so chickens will feed off kids legs and feet. As kids get more confident you can place mealworms in their hands. Use live, not the freeze dried crap. Make certain birds well vetted with people on ground. Instruct kids and instructor to move slowly, no grabbing.

    Feces are not all bad, they are usually part of my show explaining how nutrients can be processed by different pathways. You can also stress how the chickens conserve water by using uric acid instead of urea like mammals do.
    3 people like this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    When I transport birds, I also use a crate. I use wood shavings (it's what I have) and don't seem to have a problem. I agree a smaller carrier will contain a single bird better.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Every time I've transported birds they hunker down when accelerating/decelerating/turning......
    ......but crate is sitting flat in back of van and I drive cautiously to avoid any slamming on of brakes and take turns slowly.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Sliding about is not generally a problem under normal driving conditions. Roosters I take can usually stand in passenger seat without shifting for entire trip. Bigger concern is crimping feathers in carrier. Most damage occurs when birds back into gate. Having birds is good feather is more pleasant.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Sheesh, and here I've been driving like a batouttahell.....[​IMG]

    1 person likes this.
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    What, no drag racing? That's no fun! Mary

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