Traveling 8 hours with chickens - advice please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mamakat74, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. mamakat74

    mamakat74 Out Of The Brooder

    We are moving this weekend and it will be at least an 8 hour drive. All of my animals will be traveling inside SUVs. But I have two concerns about the chickens.

    First, Mildred will be about six weeks old. Is she still susceptible to drafts and temp changes, like a window being cracked or anything? I intend to have her in a small airline crate, covered, and possibly put a hot hand or two in a sock in there.

    Second, Harriet (not quite old enough to be laying, but basically full-grown) open-mouth breathed the entire way to and from a vet appointment a couple of weeks ago (35-40 minutes one-way). I did not think to cover her cage at the time. Open-mouthed breathing in cats and chickens scares me - especially with Harriet. She was quite upset and never calmed down in the vet's office, so she ended up breathing like this and sort of being in a bit of a panic for hours. Aside from covering her cage, is there anything else I could do to help her out on the trip?

    And should they both have water available to them?
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Does your six-week-old have true feathers yet? If so, she'll be fine without any supplemental heat. I assume that you'll keep the SUV at a temperature that is comfortable for humans, so it should be fine for the birds, even if she still has a chick-fuzz covered head.

    I would put your anxious bird in the crate for several hours a day to practice, and get her used to it. Take her on short trips, and feed her favorite treats. See if a cover will help, or make things worse.

    As far as water, put apple slices or some other juicy fruit in the crates with the birds. Many breeders use orange slices during shipping. I would not provide feed of any other kind. When you stop for your own rest breaks, you can offer the birds water, but I'd take it away while the vehicle is moving. Not necessary, and sounds like a giant mess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  3. mamakat74

    mamakat74 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for the advice
     

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