Have you ever wondered how to transport chickens? I’d never pondered this one before until recently when we had the chance to adopt some adult chickens from a family living two hours away from us. They were moving and needed to find a new home for their flock of four adult hens. We connected in a regional group on Facebook and started chatting about how we could make this chicken transport happen. Since they were coming to our town for an appointment, re-homing chickens a couple hours away wasn’t unrealistic if we could just figure out how to safely transport them!
My first thought was to put them all in a big box with some air holes in it. This isn’t the best idea because they might peck at each other in that small enclosed space. A wire cage isn’t the best option either if you are planning to transport chickens in your car! Just imagine fresh chicken poop, feathers and bedding being flung all over the interior of your car. Yuck!
The family giving us the chickens came up with this brilliant idea to transport the chickens. They got four cardboard file boxes with lids and placed some straw in the the bottom of each box. Then each chicken was placed into a box and the lid taped on tightly so they couldn’t escape in the car (can you imagine driving down the interstate at 70mph with a loose chicken or two flapping around your car?! Yikes!!)
The chickens had an air hole and peep hole where the handle was cut out on each side. I thought it was rather cute to see them sticking their little heads out the hole to check me out!
We met up in town and moved the boxed up chickens to my car. They didn’t make a peep! I drove about 15 minutes back to our homestead to unload them. I was so excited to meet our new chickens! We already had a temporary coop and run set up at our greenhouse that isn’t in use yet this season.
I carried one box over at a time to the new run, sat the box down and carefully took the lid off. I never saw the chickens or even pictures of them before they arrived here so for me it was like Christmas taking the lids off! The chickens are all so beautiful. When the lid was removed, each one sat there a few seconds looking at me and their surroundings them hopped up out of the box to start exploring.
The Wyandotte chicken even laid an egg in her cardboard box!
The chickens all made the trip with no issues and seem to have adjusted just fine to their new surroundings. Here they are happily searching for some scratch I threw out for them.
About an hour after I unpacked our new chickens and had them settled in, I just happened to see a free ad on Craigslist for some free wire animal cages. I needed to go back into town so swung by the alley where they were and was the first to arrive and get my pick of cages! I picked up two decent sized metal cages that we can use to transport chickens in the back of our truck if need be in the future. We also plan to use them to help transition our spring chicks to outdoors. What a great score!
Have you ever had to transport chickens? Do you have any tips to share?