How to transport chickens

Homemade chicken cage

If you decide to bring
home some new hens
you’ll need to figure out a cage to transport them in.  Our recent
visit to the local
turned up a
slew of options, and I thought you might like a photo tour to get your
creative juices flowing.

Chickens behind a jeep

A lot of the chickens
were being moved around in storebought wire crates.  The homemade
version shown in the first photo looked like it might be a cheaper
alternative, and Mark built
chicken carrier
the price of a couple of screws.  In a pinch, you can also just
poke a few air holes in a cardboard box and cram your chickens inside.

Old-fashioned methods of
transporting chickens include tying their legs
together and/or cramming them in a gunny sack.  Those techniques
probably work, but are questionably humane.

Trucking turkeys

The main factors to
consider when moving chickens are their comfort and your comfort. 
In respect to the latter, many people choose to haul poultry in the bed
of a pickup truck.  However, I try to focus more on the comfort of
the chicken, so I keep the flock inside the vehicle, laying down
newspapers if necessary to keep manure from ruining upholstry. 

Poultry cagesI’ve also noticed that a
mostly enclosed space keeps the traveling poultry calmer than an open
cage.  Do be sure to include vents to keep your chickens from
suffocating, though.

No matter how you
transport them, being moved around is traumatic for hens.  They
often stop laying for a week or more after changing location,
especially if you carry them long distances.

The hour’s drive from
the animal swap to our house (and the bouncing ride back to our core
homestead in the golf cart) didn’t seem to phase our Rhode Island Reds,
though.  They’ve been averaging two eggs a day between the three
of them ever since they moved in.  And, yes, those eggs did turn
bright orange within a week of having access to fine pasture.

Our chicken waterer won’t spill, so it’s great
to include in moving cages.  However, your chickens probably won’t
want to drink during the trip unless they’re on the road for several

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