Can You Travel With Chickens in the Vehicle?

If you wish to transport chickens in the vehicle when you are driving you need to give it a little thought in advance.People may drive to a distant location to purchase chickens and then have the return trip to think about, or they may be taking their chickens somewhere away from home. Either way, there are some challenges and some problems to be solved.If you have a trailer and intend to transport them in the trailer, you will have to think about wind protection along the way. You can achieve this with a cheap plastic tarp on the front of the trailer strapped in place. If your trailer is closed you will not have to worry but in any situation where the chickens are exposed to the wind you will need to give it some thought. Wind can damage feathers and stress the fowls unnecessarily. Having some sort of protection in place is necessary.

Whether you use a trailer or the inside of your vehicle, you will need a good sturdy box. If the journey is a very short one you may get away with using a recycled cardboard box. If it is a lengthy journey will need something sturdier than that. Plastic dog boxes work very well. A large dog box can hold about three chickens. If you put some pine shavings in the floor of it, the droppings will be absorbed to a degree and they will stay cleaner. Be careful not to house birds together that will fight. Usually a mature male bird cannot be housed with another mature male bird because they will damage each other. You would need a separate box for the second one. Sometimes dominant hens will be the same. You need to know something about the nature of the fowls before you box them.If you are placing the boxes inside your vehicle you need to be aware that over the course of the journey that droppings will become very smelly. That can be difficult for the human passengers and windows may need to be down.Every few hours stops need to be made and the birds need to be offered food but more importantly – water. In hot weather, this is very important and the water needs to be cool. Some cages can support water bowls clipped to the front openings and these can be used and emptied before transport begins again.

During and after transport birds will be stressed. This is unavoidable as any big change is disturbing to them. Remember that this lowers their immune system and they may develop symptoms of any diseases to which they have been exposed. It is important to quarantine chickens that are arriving at a new home. Two to four weeks is usually recommended.If transporting chickens sounds too challenging, there are animals transport companies that specialise in the task. Some airlines will also take animal passengers in the cargo hold. Whatever you do, a little preparation and thought about boxing and packing will help prepare you for success.