Whether rushing your prize hen to the vet or taking your roosters to the butcher, humane traveling is the key. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your chickens remain as calm as possible and you move them without guilt.
1. Give them something solid to stand on.
Chickens hate having their feet off the solid ground, so make sure whatever you put them in has a solid bottom. Options for this are a cardboard box that closes, or a pet kennel or any other container that has a solid floor. Something you feel comfortable throwing away is probably your best option, however.
2. Keep it dark.
Chickens have very poor vision. By closing the box or throwing a blanket over the top of a dog kennel, you will keep the bird much calmer even if you’re traveling along a bumpy dirt road.
3. Do you want to keep it?
If you are using a box you will want to keep, consider putting shavings down to make clean up easier. If you put a nice layer of shavings in a cat or dog carrier for them to stand on, then all you have to do is dump the shavings and wipe the carrier out, rather than having to do a full on cleaning- as long as the birds are healthy.
4. They have to breathe.
One recommendation that I have seen is purchasing office file boxes from an office supply store. They will hold two or three chickens depending on size, and have handles that can be popped in to make air holes. You MUST have air holes. You cannot put chickens into a box and then simply throw them in the car and go. The box MUST have a way for them to keep breathing.
5. Packing them up.
Only put as many chickens in a box as can fit comfortably and still have room to move. This is dependent on how many chickens you have and what size they are, but is generally between three and five chickens to a box. If you throw a blanket on them they won’t move quite as much, but anyone who has been packed into a bus, train or airplane knows that the best way to travel is with a little space between you and the other passengers.
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