Chickens on the Move

Yes,… we brought the chickens with us, across the country. It took us four days. In a pickup (with a topper) we loaded…. two dogs, two cats (in a cage), 12 chickens and a rooster (in 3 boxes), a large cooler with pond fish and a tent and supplies for camping along the way. The perennial garden traveled in a flatbed trailer pulled behind us.

Each morning before we headed out, the chickens were given food and water in a 4’x4′ “pen” (a cardboard box with the bottom cut out that folded into the top of the load). This process took about half an hour by the time all of them had cycled through the process…. 4 at a time. At the same time, my husband fed, watered and walked the dogs. The cats spent their nights in the cab of the truck with a litter box, food and water. By the second day they were riding with us in the front of the truck.

We stopped in the middle of each day, usually around 1 or 2 pm, where we repeated this entire process. We camped each night… repeating the process again.

Amazingly to me, all the chickens made it with only minor inconvenience… it appeared that some of them had pecked each other and a few feathers around the neck were missing. They even continued to lay eggs (most of which I gave away when we camped at night) along the way. It was not uncomfortably hot for the journey (mid-June) and in fact was mostly overcast, which I think helped. Fortunately, not too rainy which would also have complicated the camping part significantly. The funniest was that every time we pulled into a gas station Mick would crow and everyone would look around. “Is that a rooster?” No… what else would it be. I always tried to fill up as quickly as possibly and move along. Our “stops” were at rest areas which we mostly had to ourselves. Alex and Bran even went swimming one sunny afternoon, just before we passed out of Ontario.

So yes, you can successfully transport chickens for significant distances without any ill effect. Just watch out for overheating.

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