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LittleOwl

Moving House - best way to transport hens?

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Hello all,

 

We have 7 girls and a cockerel, all about 2 years old. We are moving house next week and the journey to the new place will be 1hr 45mins, so quite a journey. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to transport them? We were thinking we would let them out for 2 or 3 hours in the morning as usual, then tempt them into a dog crate with corn (I am not sure if we could tempt them into the Eglu all at once in the middle of the day) to transport them in our truck, then they will have 2 to 3 hours at the other end to eat and settle before going to bed. If so, should we cover them with a blanket so that they are in the dark on the journey? We will have a new large fenced run set up for them up there to be put straight in, and their Eglu will be in place before their bedtime.

 

Or is there any mileage in taking them very early in the Eglu, before they get up?

 

Of course we won't let them out of the run and into the wider world until they are properly settled in.

 

Anyway, any advice or other tips would be appreciated :)

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I've moved hens in a dog crate. I covered them with a blanket and they were fine at the end of the journey. I just kept them quiet for a bit and chatted to them before I put them in their new Eglu.

 

I also had some that I adopted who had a good 3 hour journey and were OK at the end of it. Soon settled into their accomodation and were laying happily.

 

I have more trouble getting Maddie the cat to the vets around the corner :roll:

Good luck

 

Caroline

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We took our 4 girls in a large pet carrier with bedding covering the floor, food and water in little bowls. It was a 3 and a half hour car journey with a 1 hour ferry crossing. We specifically asked them to put us on the top deck at the front and let us stay in the car with them with the windows open.

 

They were good as gold the whole way not so much as a bwark!

 

It was all so strange they just sat there watching, a little bit of rearranging and moving around, but no scuffling or fighting, they just watched with intrigue, they could see / hear / smell us, we talked to them. We just strapped the carrier into the rear seat.

 

Hope this helps

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When we move our girls anywhere, vets or over to my dad's if we are having a weekend away, we use a large pet carrier. The ones we have hold four hens quite comfortably (it does make it quite heavy though). You could use shavings in there but these might get kicked around and we were finding shavings in the car weeks later! They seem to slide around a bit on newspaper so we use an old fabric doormat (not one of the spiky ones :shock: ) and they seem to be able to grip that quite well. If they poop on it we just hose it down and leave it out to dry. Good luck!

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I personally wouldnt let them out in the morning, it will be stressful enough that day for you as it is and there could be a mishap or they may not want to be enticed in!

 

I would box them up the night before in cardboard boxes with some air slits/holes and leave them in a garage/shed overnight then transport them in those and then just let them out at the new house.

 

If you have a lit room/garage/utilty/shed that you can take them in to and offer a drink and food late in the evening before you go to bed then all the better

 

An Eglu or dog crate isnt really ideal for transporting them, they need to be in a snug and dark but well ventilated place

 

As long as they are in their boxes they will roost or at least settle down, The time span will be fine, I have had chickens in boxes on a day long trip from a show and they have been absolutely fine

 

If you need the heating on in the car then have the back windows open, the heat in a car can quite easily cause problems very quickly, ideally drive without the heater on and wrapped up warm - the ideal is that if its slightly too cold for you then it wil be great for the chooks, I cant do that so have the heater on my feet and the back windows open :lol:

 

A word of wisdom and experience - do NOT open a box at a motorway service station to check on a chook!

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I recently moved house too and my girls travelled in the car for 4 1/2 hours, 2 in each large cat carrier, with no mishaps.

 

Getting them into the carriers was a bit of an undignified bundle, as they didn't want to go in and there was just me to do it, but once in they were good as gold all the way. They had fleecy blankets to lie on, so they didn't slide around and were covered with a dark suit carrier to encourage them to sleep. I did make sure none of the vents in the carriers were covered and that the car was quite cold, so they didn't overheat.

 

The only thing they really didn't like was losing their (cube green) and (cube red) for the couple of days of the move and having to make do with (pink eglu) . Once their cubes were brought into the new garden they were very happy hens again :D

 

Much easier to move than the cats, who I brought up the week before to stay in a cattery for the duration of the move, and who didn't shut up all the way :shock: 4 1/2 hours in a car of "singing" cats - won't be doing that again in a hurry! :notalk:

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1 hr 45 mins isn't too long a journey, the chooks will be fine. If you can transport them in a box/carrier that can be kept fairly dark then so much the better. I travel with mine in a dog carrier (which is like a cat carrier only larger, not the wire crate type). Once you set off, the movement seems to send them into roost mode so they should snooze for the duration of the journey.

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Good advice already, mine managed a 2.5 hr motorway journey, 3 hr ferry trip and 1 hr road trip without mishap.

A word of wisdom and experience - do NOT open a box at a motorway service station to check on a chook!

 

:lol::lol: Been there, done that, never again :lol:

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lol wise words, we didn't open ours specifically to avoid the comedy. we were able to use bottled water and a pre-filled jug of food to top up the bowls, but to be honest they didn't eat much.

 

and they did kick shavings about, but the vacuum cleaner dealt with it no problem. :)

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They will be fine for that distance, as long as they have plenty of ventilation.

 

I would put in half a lettuce (iceberg is excellent for this as it gives them something to peck at and provides water if they need it.

 

I've transported hens for longer distances than that, although they have been in carboard boxes on the back seat of the car, belted in). I find it relaxing to hear them nibbling at the lettuce every so often.

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This is an old thread, but useful to a beginner; getting hens home is a step that cannot be avoided!

From reading the forum it looks like a trip of 2 hours shouldn't be a problem. I would have thought a 2 hour trip home from a breeder would be less stressful than a 2 hour trip home from a mart/fair, which the breeder might have travelled to.

A box with some bedding (maybe a lettuce) is fine. Keeping them in the dark, but ventilated, is good.

Judging by what people said, if I am buying three hens the box should be 50cm x 50cms (20 inchs x 20 inchs)? A deeper box with a top is probably a good idea?

 

A few people mentioned cat transporters. A medium size cat transporter is 37x34x55 cm (15x13x22 inches), or a cat bed might be 40 × 24 × 47cm. We don't have one, they're a modest price. Would one be worth getting? A transporter could be useful for any vet trips later on.

 

EDIT: a google image search produced; https://www.pulletsplus.com/product/pet-carrier/, but they don't say what size it is.

Edited by fdotr

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I have transported 2 in small cat box and 3 in bigger one. I am sorry cant measure for you as laid up after surgery. It was however an hour journey and they were fine. 

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I have transported 3 ex batts in a pet carrier. They all settled down really quickly and we're happy as Larry. 

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I often ferry about my hens to the chicken sitter place and just squeeze then in an old cat carrier. Prevents them sliding around and keeps them calm.

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I'd recommend a small dark container with plenty of air holes. They won't rattle about and fall over if they are together and the dark will keep them calm.

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Thanks all. Now that i know cardboard transport boxes exist I will go looking for them, otherwise an off-licence or grocer may have something. And I'll add holes and a lid. 

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Important you keep them cool, well ventilated and preferably dark. We made the mistake of dark overriding ventilation and the three hens were in a desperate state when we got them home; they did recover quickly though. Should have stopped and checked them but tried to keep the journey time to an absolute minimum and not disturb them instead.

When moving a flock to a new home it is best done at night.

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Thanks for resurrecting this.  I’m interested in the statement someone made about being able to take them on the top deck of a ferry and stay with them.   Now we take the dog to Europe we use Eurotunnel as we had been told that on ferries you have to leave the dog in the car alone.  I can only imagine a stressed dog and wrecked car if we did that!  Maybe this wasn’t a cross channel ferry?  

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The ferry we take (Stenaline) have a dog and cat kennel and your dog needs to stay in the kennel section but they do have a little dog patio where you can get them out into the air and go for a wee. The kennel section has a live feed to the tv system on board. 

 

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I think we’ll stick with the tunnel.  It’s only 35 mins as well.  Has anyone transported chickens to Europe?  

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I'm taking the dog on the ferry in a few weeks as tunnel was double the price, it says they have kennels the dog goes in.

I know falconers who regularly drive around Europe with birds but think you may need certificates for chickens as they're classed as food producing animals.

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I heard they often confiscate cocks at Calais being taken for fighting, as it is still practiced up there; same as bull fighting down here. I can only assume they are confiscated because the cocks don't have the necessary export paperwork. Bringing hatching eggs over seems commonplace as a local breeder buys from England but, as Lewis thinks, chickens will need export paperwork which perhaps your vet can provide?

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It’s ok.  I was just curious rather than thinking about doing it.  Let me know how you get on with the ferry Lewis.  If you’ve got Tesco vouchers you can use them for the tunnel, by the way.   

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