Hi friends! As many of you know we moved this past January to our new farm house. This was our first time moving with chickens so we definitely learned a lot along the way. Today I want to share a few tips that will hopefully make your move go smoother.
1. Having a Game Plan
This is the most important part of moving with any animal. A few things you need to plan for are: how will you move your flock, how will you move the actual coop (if it is going with you), how long will your flock be in the car and where will you keep your chickens once you get to your destination. You also need to plan out the actual travel day and have plenty of water and food stops along the way.
Transportation truly just depends on what you have available and how big your flock is. Good ventilation and comfortable climate are key to keeping your chickens healthy and happy in the car. For a small flock, this can mean the back of an SUV or perhaps the backseat of a car or the interior of a minivan. The bed of a pickup truck can also work if you can provide shade and shelter while maintaining proper airflow.
3. Safe Containment
It is very important your chickens are safely contained during your drive. A few options are large cardboard boxes with a few holes punched on the sides for ventilation, wire dog crates (what we used!) or big plastic containers with ventilation. I found the dog crates we used at Goodwill for under $5 each! I used two crates and comfortably fit all my girls in them. One of the crates didn’t have a bottom tray so I just used a towel. I also used Christmas wrapping paper to line the back of my car for extra protection. This was very helpful because I just threw it away once we were done.
4. Moving the Coop
This is a personal decision because it can get expensive and complicated to move a chicken coop. If you have a small coop you can easily transport it in the back of a pick up truck, trailer or even moving truck. But if you have a big coop like we do, it can get tricky. I did A LOT of research to see if this would be worth it and for me, it definitely was. We reached out to our friend that built our coop to help us move the chicken coop. If you do not have a trailer and way of loading/unloading your coop, you can post on local Facebook groups for help. You can also hire someone with the tools you need but keep in mind this can get pricey. Especially if you are going a long distance because they usually charge per mile transported.
5. Adapting to Their New Home
As I mentioned in the first tip, make sure you have a plan to have a safe environment to put your chickens in once you get to your destination. Whether it’s a temporary coop or an allocated area of your yard, make sure it is safe for them. In brand-new environments, chickens can be somewhat skittish. They are cautious about exploring too far from what’s familiar to them (in this case, the crates they were traveling in) and they need a little time to get used to their surroundings. My girls went straight into their coop but they definitely took a while to get used to their new home. They also stopped laying for a few weeks, which is normal since it was a new environment to them. Because I knew the trip was stressful for them, I went ahead and gave them some electrolytes and probiotics (I use Hydro Hen by Manna Pro) and extra treats. It didn’t take too long for my girls to be back to their normal, egg laying selves!
I hope you find todays’ blog post helpful! If you have any specific questions after reading this post, please feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.
Author: Luisa Hammett, Peaches to Pearls, LLC, http://peachestopearls.com/
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