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travelling with chooks

Travelling with chooks

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When travelling with chooks take care packing, writes JESSAMY MILLER.

Call me strange, but I like to take my chooks on holidays with me. They are part of the family after all. We are lucky to have a regular holiday destination with a spare henhouse. But chooks often need to be transported to a show, to the vet’s, or to a new owner, so I have some tips to make the process stress free. The key is to protect birds from heat, sunlight, rain and wind.

Transport chooks in generous carriers with plenty of ventilation, such as cat carry boxes or wire show cages. Cardboard boxes are okay for short trips, but need a height of 25cm and multiple air holes cut in the sides. Ensure birds aren’t crowded and can stand up.

Be aware it’s not legal to use feed bags for transport, to tie birds’ legs together, or to transport birds in the boot. I prefer not to use the far back of my wagon in summer either as the air con doesn’t reach.

Position carriers in the shade, and so ventilation holes are clear. You won’t want them to slide as you zoom round a corner!

Travel in the cooler hours in summer, and take the quickest route; sightsee later. Your birds will need checking and water after 2-3 hours, so plan a rest stop. Never leave birds in the car with the engine off.

Even a short trip can run into trouble like a flat tire, so pack a bottle of water, emergency feed and bowls, just in case you get delayed.

Warn the kids it could get whiffy. Oh, and check cage doors are secured. I’ll never forget the trip the hens popped out of their carry box and rode shotgun next to me. Nor will the drivers passing me, I suspect.