Poultry must be transported using appropriate cages and in vehicles that are covered. Appropriate cages must have enough space to allow birds to lie down, stand up and change position during transport.
During transport, food and water must not be withheld from birds for a period longer than 24 hours.
During transportation, the cages used for carrying poultry must:
- be lifted and placed with care
- be positioned on the vehicle in an upright position without excessive tilting
- not be dropped or thrown
- be securely attached to the vehicle.
Fowls must not be transported:
- in bags
- with legs tied
- in the boot of a car.
|Loading and unloading animals onto transporters||3|
Transporting birds is a stressful process for them. Stress arises from catching, handling, deprivation of food, water and freedom of natural movement, changes in temperature and unfamiliar surroundings. Care must be exercised to ensure that poultry are not subjected to unnecessary stress during catching, loading, transportation and unloading.
Birds selected for transport must be healthy, fit for travel and must not be sick, weak or injured. Birds that are fit for transport must be carefully loaded into appropriate clean crates or cages and have floors constructed of ridged material designed to prevent any part of the bird protruding during travel. Cages must not have protrusions, sharp edges or hinges and latches projecting into the cage. They need to be well ventilated and be of sufficient height to allow birds to stand, lie down and change position. Overcrowding in cages can result in birds trampling one another. Locking mechanisms to prevent escape during transport should be fitted.
Care must be taken during the hotter months of the year as poultry readily suffer heat stress.
Roosters or birds that have displayed aggression towards one another previously, should not be transported in the same cage.
Cages must be placed in the vehicle in an upright position and must be protected from wind, high and low temperature, rain, sleet and direct sunlight.
Continuous transportation should never exceed 12 hours and birds must be checked regularly throughout transport for signs of illness, trampling, injury, stress of suffering from heat or cold.
It is important to have good knowledge of the disease status of animals prior to bringing them onto the school farm. This may involve vaccinations, parasite control and even blood tests where applicable. Advice from the local veterinarian or livestock officer should be sought.
It is a good idea to quarantine new birds from existing birds for a period of time. This should allow time for observation of any signs of illness or parasite infestations.
Land transport guidelines provides further information about the transport of poultry.