In the old days we used to put chicks or adult birds in cardboard boxes and close the lid, but that was not without problems.
The boxes did not protect the birds well if there was an unforeseen accident.
Boxes would get wet and fall apart during transport which would leave you in a car with chickens flapping around!
Crates are much more secure way to transport your chickens and they have the added bonus of the birds being able to look out and enjoy the scenery.
In this article we are going to review the crates available today and run through the good, the bad and the ugly of each of them. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about chicken crates and how to pick the right one for your flock…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- 5 Best Chicken and Poultry Crates
- 4 Reasons Why You Need A Chicken Crate
- What To Know Before Buying A Chicken Crate
- Common Problems With Carriers
- Frequently Asked Questions
5 Best Chicken and Poultry Crates
|Editor’s Picks||Brand||Our Rating|
|The Best||RentACoop Poultry Carrier For Chickens||4.5|
|Runner Up||Premier Poultry Carrier Crate||4.2|
|Best Value||Rite Farm Poultry Transport Basket||4.2|
|Biggest Crate||RentACoop Carrier Crate for Turkeys||4.5|
|Up and Comer||FarmTek Chicken Transport Cage||3.5|
The Best Crate: RentACoop Poultry Carrier For Chickens
The RentACoop Poultry Carrier For Chickens is made from high density durable plastic and has easy slide doors. The carrier has handles on each end and even has an area for ID labels to be attached if needed. A nice thing about this crate is that is has smaller grid holes on the bottom which means it is less likely that chickens could get their toes or claws stuck. The dimensions are: 29″x22″x12″ which means each chicken crate can hold around six standard chickens.
- Easy to clean.
- Smooth edges so your chickens are less likely to graze on them.
- Each cage is stackable.
- Crate is very lightweight so it is easier to carry.
- Very study design which makes it durable.
- Doors can sometimes get sticky.
- Assembly can be a challenge.
- Can warp if kept in high heat areas.
Runner Up Crate: Premier Poultry Carrier Crate
The Premier Poultry Carrier Crate is 30″x22″x11.5″. Premier has a very good reputation for quality and thoughtful products and this crate is no exception. On the floor of the crate the grid has smaller holes to prevent foot injuries to the birds. It has two doors (one on top and one on the side) and there is also an ID area for labeling. Despite the price most people really like this chicken crate and there are no reports about poor quality or defective manufacturing.
- A very sturdy and durable carrier.
- Crate is very simple to assemble.
- Product includes an assembly video.
- Has a top and side door.
- More expensive that other crates.
- If you do not use often then a cheaper crate would be better for you.
Best Value: Rite Farm Poultry Transport Basket
The best value for money chicken crate on our list is the Rite Farm Poultry Transport Basket. This crate is made by Rite farm who are a well-known name and produce a wide variety of poultry related items. These crates are stackable, but when not in use they can be disassembled for easier storage. Again like other crates mentioned the floor has a smaller sized grid to help prevent birds from getting their toes trapped in the holes. It is 29″x21″x12″, so it can comfortably hold six standard chickens.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Very reasonable price and durable.
- It has a small are where you can place an identifying tag if you want.
- Washable so easy to keep clean.
- It only has a top opening, no side doors.
- Assembly instructions are not included.
- Door can be a bit sticky at times.
Biggest Crate: RentACoop Carrier Crate for Turkeys
RentACoop Carrier Crate for Turkeys is the largest carrier on our list. It is designed larger birds such as turkeys, ducks or geese but you could also use it for larger chicken breeds such as Jersey Giants. This crate is 30″x23″17″ and can comfortable hold four turkeys at once.
- Large enough to carry Turkeys and other large birds.
- Top and side door opening.
- Each cage is stackable which makes transportation easier.
- They are washable so easy to clean.
- Like other plastic crates the doors can be sticky.
- No assembly instructions included.
Up and Comer: FarmTek Chicken Transport Cage
The FarmTek Chicken Transport Cage is an affordable crate that is made from high density polyethylene plastic. Similar to other carriers mentioned here the floor has a smaller grid to prevent injury to the birds’ feet. The overall dimensions of this chicken carrier are 28″x20″x12″ which makes it suitable for around 6 chickens.
- Washable so they are easy to keep clean.
- Easy to assemble.
- Each carrier is stackable so they are easy to store.
- It only has one top opening flap.
- Advertising states it can be used for ducks and geese too, but given height we would not recommend this.
- No installation instructions.
4 Reasons Why You Need A Chicken Crate
If you have a large number of chickens to transport then using a chicken crate is the easiest and most secure way to do it.
Many of us simply use a cardboard box, or even a pet carrier, to move one or two chickens. But if you are going to be moving 3 or more chickens, then a crate is the best option available. If you are transporting larger breeds, such as Brahmas, then you should use a crate at all times.
These crates will stack easily so you can move a large number of chickens quickly, easily and keep them all together.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you may find yourself in need of a crate:
- Exhibition or 4H Shows: During an exhibition it is important for your birds to look their best. A crate can help your chicken to feel secure and may help to keep it calm during travel. Just make sure not to cram too many birds into one crate – especially if it is an exhibition!
- Moving Coops: If you need to move your flock to a different coop then crates are a great way to contain your flock while they are being moved.
- Auctions: You will need a crate here for travel security and considerations. Depending on the auction barn some will leave the birds in the crate, while others will move them to a holding pen for better viewing.
- Disaster Transport: We do not like to think about it, but what happens if there is a flooding or some other natural disaster that means we have to leave our house quickly? You will need some crates to transport your birds safely.
What To Know Before Buying A Chicken Crate
There are a few things you need to consider before purchasing your chicken crate.
Are you going to be using it a lot?
If you are only transporting a couple of chickens once a year then you do not need to worry about durability.
However, if you are going to be using it a lot for shows and exhibitions then it makes a lot of sense to buy something that is sturdy and will protect your chickens from harm or getting loose.
You also need to consider what type of poultry you are going to be transporting. This will determine what size and how many crates you will need to buy.
Larger birds such as turkeys, ducks and geese will need a larger crate so prepare accordingly.
Just remember that each crate will weigh around ten pounds. By the time you add six average chickens (like Rhode Island Reds) into the crate you are looking at over fifty pounds of weight! You might need a hand cart and an assistant to help you load and unload your chickens.
Common Problems With Carriers
The vast majority of crates are made of plastic these days.
Admittedly they are high density and should be strong enough to hold your chickens, however you will still need to look after these crates properly.
When storing chicken crates you should make sure they are not stored where sunlight will hit them, nor should they be stored in an area that gets extremely cold.
Plastic stresses at very high or very low temperature.
Heat can cause plastic to warp. This makes it almost impossible to fit pieces back together again and long exposure to bright sunlight can cause fatigue in the material making it slightly more brittle. Plastics stored in extreme cold can be fractured when trying to put them back together, so proper storage is very important.
Also plastic doors in the crates are prone to stickiness, so care needs to be taken when opening and closing these doors. The plastic hinges are high stress points and abusing them will cause them to snap off and break.
Lastly, please bear in mind that advertisers can be too optimistic about how many birds can fit in a crate. This is not a crate problem but it is something that you should be aware of. For the comfort of your poultry always assume that the crate will hold less than advertised.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many chickens can I put in a crate?
As a general rule manufacturers can be optimistic about how many birds a chicken crate will hold. So you should adjust their numbers down a little. If they state eight standard birds, think six. And if they say twelve bantams, think nine or ten.
How long can chickens stay inside the crate?
Ideally no more than a few hours, and a maximum of eight hours.
Remember whilst they are in their crate they do not have access to food or water so any longer than eight hours and their health will suffer.
How often should you clean a chicken crate?
The crate should be washed and disinfected after each use.
Chicken crates are a useful addition to your chicken equipment.
Although they are used mainly for transportation, they can also be used for broody’s to nest in, keeping a sickly bird isolated and other occasional needs.
Whilst these crates used to be only used by the poultry industry itself, there are a growing number of backyard chicken keepers that use these crates for transporting birds.
Just remember when you are looking for a crate you need to read the reviews and ask for opinions of folks who already have a crate.
Do you have any tips to share about buying a crate? Let us know below…
Our readers support us. This means when you buy via certain links on our website we can earn a small referral commission (learn more here).