Friday, October 25, 2013

Take your chooks and run!

Evacuating during a fire threat with chickens is challenging - as I found out this week. M was all for leaving them but I just couldn't. Now that I've taken them away and brought them home again, I'm thinking rather differently. It's hard work looking after 9 pets in someone else's house, no matter how good friends/family they are. Now that we are back, I've been looking at some suggestions on what to do should you need to take your chooks and run and, as usual, I'm amused and impressed by what I have found.

High-Vis chicken jacket - from Omlet, of course!

NSW Hen Rescue

I found this page Bushfire Evacuation for Hens on the NSW Hen Rescue website this morning. It has some good advice on what to do with your chooks. In summary, have:
  • enough pet carriers for all your animals - two hens fit in one cat cage
  • the carriers all ready to go
  • an emergency kit for the animals
  • a plan to round up your hens and other animals 
  • a plan where you will take your hens and other animals. 

Next time - like the webpage above mentions - I'd have more cages on hand. Our girls are 'big boned' and stuffing three into a cat cage was not comfortable for the poor dears.  And while I'd thought about taking the girls, I hadn't stopped to think where to. I'd assumed they could go to my Mum's but they were having a major plumbing emergency with workmen crawling all over the place and that wasn't an option. Not everyone wants 8 chickens to arrive unexpectedly, especially if you haven't also thought how you will house them!

There's no place like home

So with the girls holed up under some bird netting cast over my friend's lovely teak outdoor furniture (yes, they are good friends ), I got to thinking about if there were a 'next time', what would I do differently?

Posted by Resilient Communities on FB

Repurpose a tent? You could cut the floor out but leave enough of an edge to peg it down. Put netting over like a fly and have all the window flaps open. It would house 8 chooks and would be easy to put up and relatively safe. Not a bad idea, if I don't mind saying so myself! Looking into this idea, I came across these coops (again, from

Eglu to you too

The Eglu Classic chook pod with run - not big enough for 8 though

Behold! The Eglu Cube !! Fits 10 chickens and could be put on a trailer. Nice one!! 

If only the were for sale here - so easy!


Chris said...

You can buy plastic chicken carriers, which (I think) you can fold up when they're not in use. They're designed low, so the chickens have to sit down. It caused them less stress when they're travelling, as long as they get enough air flow.

I was thinking when we retire our 6x4 trailer, of turning it into a chicken evacuation unit, complete with a water barrel and another to hold their scratch mix. That way, I only have to buy straw once they're relocated.

But you're lucky you had time to leave. Some bushfires just arrive so quickly, you have to leave the animals behind.

Glad you're all safe though.

Chris said...

Forgot to mention, I love some of the wacky stuff they invent for chickens. Love the car photo!

Michelle said...

I havent been blogging for over a year. Decided I will pick up again..,,but whilst I was in bed thinking and pondering about this I wondered how my blogger friend was with the fires in the blue mts. So glad all is ok and the hens managed. Happy chemicals..yep same here...understand completely.
Anyway, havent written a word this arvo.,too busy catching up on ogyher blogs with yours the first cab off the rank! I tend to facebook more stuff these days....
Latest chicken news here: Put 18 eggs in incubator,,,12 hatched and 11 survived. They have been in brooder a week now.
Keep safe

Jacqueline Forster said...

Hey Jacqui, this is the best post on hen evacuation! would you be interested in a guest spot on the ABC Organic Gardener magazine website? If so please contact me at