One of the common stress in poultry is transport stress. Transport stress occurs when transporting poultry from one location to another location. There are few aspects to transport the poultry, to be exact the chickens, in a way that minimize their stress and to avoid production loss.
The first is creating a comfortable environment. Ventilation is a great concern as chickens do not have sweat glands. In this case, they get overheated easily when good ventilation is absent. The vehicle should allows airflow during transportation and each crate has breathing slots. However, it is not recommended to use open-air vehicles as well. This is because open-air vehicles cannot protect those chickens from rainfall, strong wind, or excessive dust. Moreover, there may be thermal changes when ventilation is poor. The chickens may not be able or slow to adapt to the thermal changes around them and this may lead to stress.
Next, the crates holding area should be well enclosed and dark. This is because chickens go into sleep-like state in dark, which keeps them relaxed. Even though the darker the better, but still plenty of fresh air flow should be allowed.
For instance, the chicken transportation vehicle is better to covered with black cloth that can shades the crates and in the same time allow airflow. Quiet and smooth trip is one of the way to reduce transport stress. Travel routes with loud traffics and rough roads should be avoided. Basically, chickens are like humans too, in quiet places, they are more comfortable and calm compared to in a noisy place. For instance, poultry can be transported at night which human activities are much more lower and route of transport is recommended on smooth road such as highway. Furthermore, a rubber carpet can be considered as one of the measures. Rubber carpet can absorb shock or friction that is produced between the crates and the vehicle.
The last aspect is the housing. Housing facility should be prepared beforehand to avoid fluster when chicken arrives. Chickens feel more comfortable when the new environment are ‘normal’ to them, thus reduce the transport stress. For example, mentol is prepared and switched on to provide a warm temperature one hour before the day old chicks arrive. Besides, feed and water should be provided as chickens may stress after the transportation journey eating and drinking.