Brown Egg Blue Egg

Traveling to Summer Shows

By Alan Stanford, Ph.D.
Brown Egg Blue Egg
June 01, 2000

When traveling to summer shows, remember how stressful and dangerous traveling and the heat can be for your Silkies. Give your birds individual accommodations. You can easily lose birds traveling with you, even in an air conditioned vehicle. It happened to us.

My daughter Alice Ann Stanford shows Bearded White Silkies and my other daughter, Kate, shows Bantam Araucanas. I buy the feed and chauffeur them to the shows. Last year, one of the top Cochin breeders in the States told Alice he thought he might get beat by Alice's pullet "Grand Eggus." Grand Eggus died the next week on the way to another show. It was hot and there was a lot of stop and go traffic. It must really stress the birds. Grand Eggus was in a large box with just one other bird. She got the bottom of the heap and died. We lost other birds too - and there were only two birds per large box.

Valerie Hirvela, ASBC president, mentioned she also lost a Silkie going up to a May show in an air conditioned van. They got caught in a real traffic snarl around Atlanta. When she looked back to check on everyone, Valerie found a hen underneath her traveling companion. She tried to quickly lower the hen's body temperature by putting her in an chest full of ice and cold water. In spite of everything, the hen started having convulsions and soon died. Valerie said it was horrible. She swears she will never again double up in the carriers for spring and summer shows. She leaves birds home if she is strapped for room. Silkies seem to always get underneath each other when stressed.

If you are traveling, get your birds individual well ventilated accommodations. Stop and water them. Better still, make water available all during the trip. Beware of stop and go traffic. It's better to make a long trip longer by stopping and checking often than to lose a bird. Since Alice lost "Grand Eggus," I have since built airy traveling coops with individual compartments. The birds have food and water available during the trip.

Enjoy summer showing, but do it safely so you don't lose birds!

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