With so many poultry crates on the market, choosing something that will work for you can be confusing and overwhelming.
We’ve dug through all the options, and we’ll present the best ones we found to be useful, durable, and a good value.
Let’s talk about them.
What is a Poultry Crate?
A poultry crate is a holding and carrying container designed for chickens and other poultry birds in mind.
They are inescapable, durable, and easy to load chickens in and out of.
When most of us first begin with chickens, we start with a pet carrier, cardboard boxes, or heavy wooden crates to transport our fowl.
It doesn’t take long for these options to become irritating, though.
The pet carriers can only hold one or two birds at a time.
Cardboard boxes break down quickly, smell bad, and can only be used once.
Sometimes chickens can break out of these too.
Heavy wooden crates work, but they are difficult to pick up, carry and do not fit where you want them most of the time.
Poultry crates are usually durable yet lightweight plastic, designed specifically for your birds, and are easy to carry and transport.
They make your day-to-day activities much easier, and once you’ve used them, you’ll never want anything else.
We’ll talk more about the benefits in another section below.
Now, let’s get into the juicy details of the best poultry crates on the market.
The Best Poultry Crates
Best Overall Poultry Crate: RentACoop Poultry Carrier Crate
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This red carrier is 29 inches long, 22 inches wide, and 12 inches tall, making it ideal for most standard chicken sizes.
You can likely transport a few dozen newly hatched chicks with ease, or three or four adult chickens for longer periods of time.
If you are simply doing a quick transfer between coops, you may be able to put twelve hens inside for a brief period.
The crates have three doors, two on the sides and one on the top.
The crates don’t lock together, but they do nest nicely, so if you purchase a few, they can stack together.
You can buy a comfort pad for relief for chicken feet. Drinkers can easily attach to the sides too, so your chickens will have mess-free access to water.
Best Runner-Up Poultry Crate: Rite Farm Poultry Transport Basket / Crate
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This yellow carrier measures 29 inches long by 21 inches wide and 12 inches tall.
Again, this size can likely hold a few dozen brand-new chicks, or three or four adult chickens.
It has one large sliding door on top for easy access to the birds.
This top-open sliding door is very large and intended for those giant cornish-cross meat chickens.
When most people use this style, it is to simply hold the birds for a very short amount of time before processing.
For this purpose, about six or seven birds can fit here, so long as you only keep them in for less than half an hour.
These poly crates stack together, nest nicely, and even lock. These extra heavy-duty crates can be stacked pretty tall without issue.
Best of all, when you’re not using these crates, you can snap them apart so they can be easily cleaned and stored nice and flat.
Premier Poultry Carrier Crate
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This orange crate from Premier Poultry is 30 inches long, 22 inches wide, and 11.5 inches tall.
It’s made of heavy-duty plastic and has a large sliding door on the top (nearly the size of the entire crate “ceiling”) and a smaller hinge-style door on one side.
This crate is designed to be more multipurpose between hauling standard to bantam chickens and briefly holding those giant meat birds a few minutes before processing.
These crates do not lock together when stacked, but they do have raised lips to prevent sliding around.
Please note that the holes on this crate are likely too large to securely hold young quail or other smaller birds.
FarmTek Chicken Transport Cage / Carrier
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This white FarmTek crate is a bit longer than the other crates at 38.5 inches long, 22.5 inches wide, and 10.75 inches tall.
This is likely better suited for smaller or younger birds. Standard chickens will not like the height of the crate as much as the other crates mentioned above.
This is the perfect size for quail, bantam chickens, pigeons, grouse, small pheasants, partridges, short ducks, chukars, or goslings.
It has one large yellow door on the top that is on a hinge.
It’s easy to disassemble and put back together, so you can wash it with ease and then store it flat when it’s not in use.
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This bright orange Turkey Crate from Premier 1 is 38 inches long, 23 inches wide, and 16.5 inches tall. It is suitable for moving or holding turkeys.
It has a large hinge type door on one side, and an even larger sliding door on the top of the crate.
The crate is made from poly plastic, and holds up well even under the weight of several healthy turkeys.
The crates are a bit heavy to carry with turkeys inside, but that is at no fault of the crate at all.
Just be aware that you may need to get a bit creative when moving these.
A handtruck works perfectly.
You can easily break it down to be flat and easy to wash when not in use.
The bottom of the crate has large holes so the droppings should fall right through with little mess on the inside.
Premier Game Crate Transport Box
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This beige-brown crate measures 24 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 9 inches tall, making it the perfect size for ducks, quail, pheasants, pigeons, bantam chickens, and smaller fowl.
Unlike other doors on this list, these are spring doors that are easy to open and close.
This is also the only box with a solid floor. Tiny feet will not slip through, which is necessary, but you’ll also need to thoroughly clean and sanitize after use.
Thankfully, it is easy to break down and assemble.
Plus, the doors and sides are easy to move and reconfigure to suit your needs.
This should hold around thirty quail or about five pheasants.
Why Use a Poultry Crate?
Poultry crates have several uses and advantages, some of the most common.
When it comes to showing poultry, you’ll need a neat, clean, and stress-free way to transport your birds to and from the show and potentially around the show grounds.
A poultry crate is a neat and clean way to do this without a fuss.
Butcher Date Holding and Transport Containers
After keeping your meat birds either in a high tunnel, large run, or in a chicken tractor out on pasture, you’ll need a way to contain your animals right before processing.
A poultry crate allows you to catch your birds, put them in the crate, and even stack the crates to move the birds to your butcher station on the farm.
Keeping your birds together in a quiet crate that doesn’t clang or rattle will soothe their nerves and make your harvest day go by smoothly.
We don’t like to think about it, but emergencies sometimes arise.
If you need a fast way to transport chickens or other fowl birds, a crate is a quick and easy way to do so.
You don’t want to scramble around for flimsy cardboard boxes or even plastic totes when there’s an issue.
You want to grab something heavy-duty and ready to go right now.
Moving Coops, General Farm Transportation
You’ll need to move coops or pastures with your birds at one point or another.
Whether you just bought a new flock from another farm or you’re graduating chicks from one area to another, you need an easy way to move them.
Stock Auctions and Private Sales
Since poultry crates break down to fold flat, keeping one or two in your vehicle is nice if you’re the type to visit auction yards very often.
It’s a low-space, no-hassle way to always be prepared in case you come across a good deal and want to bring home new members of your flock.
Here are some helpful questions to ask breeders before buying their chickens.
Tips for Poultry Crate Use and Care
Chickens Go In and Out Face First, Always
Always put chickens in face first to prevent accidentally breaking wings or legs.
Use caution when taking chickens in and out of the crate because the crate is solid and sturdy, meaning your chicken will be the one to lose if they are pushed against each other.
Don’t Always Follow the Manufacturer’s Capacity Limit
Most manufacturers estimate that their crates will hold a few more birds than they should.
How long the birds will be in the crates should also factor in how many go into a crate. You want to be space efficient yet kind and humane to your birds.
Wash and Sterilize or Disinfect After Each Use
Most crates have large holes in the bottom so the droppings can effortlessly fall through and keep the crate clean.
Still, you should always rinse the crates out at a minimum or wash and then sterilize them for added safety for your flock.
All crates should be easy to disassemble and reassemble, so this is a quick chore.
Store In A Dry Place
Sunshine, excess rain, heat, cold, and heavy snow or ice will damage or at least deteriorate the crate over time.
The best place to store them is in a climate-controlled space.
The next best option is somewhere out of the elements where they will stay dry and not be in direct sunlight.
Store in a Convenient Location
Remember that crates are sometimes for emergencies. If you ever need to pick up and go in a hurry due to severe weather or wildfires, you need to be able to easily access the crates.
If you have several crates, consider keeping at least one in “go mode,” where it is assembled and ready to go at all times.
Best Poultry Crates: Final Thoughts
Poultry crates are generally a tool that most of us don’t discover as new flock keepers, but they are ridiculously helpful.
Once you use one, you’ll never want to return to a cardboard box or pet carrier.
We hope this list made it easier for you to choose something convenient and helpful for you and your flock of birds for many years to come. Enjoy!