The truck turned over on the E4 motorway around 10 kilometres south of Värnamo in southern Sweden, on one of the busiest traffic days of the year as many Swedes begin their drive home for Christmas celebrations.
According to Swedish public radio more than 1,000 of the feathered beasts escaped in the crash. The Kvällsposten newspaper later reported they were believed to be as many as 9,000.
“It seems like some are still in their cages, but apparently some are running around on the road,” Maria Lavesson, police control room officer, told the TT newswire just before 7am.
The driver was taken to hospital after being cut out from the vehicle by emergency rescue services. He was initially believed to be seriously hurt but Swedish media later reported his injuries were not serious.
The road was shut in the southbound direction with traffic rerouted via Tånnö and did not open until later in the afternoon on Tuesday.
Drivers travelling north were urged to take their foot off the gas pedal to avoid hitting any chickens still in the area.