Shipping is limited to fair weather, neither too hot nor too cold. When planning to ship chickens it’s important to plan ahead, know the rules and regulations, and make sure the carrier offers to transport chickens under current weather conditions. Often prearranged shipping schedules are canceled when unexpected high or low temperatures present.
Some air freight companies ship live birds interstate and internationally. Birds must be checked in with health papers at the airport and picked up at an airport near their final destination. Checking directly with the air freight company will let you know if they’re able to transport chickens where you need them to go.
When planning to use shipping boxes for chickens make sure to check rules and regulations for your area as well as the chicken’s destination. Temporary or permanent quarantines, preventing the shipping in or out of poultry, may suddenly be in force.
Chickens shipped USPS are often available for pick-up at the post office shortly after arrival. A phone number clearly on the shipping box will allow postal workers to contact the new owner to pick them up.
Shipping is stressful for chickens so getting them home, out of the box, fed, watered and into a pen as soon as possible is important. Offering vitamins and electrolytes may help chickens recover quickly from any shipping stress.
Shipping boxes for chickens are unable to supply water due to spilling and leakage, though some shippers supply fruit such as apples or oranges. (I had a friend that shipped canaries around the world. He hot glued orange halves into clean tuna cans and hot glued the cans to the floor of the shipping box.)
It’s best not to put new chickens in with existing flocks until after a quarantine period. The stress of shipping may cause dormant issues to surface. Inspect new chickens for good health. Search for any external parasites and signs of being underweight. Watch for diarrhea and other signs of poor health.
A stool sample should be taken to the vet if you suspect intestinal problems. Look for instant interest in food and water and curiosity about the new environment. The shipper should be alerted if you notice any signs that chickens haven’t arrived in good condition.
Shipping boxes for chickens have been lost in transport, though rare, and chickens arrive in very poor health due to hunger and dehydration.
Some chickens are unable to handle the stress of shipping, get too cold or too hot, and die before they arrive or soon after. When having chickens shipped to you it’s a good idea to have a money back guarantee for live and healthy chickens.
Staying in contact with the shipper so you know the ETA of your new chickens will help you get them home as soon as possible. Most live animal shipping is over-night, arriving within 24 hours of being sent.
Shipping boxes for chickens are made for certain numbers of chickens. As an example, a standard chicken size will hold one large chicken or two bantams. Shipping boxes for chicks are different. Day old chicks must stay warm to survive the trip. Shipping a dozen or more can provide enough body heat for the chicks to survive.
Day old chicks are often shipped before eating and drinking, able to survive on the last nutrients supplied by the yolk. Chick Save is a good product to have on hand if getting chicks shipped to you. Dipping the tip of their beaks in the solution will help jump start their energy level and appetites after shipping.