More On Shipping Birds -- Quail,
Pheasants, Ducks & Other Game Birds
with Melissa Yell
Horizon's list of "do not's" for bird shipping include not mailing birds that are injured, ill, or under unusual stress, such as molting. Do not remove the breathable membrane filter covering the ventilation holes if you plan to ship your birds by Postal Service Express Mail. The filter protects your birds from airborne diseases, reduces excitabiliy and stress, and is required by postal regulations for bird shipping.
Do not ship the birds in very hot or cold conditions. Remember that the temperature inside a closed box ill always be higher than the temperature outside the box. This excess heat can be injurious or fatal to birds. Tolerance of heat and cold weather varies with species, age, and time of year. Consult an experienced game bird shipper if you are unsure. If in doubt, don't ship. It is reommended that birds not be shipped if the temperature anywhere on the route is above 85º or below 40º.
Boxes should not be over packed when shipping birds. Placing more birds than recommended in a box can cause over heating and additional stress. It is also unkind to the birds to place them in those conditions just to save a few dollars in shipping expenses.
Bird shipping should not take place on a weekend or holiday. They may be stranded in an air freight area. It is always best to ship on Monday or Tuesday.
When sending fertile quail or pheasant eggs through the mail, many of the same list of recommendations apply. Labels made specifically for boxes containing eggs are helpful to everyone that handles the box along its route. The labels have large bold letters that say "Outside Mail! Fragile. Hatching Eggs. Handle With Care."
From the many hatching eggs I have ordered through the mail, those with the best hatch rate are those that have been packaged best. The eggs can be placed in an egg carton and all the spaces completely filled with saw dust, foam or other filler. The egg carton is then placed in a box and surrounded with foam peanuts
When eggs are received they should be allowed to rest at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours. This will let the germ settle before incubation.
I think that most of the advertisers in the classified section of the Game Bird Gazette are willing to ship. Give any one of them a call, and their experience in shipping eggs, chicks, and breeders can bring you birds that you have so far only dreamed of owning. As for shipping containers, contact Horizon Micro-Environments.