Shipping Birds

Shipping Canaries or Finches with the US Postal Service is the most convenient and cost effective way to ship and many breeders have been doing it successfully for years. If this is your fist time it may seem a little bit intimidating or overwhelming but you will see that it is very simple and we will walk you the whole way through.

bird shipping boxYour birds will be shipped in the #1 USPS approved box that I purchase from Horizon Micro-Environments that looks like this:

Bird Schack only ships on Mondays or Tuesdays so that if anything goes wrong the birds will not be in a Post Office somewhere over the weekend. We will then email you the tracking number so that you can follow your new bird’s trip, the USPS tracking web site even has a feature where you can receive a text message every time your bird passes through a stage in its journey.

Usually the birds stay at our local post office until 7:00 PM so we drop them off later in the day. They will then arrive at your post office the next day before 10:30. The best thing for you to do is call your post office the day before the birds arrive and ask them to hold the birds for pick up. We will be sending you a reminder email when that day arrives. A Postal Employee at your local post office will then phone you when the birds are ready for pickup and will hold them at the counter there until you get them. It also works OK if the birds go out on the delivery truck but picking them up at the post office makes their journey shorter and saves a little more jostling around. Keep in mind however that the delivery person will leave them on your door step if you are not home no matter the weather or how many cats are lurking around.

Stress and dehydration are the enemies of shipping.

Believe it or not there are many health issues that a bird can have that will never show itself until the bird's stress level is increased. Two of the most common are air sac mites and protozoa infections. We regularly treat all our birds for both of those issues so WE NEVER worry about the bird's health. What we do worry about is dehydration. We regularly give all our birds oranges so when they ship it is a familiar food. In the shipping box will be plenty of seed scattered on the bottom of the box, a water container with a sponge plus 1/2 of an orange, the birds could easily survive the trip on oranges alone but there is no guaranty that once stuck in a dark box that they will drink or eat the orange because of stress.

Stress will not end at the end of the trip as the new environment, noises and smells will continue to cause stress for a couple days. This is where you come in to the successful shipping equation.

Knowing the above it is always helpful to:

  • Have their cage all set up and ready so when the box arrives they can be put in their cage and not have hands reaching in to add things.
  • Don't add the birds to a cage that already has birds in it as territorial disputes will begin immediately and add stress to the new birds.
  • Have an orange sliced in half in their cage, setting on the bottom is OK.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY - have a water source that is easy to see and get to. For example, tube or bottle waterers are great ways to provide your pets with water in the long run but for the first few days make sure they also have water in a cup type container that in the cage or a bowl on the bottom.
bird drinking cup type a bird drinking cup type b bird drinking cup type c