Merchant Services

Shipping FAQs

shipping live ducks and chickens
Most shipments arrive on the 2nd morning at your local Post Office.
  1. How do you ship live birds?


    We ship live birds using US Postal Service Priority shipping. We ship the birds on the same day they hatch, and usually they will arrive 1-2 days later (at approximately 24-48 hours old). To package the birds, we use USPS approved poultry boxes, and include an insulating material (such as hay or straw). On smaller orders, we will include extra foam insulation, which protects a smaller number of birds from being damaged from jarring or jostling during shipment. Also, since a smaller number of birds will not generate as much collective heat, we will sometimes include a heating pad (like the warming pads you may put in your ski gloves). Our key concerns when shipping live poultry are temperature, jarring, and ventilation.

  2. The US Postal Service? Really? They can't seem to do anything right. How do they possibly safely transport live birds?


    The US Postal Service has actually been safely transporting live birds for decades. It is an essential capability for a thriving agrarian economy. They have developed the shipping routes and process to move poultry with excellent efficiency. Furthermore, our packing and shipping personel command a thorough understanding of the USPS system, and utilize that knowledge to everyone's advantage. Generally, Postal Service employees are very careful when shipping birds, as it is apparant that their are live animals inside the box, and it creates a sense of excitement. Local Postmasters usually enjoy packages containing poultry, and will gladly call you to let you know when your birds are in.

  3. What is the smallest number of birds you can ship?


    Our various bird categories have differing minimum order quantities for safe shipping. You can see a current summary of our minimums here.

  4. How will I know when my birds will ship, and when they'll arrive? I want to make sure I'm free when they arrive.


    Shortly after you place your order, we will send you a shipping date confirmation email to let you know the exact date we will ship your birds. We will also confirm that your birds have shipped on that date. After that, the birds are in the hands of the US Postal Service and we cannot be certain when exactly they'll arrive. However, the majority of our shipments arrive in the morning on the second day of travel. Thus, if we shipped on Monday, your order will most likely get in early Wednesday morning.

  5. Are there risks in shipping live birds? What are they?


    Yes, there are risking shipping live birds. A small number of the birds will not survive their trip, and may arrive ill or deceased. We take every precaution we can to avoid this, but it will happen on a small number of orders. Generally, we find that about 99% of the birds we ship arrive safe and sound. In the unfortunate event that you order doesn't go 100% smoothly, we will always offer you a refund, and can sometimes offer you a replacement.

  6. How do you ship eggs? Won't they break?


    We ship eggs using a specialized foam container inside of a well insulated box. We find that this keeps the eggs and a good temperature, as well as eliminates breakage. An egg arriving cracked or broken is extremely rare. We can ship up to 20 eggs in one of these boxes. We charge $5 on an order per box, in additional the shipping weight cost.

  7. Does shipping hatching eggs damage the fertility?


    Yes, while we try to keep this from happening as much as we possibly can, shipping eggs will reduce the hatchability of those eggs. While in our hatcheries we normally get a hatch rate of approximately 70%-75%, our customers who receive the exact same eggs we've shipped, normally see hatch rates of about 20%-60%. If your goal is to have the birds, and you do not care about the hatching experience, it is more economical to order live birds.

  8. Where can you ship?


    We can ship to every state in the US except Hawaii and West Virginia. We can even safely ship to Alaska. There are a few states where the systems move a bit slower, and we encounter longer shipping times. The worst states to ship to we find are Illinois and Louisiana. If you place an order which looks like it may be an unsafe shipping scenario, we may contact you suggesting a better set up, or just cancel the order outright (for a full refund of course).

  9. Why can't you ship to Hawaii?


    The reason we cannot safely ship to Hawaii is due to relatively strict local quarantine laws. Being an island, the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources is controlling of the foreign animals (both wild and domestic) that it allows in. This is obviously a very necessary control. However, to successfully bring birds into Hawaii requires some relatively costly measures, such as contracted air freight as well as a USDA Health Certificate for the specific birds being shipped. It is only economical to facilitate this on the larger orders (about $300+). If this is something you're interested in, please feel free to Contact Us, and we can give you a quote.

  10. Will you ship to Canada?


    No, we are not currently able to ship into Canada, nor facilitate orders for Canadian Exportation.

  11. What are Warming Chicks?


    Warming Chicks are extra birds which we will sometimes include free of charge on smaller orders. If you order according to our minimum shipping quantities, they are not necessary. If it is necessary to include warmer chicks on your order, we will ensure you understand this and agree to it prior to moving forward. If you have no use for them and cannot find anyone who does, there are several ways to safely get rid of them. The most common method is by simply posting an ad for free chicks on Craigslist.org.

  12. What are the easiest birds to ship? What are the hardest?


    The easiest birds to ship are ones that hatch larger, such as Rhode Island Red Chickens, Pekin Ducks, and Goslings. The harder ones are those which hatch smaller, such as Call Ducks, Mallards, and Bantam chicks. We normally have a higher minimum on the birds which are harder to ship.

  13. What is this Small Order Charge to ship my order?


    If you are ordering a smaller number of birds, it may be necessary for us to charge an additional fee to facilitate the safe shipment. This fee covers additional packing measures, such as a heating pad, foam insulation, etc., as well as the increased administrative costs associated with a smaller order.

  14. So if my order has a Small Order Charge, I could get additional birds for the same or even a lower price?


    Yes, it will be more economical to add more birds, if you can accept them, than to ship a small order.

  15. How do you determine the shipping price?


    Shipping is determined by taking the destination zip code and considering the birds you're ordering and where they will be shipped from. We utilize the US Postal Service system to calculate the rates in real time, using the approximate weight of your order. Also, we strive to keep the shipping rates our system generates as accurate as possible. We do add in a small cost for the boxes which will be used on your order. However, we never attempt to make money on shipping. If you think that the shipping rate you paid was drastically different from the actual cost, PLEASE tell us about it.

  16. What if all the birds in my order don't arrive safely?


    We offer a comprehensive Live Arrival Guarantee on every bird we sell. This means that we gaurantee you will receive all the live birds you ordered, in atleast the quantities you have paid for. When your birds arrive, please count them. If you have less live birds than the amount which you've ordered, please let us know and we will offer you a refund or replacement. We cannot replace every birds on every order, but we will always offer a hassle-free refund.

  17. What kind of red tape do I have to deal with to get my refund or replacement? Do I need to get a letter from my postmaster or anything?


    No, we will take your word for it. We operate on the honor system in this regard, and encourage you to participate. We do keep extensive data on our shipping performance though. Dubious DOA reports do happen, and if we feel we are being taken advantage of, we will simply deny the customer future service. Although this is very rare. We just need you to let us know that you had losses on your order, and whether you would prefer a refund or replacement. You don't need to fill out any forms, or get your postmaster to sign anything. Simply let us know what happened, and we will take care of it If you. If we refund you, it will appear on the card you used to pay approximately 5-10 business days after you contact us.

  18. Will the birds just show up on my doorstep one day?


    Hopefully not. We try to avoid this at all costs, as it is obviously risky. Generally, the birds will come to your local post office. There, your postmaster will give you a call letting you know that your birds are in, and ask if you want to pick them up or have them delivered. We definitely recommend that you pick up the birds, as this will shorten their shipping time significantly.

  19. Will I be able to track my order once it has shipped like I can with my other online purchases?


    Unfortunately not. While the shipments we send will technically have tracking numbers, they are effectively worthless when shipping live poultry. This is because the USPS does not take live birds through their normal tracking processes, and usually the shipment status on the USPS package tracking website will not be accurate.

  20. My postmaster has asked for a tracking number to identify the package I have coming, what do I tell him/her?


    Please explain that we cannot offer tracking numbers on the shipment of live poulty. However, the shipment will be obviously full of live birds, and your name and phone number will be very clearly listed on the outside of the package, along with a request for a phone call immediately upon arrival.

  21. Wouldn't it be useful to let me know the package's tracking number, even just for package identification purposes?


    Yes, it would certainly be useful. However, we do not have this capability, and we apologize for this. We are working with our suppliers to develop a system to communicate tracking numbers to customers, but have not yet arrived at a system which is ready to go live.

  22. It's been two days and my birds STILL haven't arrived. Where are they? Are they going to be okay?


    Occaisonally, we will have a shipment take a 3rd day to arrive. This isn't at all the norm, but generally the birds are okay when they arrive a 3rd day, although this does increase the risk of losses. If you still haven't received your birds after the 3rd day, please let us know ASAP so we can research the situation and take care of it. About 97% of shipments arrive before the 3rd day.

  23. Can you ship internationally? Can you ship to Canada?


    No to both (even for eggs). We are not able to ship to Canada, or facilitate shipments which will be exported into Canada.