Some of you may not realize that it is actually pretty easy to ship poultry across the country. But there are some specific rules and laws to follow if this is an option. Please read over this if you are considering having one of my birds sent to you. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.
I know that many of you are worried about mailing a rooster. There are problems that can arise but precautions can be taken to limit the risk. I personally have shipped and received several birds and have yet to have a problem. I even sent a pair of bantams to a friend in North Carolina, where they were not picked up on time and left overnight at the post office. The pullet actually layed an egg in the box. I have even hatched an egg that was layed in the shipping box that I received.
The birds are dropped off at a Post Office just like any other package. They are shipped by Express mail to get them there fast and are held for pickup at the Post office. It is a good idea to give a heads-up to your local PO to be expecting a live animal.
Always inspect the bird at the time of pick-up just in case there is a problem. You should offer him fruits or vegetables for a couple of hours and ad lib water. You can feed grain or pellets after a while but he will be very hungry when he arrives and can choke on these feedstuffs.
First the legal issues. USPS does handle the shipping of live birds. Here is a link to the USPS website concerning poultry. An approved shipping box must be used. These can be found at several locations on the web including most hatcheries. Local poultry show people may be another source for boxes Horizon and Boxes for Birds are a couple of manufacturers of approved shipping boxes.
All states have some type of requirement governing importation or poultry. Here is a link to USDA website that can help you find the information for importing fowl into your state. You can also contact your county extension agent for help. It is a common, but potentially dangerous practice, to disregard these rules. I am a firm believer in biosecurity concerning backyard flocks, not just because of the health of the flock but also of other flocks, commercial poultry and the public in general.
For example, Oklahoma requires that the birds being imported must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Most large animal veterinarians have the authority (sometimes reluctantly though) to issue this certificate. They also must have been tested for Pullorum/Typhoid with negative results, or the flock must be part of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). The link gives a good description of the process for NPIP certification.
Again, it us unlikely your local vet will have much info concerning the shipment of poultry. The county agriculture extension agent is a good resource for many poultry questions.
The cost of shipment of my birds is now a flat fee of $70. That will include the shipping, box and any required testing and paperwork. I no longer send shipping quotes anymore due the large amounts of inquiries that did not end in a sale. It’s not worth my time or the stress to catch them, weigh them and for me to figure out a cost. So it’s a flat fee now. There is no fee if you are picking up a rooster.