Tips for Other Breeders Who are Shipping Parrots

**The numbers here are subject to change as the airlines up their rates.

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I have shipped parrots and puppies using:

1.   United: 1 800 575 3335     Phx Cargo  480 693 2966  This year brought changes to Continental. They merged with and United and Continental no longer exists.

They charge $75 plus a $10 extra sur charge for a small crate and a parrot under 9 pounds. Then they add in a .42 charge per pound each shipping, They charge .50 per every $100 to 'declare value' (insure) their animals. To insure animals with them, they have to have a vet examination. I have shipped many out and received birds in and have never had a problem either way. The total comes to about $98 for shipping. I add into that the cost of the crate, water bottle, dishes, etc. Mark your crates as "Live Bird." I always try to tell my buyer the phone number of the cargo dpt they will be picking up at, so get that number when you make reservations.

Shipping limits for those of you who ship quantities at one time: Maximum: 50# and 6 containers and Containers may be banded together, up to 3 high and 2 wide - must have a
stable base and 1" spacers ensuring ventilation holes are not blocked.

Continental will not charge extra if the connection times are 45 minutes or less.

Temperature concerns: Continental ships almost year round. They have climate controlled cargo and do a great job with the animals on board. During the heat in Phoenix, flights must leave before 9 AM. They do not ship COD. You have to drop off 1.5 hours before flight time.

** Big plus for shipping with Continental is sign up for a "One Pass." Every dollar you spend shipping counts toward one mile of travel. Maybe by the end of breeding season, you will have earned a free flight to some vacation spot.

 

2. Delta:  1 888 736 3738      Phx Cargo  602 225 5925

2013 saw a big increase in charges with Deltal. Very sad over this. They charge  $155 to ship a small crate and parrot under 9 pounds. They also charge .50 per every $100 to 'declare value' (insure) their animals. They do NOT require a vet examination to declare value, so I do so on every shipment. They do require the shippers to cover all openings with a mesh. I just apply shade cloth (found in plant section at Walmart or Lowes) with duct tape to all openings and this suffices. This darkening of the crate adds security and I put it on most all of my crates whether they go with Delta or with someone else. Delta now requires you to plaster the USDA LIVE ANIMAL CARE CHECK LIST on your crates.

Delta charges almost double if the connection times are less than 2 hours.

***NEW*** Delta has started a summer climate controlled shipping program. They have specific airports that have agreed to participate in this program, and Phoenix is one of them. Many thanks to Al and his crew down at Delta cargo. Delta has been shipping for me this summer of 2010. I sure wish they would start a "one pass" program  like Continental. Their previous shipping policy is below:

They do ship COD. You have to drop off 2 hours before flight time.

They do not have a "One Pass" program if you are shipping animals.

 

3. Northwest  1 800 692 2746

They are very expensive, but were the only ones I found who would deliver into the Dakotas.

 

4. Alaska Airlines 1 800 225 2752

I used to love them, but they just doubled their prices and their minimum charge is $200. I have no problem with their services, only their prices.

5. New airlines called Pet Airways. Click here.

 

TIPS:

When a buyer reserves a baby, I always pre-call the airlines to make sure that the possibility exists of shipping. I just use a bogus date for this first data gathering phone call. I do record flight numbers and times. I then schedule the actual flight about a week prior to shipping. I email the buyer with all of the information. You will need the buyer's full name and phone number.

  I buy my crates at either Walmart or at Ryan's Pet Supply (1819 E McDowell, PHX). Your crates have to hard plastic and not cardboard. My super wonderful hubby attaches 3 plastic bowls inside which I fill with ice, seed, and water-bearing fruits and veggies. The airlines require food and water to be in the crate. I also put millet in the bottom and believe it to be a comfort food. Do not include toys because they may get injured by them during the trip. Airlines require that you attach a perch for the birds. We do so about 1/2 inch from the bottom and slide newspaper underneath it. The screws you see at the base of the crate on the left are holding dishes and perches.
 
We screw in the perch at just about "ground level" so there is no getting anything stuck under it. There is newpaper below the perch and an envelope below that containing flight suits and other goodies.
 

The dishes are screwed in place. One compartment has pellets and seed. The other compartments will hold chopped fruits and veggies and sprouts.

This picture is taken before the top is snapped on. The top is reinforced with zip ties.

 
The babies that are shipped are trained to a water bottle and it is fastened on the door of the cage. Note the millet inside on the floor of the crate.
The dish below the water bottle snaps onto the door. This dish I fill with water to freeze the night before. It also catches any drips from the water bottle. On top of this crate, you can see a zip tie. That goes to the airport and is used on the door. There are also zip ties on every side of the crate.

I mark my crates clearly with the destination, the confirmation number, the phone and address of the buyer and with "Live Animal." I want to not have any questions arise if someone gets confused along the route.

When I know that a baby is going to be shipped, we play with them in the crate prior to going so they are used to it. They have never shown fear of the crate.

Delta is the only one who requires that you cover the air-holes with screening. So, we started using the shade cloth and duct tape. But, once we started this for Delta, I do it for all our babies. I think the darker crate gives them more security.

Babies who are being shipped are exposed to water bottles so that they will drink out of one during their trip. It is an easy way for me to make sure water is accessible and not spilled all over the crate.

Extra tips for shipping finches only:

Temperature concerns: When shipping into colder airports, I will attach those foot warmers or even back ache heat packs below the newspaper in the crate. The foot warmers are rated differently and you can buy them that last 6 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, and even up to 24 hours. If memory serves, there are only 4 ingredients in these warmers  - powdered iron, powdered charcoal, vermiculite & something else, but all are natural. Last shipment into Columbus, I put 3 from Cabelas on the bottom of each crate.

I place an Ocelo sponge fitted tight in the water dish. This way the water does not slosh over board, but is available to the finches. None of my ideas are my own. I read them or am told them, but do remember them :)
 

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