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1. Call all major airlines. is a great resource for finding the right flight schedule prior to calling the airlines.

2. If you can, find the number to your local cargo, they are the most helpful.  If at all possible go talk to them in person. They can give you all kinds of help the person at the 800 number doesn't know about.

3. Find out the different options available, freight, counter to counter, over night express and what the different insurance rates for each are.

4. When talking to the air lines know that direct is not the same as non-stop and find out all those options. There is non-stop, direct (stops but doesn't change planes, and last connecting.

5. Ask your cargo people which they think is the best connection for an animal. It may be the longer way around but safer. Ask about a cool/warm room for animals.

6. Never ship into the bigger airports to connect, if at all possible. And never, never go thru Atlanta.

7. Never ship a bird when the connection is the last one of the day. If the connection is missed then the bird will have to wait untill the following day to get a flight out.

8. Do not ship on weekends, if possible. The weekend crews are often part time and don't have a clue what's going on.

9. Don't ship on Mondays, a lot of fish and other commercial livestock is shipped on Mondays.

10. Don't ship on Fridays, those are big traveling days. So Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best shipping days.

11. Check on health certificate requirements in the state in which the bird is traveling to.  Check the regulations at also, it would be wise to call the number listed for the most current requirements.   Some states may also have regulations concerning birds LEAVING their state.   DO NOT depend on others (especially the airlines) to tell you whether you need certificates or not.

The Shipping Container

1. Wooden crates work real well. Also the dog and cat "Kennel Cabs".  Walmart has them very inexpensively.

2. If it is a grown bird with a powerful beak reinforce the air holes with wire.

3. A 2x2 screwed to the bottom floor works for a perch. A perch needs to be close to the floor but not so close a wing, head, or leg can become caught and injured. So on the floor is a good option.

4. If it's cold, you may want to tape the airholes closed for about 3/4 of the way up. You can also tape cardboard over half the door opening. A grown healthy bird can generate a LOT of heat so be sensible.

5. If the container has the wire door with food cup, put apples and oranges in that for moisture, but you should have a cup on the door in case the bird misses a connection or flight, and needs water supplimented with out opening the container.

6.Drill holes in the crate so you can put zip ties around the door edges, and even thru the lip where the container screws togetehr.

Packing the bird

1. Fill the container with enough food to last 3 days. This you can put directly on the floor as bedding. We're talking seeds and pellets here, not "wet" veggies.  Aples and orange slices should be added to replace the water.

2. Find out the call letters of the destination airport. O'hare (Chicago) is ORD for example. This should be on the container in big red letters.

3. Live bird should be printed on all sides of the container. Use big permanent marker, RED is nice. you don't care what the container looks like, it's the bird that's important.

4. A note should be on the container stating: Please notify (your phone number) if bird misses flight, or connection. You have done the leg work so you can track it easier.

5. Have a container that water can be added to in case it becomes necessary. It should be on the wire door so crew people can pour it in without opening the doors, or having to wrestle with the container in any way.


Don't depend on the airlines to do any of your ( or theirs either) work. Either you or the buyer should call the airport where they are due to arrive, and have them check the airbill number to SEE if they made the
connecting flight. Usually works about 1/2 hour after they are in the air.

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