Raising Ducklings and Goslings


Rouen and Cayuga

Methods of Shipping Ducks, Geese, & Game Birds


US Mail
Most of our shipments within the United States go through the US Post Office. Birds are hatched on Monday (unless Monday is a Postal holiday and then we hatch on Tuesday) and delivered to our local post office for mailing that same day. The Post Office then delivers them to San Jose, Oakland or San Francisco International Airport Monday evening. Those outside of Northern California are then delivered to Fed Ex or a commercial airline such as American or Continental.

If the Post Office gives it to Fed Ex, Fed Ex will fly it to a sorting center in Oakland, Indianapolis or Memphis. It will be sorted there and then flown to your local, major airport Tuesday evening. At this point the birds are given back to the Post Office and delivered to your local Post Office - typically by Wednesday morning. The Post Office will then phone you using the number you gave us and you can go and pick them up. It is better for you to pick them up versus waiting for them to deliver the birds as the sooner the birds drink water, the better. You can talk to someone at your local Post Office in advance to learn their exact procedures and arrival times and tell them you are expecting a shipment. If you are phoned by the Post Office and you are in a major city, make sure you ask which Post Office is phoning you so you know where to go.

It is rare, but on occasion you will not be phoned by your Post Office Wednesday morning. The first thing to do is contact your post office as they may have simply forgotten to phone you. If you do not know their phone number and it is not in your phone book, you must phone the Post Office at 1-800-275-8777. The operator will patch you through to your local post office (make sure you ask for their phone number for future reference!).
If in fact they do not have your birds, ask them to contact the distribution center from which your post office gets their mail. Oftentimes your shipment is sitting there waiting for the next truck out. If your post office will be getting another delivery that day, it is probably not a problem. If however, your post office will not be getting another delivery until the next day, you may want to consider going to the distribution center and getting your birds, as there will probably be some losses if they don't arrive until Thursday morning.

For small shipments, less than 35 ducklings or 16 goslings, postage is determined strictly on weight and zone. But for shipments to zone 5 or more, with more than 35 ducklings or 16 goslings, the post office goes by volume weight. As poultry boxes are normally light but take up valuable space, the post office went to volume weight in 2007. This means that the most a large box will weigh is 10 pounds but the post office computes the postage as if it weighs 17 pounds - regardless of the actual weight. A bundle of two large boxes is computed at 34 pounds and a bundle of three boxes is computed at 51 pounds. So you might as well fill your big boxes with birds (64 - 68 per box) as the postage does not vary by weight if you are zone 5 or more.

Priority versus Express Mail
Unless you request Express Mail, we send all birds Priority. From our location, Express Mail normally arrives no faster than Priority Mail. The only advantage of Express Mail is there is a tracking number. You can phone us for this number and then phone 1-800-222-1811 and they can possibly tell you where your birds are. Our experience is that only about 20% of the time can they tell you anything other than when your shipment was mailed (and we know when that was). If they have any more automated information than that it is usually only when it was scanned along the way - but then they don't tell you where that is. Only if you get your postmaster involved can more information be learned. Express mail is always more expensive than priority mail; for small orders, it adds $10 - $15.

Tracking Numbers
The only options for "tracking" are Express Mail, described above, and Delivery Confirmation tags. However, the Delivery Confirmation tags are only scanned when the shipment is mailed and when it arrives at its final destination. Therefore, it is useless for tracking missing shipments of birds.

Air Freight
For large shipments (400+ birds) we can ship by air freight. With this we do not use the Post Office but rather we deliver them directly to a commercial airline at the airport. The birds are flown to your airport and you can pick them up the next day. The advantage is you normally get them on Tuesday (one day earlier than the Post Office) and the cost is often the same or less for larger quantities. The disadvantage is you must go to the airport to pick them up. We normally send them freight collect, so be prepared to pay the shipping charges when you pick up your birds at the airport. Phone us for more information on air freight.

Picking Up Your Order
Yes, you can pick up your order if you want. We are about 100 miles south of San Francisco in the Salinas, Monterey area. Phone us at 1-800-424-7755 for directions. If you are close enough, you can pick up birds and not be bothered by the minimum order size or small order charge. Birds cannot be picked up on Monday during the spring and summer. If you pick up after Tuesday, there is a $.50/day brooding charge per bird. If you do pick up your birds, you can see our smiling faces in the office, but we do not give tours or show the adult birds due to biosecurity reasons.
 

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