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the first parrot blog
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Shipping Parrots In Cold Weather
Today we shipped a bird to Fargo, ND. Temperature in Minneapolis, the transfer city was 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the arrival temperature in Fargo was 14 degrees. When shipping a bird in cold weather there are several considerations. The bottom line is that the shipper is responsible for making intelligent decisions concerning the shipment of their birds.
First, select the best airline. The Continental Petsafe program is the best in the industry and if they say it's safe to fly, believe them. Delta should be last on your list of airlines for live animals. Other airlines should be chosen depending on the number of flights and, more importantly, the length of ground time at transfer points. Ground time at any point should be less than 1 hour. If the ground time exceeds an hour discuss handling procedures with the airline...will the bird be placed in a heated area between flights?
If the reservation clerks cannot answer questions to your satisfaction ask for the local phone number of the cargo facility at the transfer city and talk directly to the people that will be handling your bird and ask them what their procedures are.
Airlines have temperature guidelines that establish the minimum allowable temperature in the departure, transfer and arrival cities. Delta establishes 45 degrees as the minimum, Northwest 10 degrees, Continental allows shipper discretion but will not insure a shipment below 45 degrees. All airlines require a Certificate of Acclimation, signed by a veterinarian, that states that the animal in question can endure temperatures down to the airline minimum for several hours.
You should use common sense and not depend on airlines to determine the safety of your bird. We usually decline to ship when temperatures are below 40 degrees unless special precautions are taken to super-insulate the shipping cage. In moderate cold (40 - 55 degrees Fahrenheit), extra bedding should be placed in the cage bottom for insulation and doors and ventilation holes should be covered with one layer of burlap. You can partially block the door opening with a piece of cardboard.
In severe cold (10-39 degrees Fahrenheit) shipping cages should be modified to insulate the solid part of the cage and to restrict wind through the door and ventilation holes. In our shipment to Minnesota, we glued a 1/2" sheet of Styrofoam to the bottom of the cage, wrapped the entire cage in "bubble-wrap" insulation (R-14.2) and cut out and placed a double layer of burlap over the door and ventilation holes.
Make sure that the recipient knows exact flight times and pick-up locations. It would be good if they arrived an hour early and notified airline employees of their birds pending arrival. Getting a bird into a warm place as soon as possible is important. Always track the transfer of your bird to make sure that flights were not missed. If a bird is held over in a transfer city, we always contact the cargo facility in that city to insure that proper measures are taken to protect the parrot.
Last rule of shipping. Don't force the shipment. If things don't feel right, postpone the shipment until they do. We have sometimes waited three weeks for the perfect day, temperatures and airlines.
Today, our baby made the trip fine and was in great shape when she got to Wendy in Fargo.
- posted by J-Birds @ 4:03 PM |
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