You can Ship a Chicken by Express Mail!

    What you'll need:

  • A USPS approved shipping box/crate
  • Shavings
  • Tape
  • An Express Mail form
  • Apples to cut up

    Getting set up to ship a chicken by Express Mail is easier
    than it sounds, as long as you get everything done in

    You need to purchase proper shipping boxes, ones that are
    approved by the USPS. I like those made by Horizon
    Micro Systems, they have everything you need in a box:
    space for the mailing address, pre-perforated air holes,
    mesh inserts over the holes to protect your birds from

    Be aware the mesh inserts will need to be glued over the
    holes by you, the shipper, before shipment. Horizon
    provides them separately from the box, you can just use
    Elmer's Glue to attach them a couple of hours before
    putting the chickens in (or ideally, the day before, so it will
    dry thoroughly.)

    Follow their recommendations regarding how many boxes
    you need for the sizes of birds you wish to ship; I use one
    box for up to three bantams or two large fowl chickens.

    Check out their list of DOs and DON'Ts as well, to make
    sure you have everything under control.

    About a week before shipping your chickens, get them
    used to eating cut up slices of apple. These will provide
    them with food and moisture during their flights. I like to
    use red apples, as the color red encourages them to peck.

    Once you know where you're going to ship your chicken,
    you need to check with the Post Office to ensure that
    conditions are right for shipping. I strongly advise you to
    ship out of the Post Office at your local airport, that way
    your birds will be sure to go out right away, not sit in a
    room for a day or two. Call the Post Office at the airport
    and ask them about "shipping lives", which is the term
    they use. Tell them you're shipping poultry, and ask what
    the temperature regulations are in your area. You will need
    to know the destination zip code, as there may be some
    areas to which you cannot ship at all, unfortunately (see
    the sidebar list of zip codes at left for those as of Spring
    2011 which could not accept Express Mail.)

    You will need to know the weight of the bird(s) in the box
    before shipping (assuming the person you are selling them
    to is paying for the shipping, which is standard.) Find a
    good scale, put enough shavings on the bottom so that the
    birds will have good footing and not slip around, place a
    couple of apple slices in there, put your chickens in the
    box, close it, and weigh it.

    The day that you ship your chicken, fill out the Express
    Mail form with the correct information. Pop the birds in
    the box, put in the apple slices, and secure the box well
    with tape. Make sure to put the destination address on the
    box in large letters, including the phone number of the
    person receiving them. Drive your birds to the Airport
    Post Office and send them off to their new homes!

    Save your copy of the shipping form, and send the
    tracking number to the buyer. Be sure the buyer has your
    phone number and calls you when they arrive.

    Nota Bene:

  • Teach your birds to eat apples before you ship them
  • Ship out of the airport PO
  • Call the PO ahead of time to check temperature rules
  • Mark the box clearly with the destination address and
    phone number.
  • Don't try to ship birds in the high heat, they could die of
    heat stroke.
Shipping Chickens
Horizon Shipping Box
Pullet old enough to ship
All material copyright 2001 to present by Pathfinders Farm. All rights reserved.
No material to be reproduced in any form without prior written permission
    As of Spring, 2011, the following zip
    codes with these first three digits could
    not have items shipped to them by
    Express Mail:

    Bangor ME                044 and 046

    Presque Isle ME        047

    Elmira NY                 148-149

    Chattanooga TN        307,373-374

    Huntsville AL            356-358

    Traverse MI               496

    Wausau WI                544-545

    Duluth MN                548,556-

    Billings MT                590-593,596-           

    St Louis MO         620, 622-624, 628-63,

    Springfield MO         648,654-658

    Little Rock AR         716-722,725-729