IMPORTANT SHIPPING INFORMATION for day-old poultry (This does NOT apply to Pullets)
Shipping by Surface Delivery - Mail and ACE
*No shipping by surface carriers in March* And we do not recommend it in April. This is Canada, folks. Canada Post and ACE do not provide heated space during transit, or protected space when birds are being transferred between trucks. We have heat packs and special liners to use in April and will do our best to give your chicks a safe trip, but if the weather is cold the chicks may be stressed.
Poultry Express is chick delivery that is better than mail, but we need volunteer drivers. If you are planning a road trip to pick up your birds at the farm or any of our drop off locations, and you can transport additional birds to locations along your way home, you can become a Poultry Express Driver. This is better shipping for the people you help, gives safer and faster transit for the birds, and subsidizes your expenses, so win-win-win.
Drivers lined up:
- Armstrong to Grande Forks on June 7th - Margo Evers 250-442-3188
- Armstrong to Castlegar on 14th of June (a turkey hatch) - Sarah James 250-304-7308
Call them if you want to get an order in this hatch and take advantage of this shipping option.
And send us a message if you want to be a Poultry Express driver yourself!
Drop off Locations
You do not need shipping if you can pick up your poultry on hatch day at one of our drop off locations. (This means you can order any numbers of birds you want, because we don’t have to pack them to shipping requirements.) The pick up locations are in Chilliwack, Langley and Armstrong. In Armstrong you can pick up the day after the hatch as well. We can also meet you in Merritt, Kamloops and along Hwy 97 on the way to Armstrong but these meet ups can be hard to arrange, so check it out with us first. (Note: not in Kelowna.)
Requirements for Shipping
Shipping boxes are designed to retain body heat from a specific biomass of young poultry and allow enough airflow so that the birds will survive the trip. Pay attention to the following numbers. Our Live Arrival Guarantee is void if you have ordered numbers that cannot be packed properly. Shipping boxes come in 3sizes:
Small - 1 sector = 25 chicks or 20 poults or 15 ducklings
Medium - 2 sectors = 50 chicks or 40 poults or 30 ducklings
Large - 4 sectors (can use 3) = 75/100 chicks or 60/80 poults or 45/60 ducklings.
You must order the right number of chicks/poults/ducks to fill sectors. You can mix breeds in the sectors, although note that ducklings’ large feet may be a hazard to chicks.
Shipping by Mail
Canada Post limits chicks to surface transportation (trucks) and will only accept packages that they can deliver within 36 hours from Richmond. This greatly limits the range in which we can mail chicks. The areas we can reach are Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands that get daily mail service (as far north as Quadra), the inner coast up to Powell River, the interior of BC up to Hwy 16 (Pr. George to Pr. Rupert), and east as far as the Rocky Mountain trench. No mail option for Alberta or the Yukon. CP will not deliver to your door- you will get a call to pick up at the post office. CP is not recommended in cold weather; we usually start using it in April.
ACE’s reach overlaps with much of Canada Posts in BC and also includes southwestern Alberta: Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer(not Lethbridge). Your box will be held for pick up at the local ACE depot. Generally CP is safer than ACE because there are fewer transfers between trucks, but in warm weather they are equally good, and for the southeast corner of BC ACE (from Vernon) is usually better. We start using ACE in April.
Flying is faster and safer for chicks than travelling in a truck and has a much better live arrival record, especially in the colder months. If you have a choice between air and surface transport, keep this in mind. It is substantially more expensive for small shipments but not bad for shipments over 200 chicks. We use Harbour Air, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal to deliver to many small airports in BC; Air North for the Yukon; and WestJet to deliver to main route airports in the rest of Canada. We ship to the Maritimes and NFLD. You must pick up your box at the airport.
One strategy for diluting shipping costs per chick is to put together a group order, which may also qualify for lower chick prices due to our tiered pricing. Please note: it is very important for the person who puts the order together to be the one who picks up the chicks on arrival and distributes them to group members. True North cannot pack members’ chicks separately in the boxes. We will label the sectors by breed and in some cases colour mark or leg band chicks to distinguish them from look-alikes. We cannot take responsibility for mistakes in the distribution of the chicks. A Word to the Wise. If the cost of shipping is putting you off from buying chicks from us, the best strategy is to order... more! Chances are you aren’t the only one in your area who would like to have chicks from True North, so if you bring in extras you can probably sell them(with a good mark up) to local people, thereby cutting your own costs and making more people happy. Layer chicks that are ‘off heat’ always sell well, especially in the spring.