IMPORTANT SHIPPING INFORMATION for day-old poultry
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.
This is how it works: The driver lists his/her route from the farm or one of our drop off points to home, and the hatch day that s/he is driving for. We post these listings on the News page of our website. People who want to order chicks in that hatch, and who live along the route, can contact the driver and discuss terms of service: cost of the fare, location and time to meet up. If they agree to the arrangement the driver will let us know whose boxes s/he will be picking up. If the recipient has already paid for postage or air cargo we will refund that part of their payment. Typical fares are $30+ per box, which makes them a bargain.
One of the benefits of having your chicks delivered by Poultry Express is that you do not need to fill your box(es) to shipping standards. You can order as many or as few as you wish!
Here is the current list of Poultry Express drivers for 2023 :
- Kelly Hanley, 2nd of May to Oliver through Okanagan Hwy ; 250-486-6665 ; email@example.com
- Donna Geier, 2nd of May to Kitwanga through Hope, Hwy 1, BC 97, Hwy 16 ; 250-849-8499 ; Johnna@Telus.net
- Miv Varalta, 2nd of May to Sayward, through Nanaimo, BC 19 ; 250-282-5536 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Danielle Blondahl, 2nd of May to Winlaw through BC 97A, BC 23, BC 6 ; 250-551-5276 ; email@example.com
- Peter Rhebergen, 16th of May to Smithers ; 778-210-1235 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Morgan Klassen, 13th of June to Gabriola Is through Langley, Nanaimo, Gabriola ; 250 538 7415 ; email@example.com
- Miv Varalta, 13th of June to Sayward, through Nanaimo, BC 19 ; 250-282-5536 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Victoria Youmans, 13th of June to Nakusp through BC 97S, BC 6 ; 250-916-9826 email@example.com
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!
You are welcome to join this list if you can do the drive! If you want to arrange a ride for your chicks go to our website to get the contact info for the driver you are interested.
Note, we have held back a limited number of Mistral Gris chicks in the May hatches, reserved for people who are also ordering turkeys.
Drop off Locations (applicable only on Turkey hatch dates)
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/20 poults
Medium - 2 sectors = 50chicks/40 poults
Large - 4 sectors (can use 3) = 75/100 chicks - 60/80 poults
You must order the right number of chicks/poults to fill sectors.
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. Extra turkey poults that you may order to get up to 20, usually sell well to people who just want a few.