Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Something to crow about

“It’s a plane.”

“No it’s a bird.”

Well, actually, it’s a lot of birds on a lot of planes.

McFarlane Pheasants of Janesville, WI ships live bird hatchlings throughout the U.S.

Sometimes, they send more than 100,000 birds in a single week.

Shipping hatchlings is tricky business. The baby birds are very delicate. Efficient transportation is important so that they may receive needed care from their new owners.

McFarlane Pheasants and other hatcheries rely heavily on the Postal Service to ensure that birds arrive alive and in good shape.

The farm makes a 600-mile round trip to the Local Distribution Center (LDC) at the Twin Cities Airport.

On a typical Tuesday, McFarlane personnel begin pulling, sexing, sorting and boxing chicks for shipment early in the morning. By they are ready to go, arriving at the LDC by in order to make afternoon flights. This allows McFarlane to achieve overnight or 2-day service to many parts of the country.

It’s no bed of feathers, but hard work for everyone according to McFarlane Logistics Coordinator Brad Lillie.

“We’re not only depending on our staff, but also the dedication of the U.S. postal team,” he said.
“We’re fortunate to have access to a live airmail facility and we know that this gets our birds to our customers as quickly as possible at a reasonable cost."


grannybunny said...

My very first job at USPS, I delivered to a feed store that received alot of -- allegedly -- live birds in the mail: baby chicks and ducklings, adult game cocks, etc. I say "allegedly live" because half of the birds die in transit, even with our limits -- which were not always followed -- as to the required temperature ranges during which they could be shipped. No food or water can be included in the packages, nor did most of the packages appear to contain any type of internal supports to prevent the birds from being tossed around inside. It was very cold -- the dead of winter -- but I had to open all the windows on my vehicle because of the overwhelming stench from the dead and dying birds and their waste. It should be illegal to mail live animals.

Anonymous said...

This brings back memories. When I worked at a post office in South Dakota a local hatchery mailed out many APCs full of cartons of eggs & later, lots of cartons of baby chicks, ducks and turkeys. Years later, in Indiana, I had a customer that shipped exotic and expensive adult chickens by Express Mail. I've also worked at post offices with customers that recieve baby fowl. We usually called the customer who was expecting them and they would come in to pick them up right away. In my experience very few of the birds died or were injured in transit and they were always in cardboard cartons designed especially for shipping live birds. The plastic containers shown here look like they'd even be safer for the birds. As long as everyone involved follows the policies for proper packaging, transportation on the fastest service, and careful handling there's no reason birds shouldn't be shipped through the mail. That's often the only way to get them to their destination. If the eggs that were mailed made it without damage we must be doing something right!