How do we ship game birds?

Published On: August 28, 2017Categories: Avian Flu, Biosecurity, Transportation

MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. ships pheasants and other game birds in shipping crates built by a dedicated on-staff carpenter. Basically, we use what we call a warm weather small crate and a cold weather large crate. Recently, we began trying out the use of manufactured plastic crates.  Avian Influenza is a threat we worry about constantly. Plastic is easier to clean and least likely to hold invasive bugs or micro-organisms.

We have had a great deal of success with our shipping crates in the past. Our birds are shipped all over North America and arrive healthy and on time, but there are important factors to crate design that help us get the job done efficiently and safely.

  1. We plan enough space for the number of birds we are placing in the crate.
  2. We plan proper ventilation for the time of year we are transporting birds.
  3. We plan for loading and unloading the crates efficiently.
  4. We plan proper size/weight/handles for carrying.

We have around 3000 crates on hand at all times. The majority of them were built right here on the farm. Though we are in the midst of a transition to plastic crates, I thought some of you might still be interested in knowing about the crate design we have used for quite some time.

The primary crate we use on the farm is a wire sided small crate with a flap door at one end. The size of the crate is 24” long x 16” high. The top and bottom of the farm-made crate are made of 1/2” treated plywood. The three sides are covered with 1” square vinyl-coated wire. The flap door is hinged and hangs from a metal rod at the top of the crate. It will only push open to the inside. The wood frame of the longer sides prevents the door from opening to the outside. The birds inside the crate keep the door from opening.

Each crate will hold:

  1. 6 mature Ringneck cocks or
  2. 10 mature Ringneck hens or
  3. 15 Chukar Partridges or
  4. 15 mature Hungarian Partridges.

The large crate is 24 x 32 x 9 1/2.” This is the crate we use for rooster shipping in the winter as it has holes drilled for ventilation but not open sides. This crate will hold 10 mature roosters.

Lastly, the dimensions of the plastic crates we are using also come in two sizes and hold the same amount of birds as the small and large wooden crates.

If you have questions please contact us! We love sharing game bird experiences with you! Join us on Facebook for more game bird fun.

Transporting Pheasant at MacFarlane PheasantsGame Bird Delivery Season in the United States and Canada
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