The United States Postal Service ships a limited number of live birds, including chickens, doves, turkey, ducks and geese. Any live birds you intend to send via the Postal Service must be healthy, properly packaged and dispatched by express delivery. Failure to ensure that your birds are presented correctly at your local post office could result in your shipment being rejected.

Step 1.

Ensure that the birds you want to ship are disease free. If you are in any doubt, contact your local veterinary surgeon to arrange to have your birds tested.

Step 2.

Contact the U.S. Postal Service Pricing and Classification Service Center to ask about the rules relating to the type of bird you want to ship, and obtain a list of manufacturers and retailers that provide Postal Service-approved shipping containers.

Step 3.

Buy the packaging required to ship your birds.

Step 4.

Package your birds using the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the containers you're using. Each bird must weigh more than 6 ounces. Do not place any food or water in your containers because they cause damage to the containers and other mail.

Step 5.

Present your packaged birds at your local post office for inspection. A postal worker will make sure that your shipment is correctly prepared. The Postal Service recommends that you present your birds for shipment early in the week and well in advance of public holidays to avoid delays.


Live birds can only be sent domestically and must be shipped by express delivery. Indemnity claims are only paid for "loss, damage or rifling." No compensation will be paid for birds that have died if there is no visible damage to the container in which they shipped.