Moving ducks across country? Airplane trip?


Enslaved by Indoor Ducks
11 Years
Nov 20, 2008
Chicago, IL
I know people have done it before, but I am wondering about taking ducks on an airplane?

I have been fostering two ducks, Vinny and Ollie, for a long time now (almost a year) and have been working with them to get them prepared for a new home. they are now acclimated to colder temps, play in pools outside, and have been staying with other ducks to get used to being a part of a flock. They have been transitioning to not taking indoor baths/ being diapered as much/ all in all being more like outdoor ducks.

I might have found them a potential home in CA, where it doesn't get too cold, they will be hugged and petted and diapered, and that's completely enclosed and away from potential predators. But I live in IL, which is a looooooong way away. The drive would be pretty attrocious, and I'm thinking if they are able to go to that new home, what about taking them on a plane? Anyone have or know of anyone who's had experience in that matter? Like which airlines allow it? What kind of crate do they need? Any special requirements?

It's sounding like they are welcome at the new home, as long as I can get them there. It's going to be expensive, no matter what, but it seems flying is the cheapest route.
I live in California and its colder than heck right now at night time. It freezes my ducks water/pools. Although they don't even mind the cold, in the morning after i break the ice in their pools they dive right in. ~~Each morning I wonder if I'll go outside and find my ducks as ducksickles. lol Can't they be shipped the same way as eggs and chicks? ~Julie~
They would most likely fly like live animal cargo and not in the cabin like you are hoping. They would require a health certificate on each, and airline approved hard crate to travel in. Delta Dash is very costly, it would be less for you to buy a horizon box and ship them to the new owners via the USPS.
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While I have no experience with shipping animals I will comment from my experience working quality assurance in the computer industry. We were seeing a lot of hard drive failures on laptops on first start up. Since all were tested before leaving the factory I started graphing the failures and quickly noticed the following common denominators:

1. There were more failures on computers shipped overnight via FedX and UPS. The numbers were even higher for those systems where early morning delivery was specified.
2. There were more failures in winter months than during the summer.
3. More failures occurred with units going to northern cities than those going to milder climates.

From that information I devised what I considered to be a likely scenario. We hand the package to the carrier who than rushes it to the airport. It's than put on an airplane that takes off and is told by the air traffic controllers, "Ascend and maintain 30,000 feet." For the next several hours the package is in an unheated cargo bay and the temperature at that altitude is 40 degrees below zero or lower. The package is than rushed onto an unheated truck and delivered. The new owner immediately opens the box and presses the start button. Unfortunately, the lubricants in the hard drive are still frozen solid and the hard drive goes

Adding a notice that the purchaser should give the system several hours to reach room temperature before attempting to turn it on alleviated the E.L.F.'s (Early Live Failures) and validated my hypothesis.

Something to consider.
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Would meeting 1/2 way be doable for you? It would still be a long ride for the ducks, but airline travel for pets is risky. Or maybe a couple people on here could help out by each taking a leg of the trip to get to CA? We have done that with a rescue dog once.
Old guy has good points, however live animal cargo shipped delta dash is held seperate on the ground from other cargo. It is also held in pressurized compartments when shipped. We have shipped a multitude of mammals across the country with no losses in the past. It still would be less costly to use a USPS shipping box and send them that way though.
I haven't shipped birds, but I've flown a lot of dogs, both in cargo and in the cabin with me, as carry-ons.

Dogs seem to regard an airplane to be exactly like riding in the car. They curl up and sleep to the hum of the engines. I can't imagine that ducks would find it any different.

My ducks ride just fine in the car. I would expect them to ride just fine in an airplane.

However, you can send them through the US Post Office for a heck of a lot less money and they will arrive fine that method of shipping, too.

Live animals on airplanes ride in pressurized temperature controlled compartments. The down side is that it is an expensive way to ship and requires a fairly costly shipping box.
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Nettie, shipping live ducks, via Express Mail is really pretty easy.
I've done it on multiple occasions and have received a LOT of ducks that way.
You will buy a special shipping box, take them to the PO and voila...California here they come!
Make sure to check the weather on both ends for safety, stick them some lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped grapes, watermelon, etc. in a coop cup inside the box and they'll be good to go!
You MAY need your NPIP Certification or a health certificate from the vet-check with the Calif. Dept. of Agriculture to see what their Ag laws say about shipping lives in from your state.
Good luck!
Well, I was going to suggest shipping them by train and after a little research discovered that Amtrak doesn't let animals (with the exception of service animals) on trains even in the baggage car. It took a bit more digging, but I finally found out why.
Amtrak (and its predecessors) allowed pets on board until 1976, often in three places—sleeping car rooms, parlor cars (in carriers), and in baggage cars.

Amtrak changed the policy in 1976. Pets were banned from sleeping and parlor cars. They were allowed in containers of specified dimensions in the baggage car (on those trains that had them). Passengers were allowed to visit them en route during station stops of ten minutes or more “when passenger safety and operating conditions permit, by making arrangements with the train conductor.” The reason for the change seems to have been the need to thoroughly clean sleeping car rooms whenever passengers changed over en-route. [Smoking is now also banned in such rooms.] NARP objected to the change at the time.

Then in 1977, the federal government issued new animal welfare regulations affecting carriage of pets on trains. There were new requirements for the heating and air conditioning of railroad cars that carry live animals, and for providing a constant supply of fresh water to animals. The agency issuing the requirements was the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), acting under the Federal Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (as amended in 1976). Amtrak determined that it would need to spend $13.8 million on baggage car changes and special animal shelters in stations to satisfy the new regulations, and ended the carriage of pets rather than comply.

Hope you don't consider this highjacking.

Yet another idea; Have you considered finding someone driving from Chicago to LA and paying them to take your pets with them?​
It's looking more and more like I'm going to need to find a different home for them... sigh...

It seems like no matter the option- driving, flying, or even special pet transporting it'll cost about the same.... nearly $1000. YIKES!

Edited to add- I just don't know how I feel about shipping them. They used to belong to my old roommate and I'd feel just horrible if anything happened to them!
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