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Alberta Classic Shipping Instructions for 2003

Ship the birds before the weekend of May 18th
but after the snow has melted
The youngsters should be healthy but above all should have the genetic endowment to perform well as young birds. "One cannot make a silk purse out of sow's ears ".
Please wean your birds at least 1 week before shipping them. The youngsters need to be able to eat and drink well because otherwise they may wither and die in a corner among in excess of 300 birds. Think about it.
A very successful participant in past Alberta Classic Derbies weans his youngsters at 26 days and ships them when they are 35 to 40 days old. It is indeed a pleasure to see how easily they adjust to their new home, showing minimal stress which results in increased immunity to disease.
To save on shipping expenses, ship with your neighbors as one shipment. It does not matter whether the birds are in different boxes or not, they just need to come as one shipment. No neighbors to ship with? Recruit some! There is no better derby in the world.

PS: WestJet has much more reasonable fees than Air Canada in 2001 although you would have to ship on a weekday.

Please phone the airline the day before the planned shipping to get a waybill number and reserve a space for your birds. It's easy to find an excuse for not accepting your cardboard box if there isn't space on the aircraft left for you. Also, try to ship with WestJet. I like to add lots of ventilation and cover the inside of the holes with mosquito screen or other netting which lets the air through but not the bird's head. Use silicone glue to stick it to the box.
Here's an example of the pet carrier one of our friends had to buy before he was allowed to ship his bird with AirCanada to the Alberta Classic derby. It was shipped back in the fall with some birds from our auction.
Ship all birds fully pre-paid to:
Edmonton International Airport
Alberta Classic Derby
c/o Dr. Karl Frank
12523-129 Ave.Edmonton, AB
T5L 4L5
Phone on arrival: (780) 452-5525 or (780) 973-3411

Questionable Practices:

Some poor birds had to travel in this much too low container, unable to stretch their neck or legs. We may complain about some overzealous airline personnel insisting on outrageous requirements but this example here is even worse as it is cruel to the birds.
I received some good looking birds in this container and was surprised that some of the birds became sick 3 days later. One looks for the possible causes for such an event and I cannot escape the thought that the stress of shipping must be a causative factor. Other birds arriving in pet carriers and not in as good condition when shipped had no such problems. Overcrowding in such a container on the left does not allow sufficient air to enter and leads to much stress. Please do not allow all of your preparation go for naught with such oversight.

Race schedule for the year 2003:

August 24, 2003: ca. 3 hours on the wing

August 31, 2003: ca. 5 hours on the wing

September 7, 2003: ca. 7 hours on the wing

September 21, 2003: ca. 9 hours on the wing

The race direction is from the SE, which generally makes this a head wind course. The race dates are tentative at best as birds will not be liberated into unsuitable weather. The race distance to any of these races may also be increased due to tail winds or decreased due to strong head winds. We are trying to make this a long distance series and would like to have the birds work for ca. 7 to 9 hours in the last two races. "Timeout" for the night is defined as the time between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise.

**the bird which required the least time to fly all 4 races

All races are considered one day races unless, in the opinion of the race organizer, not enough birds return on race day.

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