7x7x6 size box with 3/4″ thick insulated styrofoam. Styrofoam acts as insulation to keep your hatchling warm or cooled, depending on the season. It also prevents the box from collapsing or being crushed. We get our boxes from shipyourreptiles.com.
16 ounce deli cups, 4.5 inch diameter. Make sure it has pre-punched holes and a lid. For most hatchlings under 6 months old you can get away with a 16 ounce deli cup.
40 HOUR HEAT PACKS
For a 7x7x6 insulated box, you only need one heat pack. Do NOT use hand warmers or feet warmers for humans. These get way too hot, and they don’t stay consistent in temperature. Make sure you use 40 hour Uniheat packs.
Moss is the substrate that your hatchling will travel in. It holds moisture pretty well, and acts as a nice cushion. We have been using this terrarium moss for years and it works great.
I use newspaper and sometimes paper towels.
PACKING TAPE AND ZIP TIES
Tape will help you close the box and attach the shipping label. The zip ties help keep the heat or cool pack in place.
Soak the hatchling for 15 minutes in lukewarm water, changing the water every few minutes to keep the temperature consistent.
DELI CUP AND MOSS
Grab enough moss that it fills the 32 ounce deli-cup up when its dry. Soak the moss in lukewarm water to rehydrate. Squeeze all the water out so the moss is lightly damp (if you were to squeeze the moss, no water should drip out). Place the hatchling on top of the moss. Place the lid on the deli cup.
NEWSPAPER FOR PROTECTION
Take three layers of newspaper pages and push them into the box. Place the deli-cup into the box and wrap the newspaper around it. This will give the hatchling some protection during shipping. You want to make sure there isn’t a lot of gaps between the box and the newspaper.
WRAP DELI-CUP WITH NEWSPAPER
Wrap the deli-cup with newspaper. This will prevent the hatchling from banging around inside the box.
ATTACH THE HEAT PACK
Open the heat pack about 30 minutes prior to packing. You want to make sure that it is properly working. Take the zip ties and attach the heat pack to the inside of the top styrofoam lid (red strip towards the hatchling).
SHIPPING LABEL AND WAIVER
We use shipyourreptiles.com to create a shipping label. Prior to attaching the label, double check that you have the correct address (it is very time consuming to change the address once it is in the shipping company’s possession).
Make sure you have a waiver label on the outside of the box. It is IMPORTANT that you clearly indicate quantity and species and label your live package appropriately, according to both Federal and State laws. This includes meeting the IATA labeling requirement and the Lacey Act labeling requirement. Failure to label your live shipments accurately and/or completely may result in delays, inspection, confiscation, and/or monetary fines. Florida and California are especially vigilant about inspections and citations It is YOUR responsibility, and it only takes a moment! This label can be found HERE.
Use a screw driver to punch holes on the outside box. Make sure the screw driver is long enough that it goes through the box and the styrofoam. We like to put two holes on all four sides of the box. We do not put holes on the bottom or top.
CALL FOR PICK UP
Make sure you call the shipping company for a pick up. Most companies need a window of a few hours, so it is better to call earlier in the day to set up a pick up time.
There are numerous ways to track the package. Make sure you send the receiver the tracking number as well so they can keep an eye on the status. Once the tortoise is delivered, follow up with the receiver to make sure the hatchling arrived safely.