Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many pellets are in a quart bag?
We say that there are enough pellets for 30-33 students based on averages. We just fill quart Ziploc bags with pellets – so it really depends on the actual size of the pellets as to how many actual pellets are in your quart. (We do not count them as we fill the bags.) Standards are larger (and therefore have more bones per pellet) so fewer fit into a bag. They do average around 30-35 pellets. We figure that if you have some really large pellets you can always double a couple of students up.
Bargain pellets are chunks and pieces of pellet. We recommend teachers to first separate pellets onto the paper plates to divide them evenly for the students.
2. What is Pay Pal? Do you take credit or debit cards?
Yes we take credit cards! Go in or do this as a “guest” if you don’t want an account with Paypal. Pay Pal was basically the ‘bank of E-bay’. It is an online banking service used by E-bay and thousands of small businesses around the world to process credit or debit card payments. They also have a “e-check” option for those who don’t use cards! We have used them for years and never had a problem with safety issues nor do we ever see a credit card number. For more information about the company and their security measures, you can go directly to their home page at www.paypal.com. (PayPal Spinoff from E-bay was in 2015)
3. Are they safe?
Yes. We now heat treat our pellets. Baking them at 250 degrees for 4 hours. This is the recommended industry standard to kill bugs and bacteria.
4. What should I do with kids who are squeamish?
With most students all that is needed is a little persuasion to get them to participate. One suggestion if they will not, or can not, participate is to send them to the library. Commonly they will not be able to find a book specifically on barn owls. Either a book on owls or a book on raptors should have a chapter on them. Also info on skeletal structures/ vertebrates, mammals, or the food chain/web can be helpful.
5. Do you have anything on how to teach with owl pellets?
Yes! We have a page written especially to answer this question. Click here
6. Why do I find the broken bones?
Sometimes during the process of the owl catching its prey, a bone or two will break. The skull is the most common bone to find broken. However, you shouldn’t find many broken bones other than those skulls.
7. Can I access your bone-chart on-line?
Yes! Just click here.
8. Can I store my unused pellets?
Yes! Left over pellets can be stored for a year or more. Just keep in mind the things that destroy pellets are bugs and moisture. We add a few moth balls and store them in sealed buckets in our shop.
9. When will my order be shipped?
For priority mail orders we often ship the next business day! Sometimes the same day. If I am on a trip collecting pellets it may take longer. Please put in a time needed by with your order. We usually only ship prepaid orders. Most customers just use their credit or debit cards and make their payment through Pay Pal. (There is a link on the order form.) Some customers choose to send a check. Your order will be shipped once the check is received. If you are requesting we bill your school, we will need a copy of the purchase order document before shipping. (Please either scan and email or fax for fastest service.)
We do our best to get your prepaid orders out as soon as the pellets can be processed and the order boxed up. Parcel orders may sit for a day or two as the post office doesn’t pick up unless we have a Priority order shipping.
A purchase order (P.O.) is used by some schools or school districts when they have authorized the shipping and billing for supplies or services. It is a contract stating that the school (school district) agrees to pay for the item(s) ordered. We will ship an order as soon as the copy of the agreement is received. We do not ship just by the P.O. number. This is because some P.O.s will come with special billing /shipping instructions the teacher may not be aware of.
11. Is overnight shipping done? No, sorry about that. We tried years ago to do rush orders but it is not practical with a part time staffed office. Most US orders go out the next day and take 2 to 3 more days to arrive.
We will be adding more questions and answers as we think of them and as we have the time. If you have a question not answered here please feel free to e-mail us and ask. We will try to answer you as soon as possible! Plus, who knows, we might add it to this page.