My chicks arrived this morning. At 6:50 am, my local post office called, and I hurried down to Ten Sleep. Opening the box, I saw 26 little bodies. I saw one barely breathing, so I pulled her out and dropped some sugar water down her beak.
The chicks had been shipped on Tuesday and went from Iowa to St. Paul to Denver to Cheyenne to Casper to Ten Sleep. While they have extra energy when first emerging from their shells, it was just too much for them.
While the local post office crew was sweet and sympathetic, it was too late to do much of anything. What I can’t understand is how people could just let them die along the way. A sip of water would have helped tremendously. Oh, I know, it’s a federal offense to open someone’s mail, but when it’s a live creature… how do you just ignore the cheeping that slides into silence?
People are telling me tales of dead chicks. I called the local co-op to see what they had, and they confessed their last shipment of 100 chicks arrived with 50 dead. The other feed store had 30 dead.
The hatchery I deal with will probably make good on my order, although it is in no way their fault. I’m going to ask for my money back, I can’t risk another 25 chicks. I put my name on the live ones in Worland, and although they aren’t really what I want, at least they are alive and I don’t have to think about them suffering in a cold post office where no one could take the time to save their lives.
After an hour at the post office, I had 10 barely breathing chicks. I lost 3 on the drive home. Then another. And another. I had 5 that were finally standing… drinking the electrolyte/sugar water mix and I had high hopes, but hours of labor later, I lost two more. I’m down to three and who knows if they will make it through the night. While they drink and I’ve seen two of them peck at the food, it is doubtful that will give them enough to survive.
Two years ago the postal system here was different, and my chicks arrived in good shape. Now everything has to run through a central hub and whether that is the problem or not, I can sure tell you that this new, efficient system is anything but.
I did take pictures of the survivors… at one point I was hopeful. But I’m not sharing now. It’s just too hard.
Poor, poor babies.