Poor Babies

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.


Poor Babies — 15 Comments

  1. I tell ya…USPS is a mess right now. They have a contract with Amazon for some of their two day shipping (or x day shipping…I can’t recall exactly). USPS will mark it as “delivered” even though you have not received your package so that they meet their contract guidelines with Amazon. If you contact Amazon to let them know it is marked as delivered but has not been, Amazon will let you know that they are aware of this problem with USPS.

  2. Is this a big hazard there? I gather that the long distances to the hatcheries make this of greater likelihood.

  3. Oh poo! That is such a travesty! I did get 16 Friday from the co-op but didn’t ask about their travels. No wonder they aren’t as perky as the first batch was. I sure hope that this was just a real bad week. There is no excuse for that kind of neglect from a system that has shipped millions of chicks successfully through the years.

  4. yep!! this is messed up, way WAY to many stops for live fragile creatures, the shipping process needs to be looked at and possibly a shorter route (overnight, perhaps) shipping paid for by the saler, if they’re decent peeps!!

  5. That is so sad and is wrong in so many ways! It is inexcusable for the post offices all along the way not to expedite shipments of living creatures! For goodness sakes!!!

  6. This is way awful! In many ways, all the new rules, made by someone who doesn’t know the situations, create havoc! I’m so sorry! I remember my dad picking up chix at the train depot but I’m sure they hadn’t come as far. Isn’t there any hatchery closer? Maybe Denver or Cheyenne?

  7. There aren’t any words that can justify the USPS ineptness! How sad for these babies to die such a horrible death due to our govenment run transportation system.
    But I do have 2 questions for you, Carol,,,1) isn’t there somewhere locally to buy chicks so this cannot happen & 2) if not, isn’t there a supplier that provides a much faster, more humane way of transportation?

  8. Such a sad outcome for you Carol. I’m so sorry that they had such a rough journey. Why, in this digital age, do things NOT work as well as they once did.

  9. Oh dear. Poor defenseless little creatures. Glad you didn’t post pictures. So sorry for their loss and your disappointment.

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