We got a shipment of chicks from Mt. Healthy hatchery today. They were sent out yesterday by Priority mail via USPS. Unfortunately, the hatchery has had a number of shipments sent to the New England area that have arrived with birds DOA due to improper handling, as I found out when I called the hatchery to report my losses. The hatchery owner believes that they are being mishandled on the trucks and packed in where they are getting too hot. He is going to re-ship my order in July, and was very apologetic.
Chicks and other baby birds are able to be shipped the day they hatch because just before they leave the egg, they absorb the remains of the yolk through their umbilicus. This provides enough nutrients and moisture that they don't need to eat for 2-3 days. I suppose it's an adaptation to survive when a mother hen is waiting for other eggs to hatch and so doesn't leave the nest as soon as the first ones pop out of their eggs. They can hang out a day or two in the nest with no problem.
So baby chicks and other baby poultry are able to be shipped this way, and if handled correctly, do just fine. Our first chickens were shipped from IA to NY and all 46 arrived alive. Today's shipment was a disappointment, but I don't blame the hatchery. I do have 13 chicks in good condition, bopping around eating and drinking and doing normal chick-y things which at this point amounts to pecking at random objects and pooping. They are fun to watch.
Stay tuned for further bulletins as events warrant.
I am sorry to hear about your chicks. I got 25 broilers from Mt. Healthy about a month ago and they’ve been doing great. We only lost one, at about 3 or 4 days old (it didn’t appear to be growing, either.) Better than last year, when I lost about four from a dozen chicks purchased at our local feed store. I’m in NH. Hope the remaining chicks do well!
Comment from: Lori
Hey Chickie! I hope you have a great time with the chicks that survived. What’s the best number to call you at? (ha a preposition at the end and I think the sun will come up tomorrow anyway).