Picked up a very silent box from the post office. Didn't bother opening until I got home because one look at the packaging alone told me they didn't stand much of a chance. I have to be honest. This was not all the the fault of the post office. i have gotten a few chick shipments in the spring over the years and I am far from a rookie at this. I have NEVER gotten a shipment this poorly packaged. For starters it was a single box (all my prior spring ships have always been double boxed), only one strap holding it together, and there were no less than 26 holes JUST IN THE TOP with the only blocked were those covered with the post office label. There was NOTHING to contain any heat from escaping the top and of course all 4 sides were wide open as well. The box was so well ventilated it looked like it had been used for large shell skeet practice! They were packed in a manner I would guess as if they were going to Florida not northern WI.
Inside the box there was NOTHING but very stiff and very cold beautiful little chicks. No grow gel, no starter, and NO heatpak even tho I had left a note in the message section of my order reminding them where these babies were going and how we could still be cold. I even received a very nice email assuring me there would be a heatpak, etc. It even had a heatpak listed on the invoice inside the lid of the shipping box. I looked all thru the box and packing straw, No heat pak. Did I not pay enough in shipping and handling? Trust me, I did and then some. (I have never before received a shipment from a hatchery etc. that did not contain a bit of grow gel and a sprinkling of starter added for the "just in case" such as this post office debaucle.)
Yes, the post office shares a huge part of the blame, but in this case so does MPC. Did I forget to mention? I could actually smell the box before I opened it,so I wasn't expecting anything good but as I stood there staring down at those stiff, still little bodies mostly in a small pile, I saw a tiny foot ever so slightly flex it's toes. I quickly scooped that one up, stuffed it into my shirt for warmth (us girls come equipped with a built in chick warming "pocket") and carefully sorted thru the pile for more signs of life. One poor SLW had clearly been dead for some time (the smell) but I held the rest, one at a time, clam shelled in my hands as I blew my warm breath over their ice cold little frames, watching and feeling for signs of life. I felt one more give the slightest twitch and another a sudden gasp for air. I rushed these three into the brooder where I had plugged in the Brinsea EcoGlo before I left for the post office. I flipped it over and laid them directly on the warming plate. I gave one final check of the remaining chicks, one more maybe?, and returned to the possible survivors. long story short, after over 2 hours of intensive care, a lot of Nutridrench and a prayer, two of the three stand a pretty good chance of survival. (The maybe didn't make it). The third, a little GLW, is looking like she may just be too weak to fight her way back (but I won't give up until she does).
I still believe the customer support folks of MPC in Connecticut are great and do the best they can BUT there appears to be a total disconnect between them and what actually happens in Ohio unlike others (such as Cackle Hatchery) who have direct contact and control with their breeders and are more actual hands on with quality control when it comes to shipping. In my defense, I did not know MPC was more of an online marketer than an actual product supplier until after I had placed my order and then read the postings on their review thread on here. They just happened to be the one I found that would ship small batch of the breeds I was looking for. I'm afraid my chicks paid the price for my ignorance of the difference.
Now I have to go and make sure my little survivors are still that.