I am considering buying live chicks that will be shipped and wanted to know the precautions and how many to expect wont make it and any other things to look out for. Thanks any information will be helpful.
Try to find out what hatcheries people near you have used and had success with, there is a big difference in routes they take and sometimes a hatchery farther away will actually get chicks there faster than closer ones. Use Express shipping if it is offered. See where you can get them shipped to, see if you can use a sorting center or a more central PO to knock some time off their travel. Talk to the PO and let them know you are getting chicks and if they will call you as soon as they come in. In general with shipped chicks you need to have the brooder set up and ready to go the minute you get them in the door. Use something like save-a-chick, gro-gel, or sugar in their water and dip their beaks as you take them out of the box. Keep a close eye on them for the first few days to be sure everybody is eating and drinking. How many you will lose depends on a number of things, how long or rough the trip is, condition of the chicks when they were shipped etc, and a certain percent of chicks that hatch will not make it anyhow, and from commercial hatcheries especially sometimes defective chicks will slip by just because a problem is not noticeable at hatch. In general I figure on losing 5% of shipped chicks due to problem with the chicks themselves, so maybe 2 in a 50 chick order, that will go higher if they have a rough or long trip, but most hatcheries put a couple of extra chicks in the box. Losses just really depend on the individual shipment.
They actually can all be used together, though it is overkill to some people. I usually do not use Grogel unless I think they had a hard trip, then I offer that for the first 8 hours or so, most big hatcheries are actually putting that in the shipping boxes for the chicks now. For water I use save a chick or something like it with a couple of tablespoons of sugar in it for the first 24-48 hours. It doesn't hurt them and may help chicks that look fine to me but maybe a little iffy.