Chick arrival fiasco

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jaj121159, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    I was all excited about this year's batch of new chicks until the storm this week. I had a feeling the storm and the U.S. Post Office wouldn't be good for my new chicks. I hate it when I'm right in cases like this. The chicks were shipped in a full size box (one slot was empty) on Wednesday from Texas. (I'm not going to say the hatchery, because I don't believe it was their fault.) they were due to arrive on Friday at my Post Office, but were held in Omaha because of the snow storm that hit the mid-west. They left Omaha for the 2.5 hour trip to Norfolk, NE on Friday morning. I have a regional post office distribution center in the same town the chicks were being delivered to. They spent Friday night at that distribution center before arriving at the Norfolk Post Office Saturday morning. I picked them up shortly after 8 am. There were 7 seven dead and many more dying. Here are the overall statistics as of 11 am Sunday:

    36 Delawares ordered 22 dead
    20 Silver Grey Dorkings 19 dead
    6 Iowa Blues 6 dead
    8 Norwegian Jaerhons 7 dead

    I did call my hatchery on Saturday morning and of course they were closed, but I did leave a message.

    Okay before I get a ton of comments about my brooder, here's the scoop. I use a 4'x4' Hover Brooder with two 250 watt bulbs. It is in a 8'x10' pen. There is a separate heat lamp over the food and water. The temperature under the brooder is 90 degrees. For those of you that don't know what a Hover brooder is, it's basically a wooden, upside down box with a 4" space between the wood and the floor on all sides and the heat lamps on either end. The top is covered with 6 inches of wood chips to provide insulation. I have raised numerous batches of chicks this time of the year with this brooder without major problems. Two years ago I had a similar size batch of chicks in much colder weather (below 0) with only a 3 or 4 chicks lost. I'm pretty sure the deaths are the result of the delays in delivery since all the dead birds, but one, were under the brooder.

    The brooder is in a 20'x40' barn with a cement floor. The brooder pen is surrounded by plastic panels and a solid door that limits floor level drafts. There are 40 full grown chickens in their own pens as well. The barn is not heated or insulated but the temps in side are usually 10 degrees warmer than outside and drafts are limited. There is venting in the end peaks.

    In addition I also ordered chicks through my local feed store. Those chicks were shipped in a half-box. All of the 25 chicks on one end of the box were dead except for three. The other end of the box had about half of the chicks dead. I was supposed to get 21 of the 50 some chicks and I got 8, of those seven are dead. All of those were very lively when I got them. This shipment came from Iowa and also went through Omaha and were on the same truck as my other order. The feed store also got 3 standard boxes of chicks with many dead chicks in those boxes as well.

    Hopefully I will get credited for my chick deaths, especially from my order from Texas. I chalk this up to experience. It is sad to lose this many birds. It could also be hard on the wallet, but it is all a part of raising chickens. The bigger problem is getting replacement Jaerhons and Dorkings could really be tough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  2. SheaDFarm

    SheaDFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2012
    I know how you feel. I'm in the SW corner of Iowa. Our weather was great, then we got this sudden cold/snow front. I ordered chicks a few weeks ago and they will be mailing out tomorrow. I'm hoping they will be okay. I've lived in Iowa my whole life, I should have known better to trust the warmer weather we were having.

    Hope you get full credit for the lost chicks, and they can give you another shipping time!
     
  3. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    This morning there were only five chicks left alive. On a happier note, I talked to the hatchery, which now I'll say is Ideal, and they are replacing the entire order and they will ship out this week. Ideal handled it very well. No arguing or anything else. I would like to thank them for the great customer service.
     

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