Meat birds sold alive - dead when got home


13 Years
Oct 16, 2007
Chelsea, MI
we sold 5 live meat birds to a client last week. the customer wanted to process them himself, so we got a large box, punched holes in it and put the birds in. they were in the box 20 minutes before he arrived and alive when he left. he told me today that they were dead when he got home. i feel bad, but am unsure whether to refund the full price since they were ALIVE when he left here and he requested them to be alive. thoughts?

in the future, he would like us to tie their legs together (?), like they do in mexico. may have them ready for pickup and HE can tie them together. would much prefer he get a small metal dog crate to ship them, but . . .
hm, i would say that he needs to bring a suitable carrier.
how much are you selling them for live? are these cornish X?
If they are large meat birds, anything that stresses them can cause them to just drop dead - usually heart attack. Overheating will compromise them even further. Being taken from their home, stressed by capture, placed into a (probably) inadequately ventilated box, then transported could easily cause stress-related deaths. Tying their feet together will not improve the situation. I agree with the above poster, if someont wants live birds they should bring their own carrier, and be warned that you are not responsible for what happens after they leave your property.

BTW, if the birds had only been dead for possibly 20 minutes at the most, they were still suitable for processing.
they were black broilers and freedom rangers, med-large size. we sold them for $3.50/lb processed. since he purchased them to process himself, we sold them for $12 each. not sure how long they were dead. i know it's not my problem, but it would have been after 10pm when he got home which is late to process after a full day working.

when he came to pick up his live goat, he was just going to put it in the back of his panel truck with all his tools/equipment. i told him No! and lent him a dog crate, which he returned when he picked up the chickens. he also wants a live turkey, but when i called him today to remind him to pick it up since they were going in for processing tomorrow morning, he told me to process it and that's when i heard the chickens he purchased were dead.

i'd hate to lose a customer - guess i should study up on customs of other nationalities . . .
Too long in the box. Not enough ventilation. You are not responsible for the deaths, however you should feel some sort of obligation to the client. The birds might have been fine to process, but you never know. He probably left them in the box over night. Education is what the client needed. Give him a reduction in price for the next purchase. Tell him that he needs to remove live birds asap from cardboard. It is a bad transport container with out large enough holes. You will both feel better.
I sold some chickens to a family(6 in a tiny car) that tied the chickens legs together twisted their wings together, and put them in the trunk of the car with all their kohls bags. I still feel bad about it! They spoke a different language most of the time and were really bossy... I wouldn't sell to them again if they came back.
How long from when they left your house to when he knew they were dead? I feel I'm missing some info here............did I just miss it? If it was more than like a 20 min drive home, I don't see that you need to refund him anything. He wanted live birds to eat, he got live birds.Once they leave your property they're really not your responsibility. They were healthy and active when you sold them, I asume, so you're not at fault.
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