Packing Peanuts?

Packing peanuts are the extra chicks, usually extra males, that shippers add to the box when shipping chicks so that there are enough chicks to maintain a warm enough temp in the shipping box.
What they said. Most hatcheries have a minimum number of chicks they will ship so thet the chicks will keep each other warm during shipment. Some of them will look at the weather report and add extra chicks to the shipment for extra warmth if it looks like it may be needed. Since the hatcheries we use always have extra males, these are practically always meant to be males. Vent sexing is not 100% accurate so sometimes they accidentally add a female, but count on them being male. And they can be practically any breed that they have extra.

If you don't want packing peanuts, you can call the hatchery and talk to them about it.

I have had a different experience however. Sometimes if they have extra chicks, a hatchery might add one more of what you ordered. I ordered Black Australorp pullets and got one extra pullet. I ordered 6 straight run Buff Orpington and got 7, all of them pullets. That's about a 100 to 1 shot.

The reason they do this is that sometimes a chick may die during or right after shipment. If they have extra, it does not cost them a thing to add one extra chick of what you ordered and it might make a very happy, possibly repeat customer.

Some people don't like to call these extra of what you ordered packing peanuts and since they are not for extra warmth I guess they are not. They are for good customer relations. Not all hatcheries do that either.

So there are two ways you might get an extra that it is a female, either a mistake in a packing peanut or an extra of what you ordered. But if you get an extra chick or two, it is a pretty safe bet it is meant to be a male, especially if it is a strange breed.

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