shiping chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JennyReidy74, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. JennyReidy74

    JennyReidy74 Just Hatched

    Jan 16, 2017
    Orange County NY
    Hi Everyone,
    I ordered my chicks in December and they shipped out Monday night (Feb. 6th). It was a long week and something must have happened with the Postal Service because they didn't arrive until yesterday morning (Friday). All 26 chicks perished in transit. This is my first experience all around. They were to be my first chicks ever and I opted for mail order because I wanted to start my flock early and I also wanted breeds local feed stores do not offer. Pretty devastating to say the least.
    I'm doing my best to bounce back and I am trying another hatchery this week. It is closer to NY state and they offer heat packs in the box along with express shipping. I am told my experience was highly unusual. I was wondering if that is indeed true? I'm very concerned about these little chicks and was heartbroken over the loss of my starter flock.
  2. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    So sorry that happened. Unfortunately, what you experienced does sometimes happen...packages get lost or mis-routed or delayed. From what I've read, it's usually not so much the hatchery as it is the delivery process that causes problems.

    The hatchery you originally ordered from should have some sort of guarantee in place for either reimbursement or replacement of the lost chicks as long as you notified them promptly (within 24 or 48 hours of getting the box).

    A heat pack for chicks going to NY at this time of the year is definitely a good idea. It might also be helpful to check out the hatchery here on BYC before ordering to find out what other members' experiences have been.

    Best of luck to you with new chicks!
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    It is highly unusual but not unheard of. Think of the number of shipments they must make. It isn't as if the chain farm stores are getting theirs locally -- those boxes ship the same as yours. But, you'll notice that "Chick Days" doesn't start for a few more weeks. There's a good reason for that.

    Getting chicks from a closer hatchery may help but waiting for warmer weather definitely would. It's excruciating to wait but sometimes it's for the best.
    2 people like this.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    What Debid said. Early shipments are at risk, as are late summer shipments. Wishing you success with your second shipment.
  5. JennyReidy74

    JennyReidy74 Just Hatched

    Jan 16, 2017
    Orange County NY
    Understood. I was trying to time this so my chicks are old enough to be in their coop for our vacation in May. If this shipment ends in a poor result I will postpone until the last week of May after our vacation. I was assured that my experience was unusual so I'm hoping that is the case.
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN

    I get it. We didn't get chicks last year because of vacations. I hope the heat pad does the trick.
    1 person likes this.
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Having been through the stress of ordering chicks by mail, I sympathize. Even with the best weather conditions, shipping chicks before spring is fraught with risk. It would be a better plan right now for you to ask for cash reimbursement and reorder for a hatch date in May. At least you would not be facing sudden dangerous drops in temperature.

    In the midst of mail ordering summer before last, I thought I would be insuring safety for the chicks and less stress for myself by having the chicks shipped to friends in a city 150 miles from me to avoid one more day in transit for the chicks. Well, the chicks crate was late getting to the sorting center, and by the time it came in, the customer desk was closed for the day, so the chicks ended up being locked in for another 24 hours anyway. And it meant a second 300 mile round trip to get them. In spite of all that, the chicks were fine because the temps weren't too cold and care was given by post office staff to heat the chicks.

    You would do better timing your new chicks to after you return from your trip anyway since so much happens in the development of a chick during the first three months, you really should be around for it, not entrusting it to an intermittent caretaker.
  8. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Overrun With Chickens

    What hatchery did you use?

  9. irfxr

    irfxr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2016
    Bakersfield, California
    I ordered some chicks back in Dec. from Texas. I'm in California and got them this past Wednesday! They sent extras ( 25 total shipped ) it took the possible 72 hours they said it might take . They all made it and started drinking and eating as soon as i let them out of the box !!!
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I pretty much agree with the others. It is not that common but it does happen. The hatcheries we use often hatch around 80,000 to 100,000 chicks a week. Not all of them are mailed, but a lot are. With that many you are bound to have issues every now and then. Usually it is the shipping process, not the hatchery at fault. There has been extreme weather lately in many places, plane flights have been cancelled. Without knowing details, I’d think that could have been a cause.

    I’ve only ordered chicks through the mail three times, two of those this time of the year, one in the fall. Out of those 70 chicks, all 70 arrived alive.

    LG brought up a good point, if you get a really hot spell in summer you can have issues too. It’s not just a winter or spring thing. Another time that often causes problems is when chicks ship at a postal holiday. Try to not order the chicks to ship then. No matter when you order things can happen, there are a lot of spring storms that can disrupt flights or a flight can be delayed or cancelled from mechanical problems, but your odds are better at certain times of the year.

    I don’t know where you are on the ordering process. If you contact that hatchery that shipped them they have some type of live guarantee. In New York, if you get the chicks in early March they should be well ready for the coop by May 1st. I don’t know what your forecast is like the next week or so when they would ship, but even if you wait another three weeks for delivery they should be OK in the coop by May.

    Welcome to the adventure, it’s usually not this rough.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by