Shipping chicks, heat wave and the USPS...?


7 Years
Jun 21, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
I'm a little worried... Anyone have experience or knowledge with postal policies on heat and live animals?
I ordered a batch of chicks months ago, thinking Sept would have decent temps for delivery. Generally cooler, but not cold. Turns out, we ended up having one of the hottest days of the summer both here and where they will be coming from. We've had heat index warnings and indices of 100 +.
To add to my worry...They were picked up by the USPS and the last tracking info I have shows that they made it to a distribution center in Mansfield, Ohio last night at 6 pm. But no further updates provided.
I know they can go 72 hrs without food or water.
But I'm worried about them inside a delivery truck, baking in the heat. :(
Like you, I waited for September for delivery and the post office left my chicks at the airport and even though they scanned and showed in tracking that the shipment was received date time stamped, I called multiple times and was told I had to wait until am of next day. When they got to the post office and the post master called none survived. They knew I knew about them being scanned because I called and came in and questioned as to why tracking shows received - not a dummy- someone scanned the bar code to show they were in my town. I live 10 minutes up the road from the airport, I would have gotten them. So the next day they gave me the option of picking up the box or making my carrier bring the box of dead chicks to me. I picked them up but it was horrible. My post master was clearly upset about it and said she would get to the bottom of it. My company did not ship with the green gel either and not sure if that would have made the difference. They hatched on Tuesday and were shipped same day and they were in my town on Wednesday but I had to wait until Thursday to get box.

I am getting more chicks being sent on 9/23. But the shipper sent email that they are not sending me tracking which I think is a huge mistake.

Hope your chicks turn out fine.

I would be at the post office day they are due ready to receive them and have a bottle of water so that you can water them right away.
I'm so sorry about your chicks. :( That is so sad. Why no tracking the second time?? That doesn't make sense?
Would I be a crazy-pants if I called the distribution center? It's *still* showing that they are there. Would they be waiting to send them out until later when it's cooler, maybe...?
My local PO is so fantastic. I call ahead and they let me pick them up right after they arrive around 6 am.
Good idea to bring water. It's only 10 minutes up the road, but by then I think every minute may count...
If it is any comfort, I pick my shipped chicks up at the Mansfield PO and they are very good about taking care of them.
The USPS tracking system surely leaves something to be desired, and I wouldn't put much stock in what it is telling you so far as where they are now. They are pretty good that if it was scanned in they were there at that point in time, but they don't update well in real time.
I don't know of any non-ship policies so far as the weather goes with the USPS and chicks (like the airlines have with dogs and cats) and you are at the mercy of whoever is handling them along the route. They pretty much don't have much choice with chicks since if they don't ship within a day they can't, and the hatcheries can't deal with hundreds of thousands of extra chicks sitting around, think for the most part they would wind up euthanizing them anyhow if they can't be sold and shipped right away.
I should also say that the same day my chicks came another box of chicks were also there and they were fine. I am in Jacksonville Florida and it was 96 degrees that wednesday. It is definitely cooler now.

I am pretty sure I have now earned the label as "crazy-pants chicken lady".

After seeing a couple other posts about shipping nightmares, I decided to call the distribution center in Ohio. The lady I spoke with kindly told me that I would have to call the local post office that would be delivering my chicks and gave me their number.

I called them, and was told that the chicks were likely in transit but had missed being scanned. She agreed that the heat could definitely be an issue. But I will have to wait until tomorrow morning to see if they are delivered. And they (USPS) can't formally go looking for them until they are "late", tomorrow afternoon.


I guess I will find out tomorrow.

It really is a lose-lose situation for the chicks when the temps become so high. They only have that 72-hr window... They have to be shipped. Climate-controlled delivery seems so obvious, and yet no one does it. :/
No clue as to why no tracking number because the hatchery sent the email stating it would not have tracking and only that email to alert me to the date of delivery but I am going to keep on the post office. The thing is ....Maybe there are issues with scanning the tracking number however the problem would be with posting late not posting early. Physically cannot scan something before it arrives because a worker has to actually scan the bar code. The flight the mail plane came landed and they were in Jacksonville at noon. So idk.

I am going to think positively and simply hope this is the worst thing that could go wrong and turn the page and look forward to the chicks that will come on the 23/24th and I am planning to camp out at the post office. The post master did say she would call the airport receive office next time for me and I am going to be sure she makes good on that.

Hope you have better luck this time. USPS tracking is the worst. I've had packages arrive to me before they got to the post office and other times they have sit there for days before being delivered(thankfully no live animals).
Yes, and you have to have good relations with the postal people. One lady in the office is really rude and whenever she in the past has handled the box she touches it as if it were covered in icky stuff and a scowl on her face.

It is the shipper and not the hatchery that moves the chicks which is tough because you want to know when to expect the chicks.

I tend to be sarcastic and snarky anyway so I have to watch my tongue and remember to be sweet. I lived in California and New York so I tend to forget here in the South people want you to inquire about their health before launching into any business. I have to stop and remind myself all of the time....." How are you..... wait for it pause..... so ......
There is nothing wrong with inquiring after someones health but in the west if felt intrusive and just wasn't really done between people who didn't know each other and I don't think people in new york cared especially to inquire how others were by nature unless it was to appease morbid curiosity. But Jacksonville is in the south and people, strangers, do not conduct business without inquiring about your health - unless they are not from the south. Just in my humble opinion not to tick anyone off or anything.

My father in law often said, "Courtesy does not cost you anything more but lack of it could cost you dearly."
Wise words especially when dealing with folks who have possession of your fuzzy chicks.

Good luck
I am thrilled to report that all 8 arrived alive! Yaaaay!!

One was a little shaky, droopy, weak and kept falling over and... it looked like she was having a seizure(?). I thought she was a goner for sure. But I helped her get numerous extra drinks, and a couple drops of Nutri-Drench, and she perked up. I have her separated, but she was up, eating, drinking and pecking a few hours later. I'll see how she's doing later tonight and I may put her back in with the others.

Well, like they say... You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar! Lol. I never stopped to think about it, but you're right about the southern thing! Love the regional differences. In Mn, you are expected to say "no" three times before the asker takes your word for it. And if you are only asked once, but politely decline, expecting to be asked again... Haa!
(Eg: Would you like the last doughnut?
No, you go ahead!
No, really, I don't want it.
Oh, I couldn't eat another bite.
It'll go to waste...!
Well, ok, if you insist, I'll take it.)

I thanked my PO for their help and for humoring me. :) They were happy to help.
Just so so thankful that alls well that ends well! :)

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom