If you have a lot of time on your hands you can read the whole thread here https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=136748&p=1 If you don't here's my summary: We wanted to get just a few hens and after calling the local feed stores it seemed we only got to pick from straight runs. Since we live in a subdivision that was not an option. I liked the idea of buying them close though to limit time in transit. Since we are in Texas I placed an order with Ideal Hatchery. They called me back though and said that the survival chances for just 5 chicks (I had requested no packing peanuts) were really slim and so we canceled the order with Ideal. I then contacted Meyer's since they use heat packs and ship Overnight Express. I figured it's fast and safe and warm and worth the extra $30. I verified with USPS that the service commitment to the nearest large city was noon the next day. We used delivery to that post office rather than to my home address because that would have added another day to the trip. On hatching day Monday Meyer's called to verify the Post Office address and also told me the chicks had already been packaged. I expected the Chicks on Tuesday based on that info but they did not arrive. Postal records show that the chicks in fact did not ship until Tuesday afternoon. One extra day in transit due to Meyer's. I expected them Wednesday morning but the chicks did not arrive because they got left at the hub in Memphis. One extra day in transit due to USPS. The chicks did arrive on Thursday. The heat pad was cold as a rock at that time. Two chicks died the same day they arrived. I called Meyer's asking how long the heat packs were good for and was told they held heat for only a day. That means by the time they finally shipped heat pack was already obsolete. Disappointing since live reptiles are shipped with 60 and 72 hour heat packs so longer lasting ones do exist. Meyer's issued a credit for the two dead babies. I could not file a claim with the Post Office for the Express Delivery Service Guarantee because only the SENDER can do that and Meyer's did not agree to file for me because they said live shipments were not covered under the same service agreement. This statement has not been confirmed USPS. What I learned from my experience is this: * the heat pack doesn't last as long as an extended travel. * delays are possible on both USPS and Meyer's end and Express Shipping cost is virtually unrefundable. I am not mail ordering again but if I did in retrospect this is what I would have done differently: I would have ordered 10 pullets from Ideal. Transit time would have been the same. The chicks would have warmed each other past day 1. I could have rehomed the other 5 pullets using Craiglist. I am not telling anybody what to do. Lots of shipments turn out great. I just wanted to share my experience so that the people getting ready to order can make an informed decision .