What to Expect from Shipped chicks

springvalley123

Crowing
5 Years
May 22, 2015
812
2,721
367
North of Phoenix
Just a few pointers:
The phone number you give the hatchery, is the one the post office should use to call you on when the chicks arrive.
The chicks should come with tracking labels so you'll know when they leave the hatchery, arrive at the distribution center near the hatchery, arrive at your nearby distribution center, arrive at your local post office. But don't panic if they don't give you all the updates, except as described in the next two paragraphs.
Some post offices will call you when the birds arrive (generally about 5-6 am), but others wait until 8 am. I actually had one almost not let me have the birds until 8 am. My new locale, is more reasonable.
Visit the post office and say "Hi" to them and let them know you're ordering the birds and what day they should arrive. They should arrive 2 days after the hatch date (wednesday about 6 AM for a monday hatch). Wednesday afternoon, things go south for the babies pretty fast if not sooner.
Have everything you need ready, your brooder (paper towels at first so they don't eat the bedding), make sure your brooder can keep a stable temperature. Best to figure out before the birds arrive, if your brooder bulb/heat source is too much or too little, so you don't have to fiddle with it when you have newly arrived chicks in there. I'll leave all the other basics out, this is just what I've found different from mail order vs buying them from a store, where they're already eating/drinking. The main ones are, make sure they are drinking, then eating. And (tho this is also true for store bought birds) to watch for pasty butt and clean it off if they get it.
And, there may be one or a few DOA's, so you'll have to decide if you have kids or sensitive people, how to handle that possibility. You won't likely realize there are any dead, until you are hurriedly removing them from their box and into the brooder.
Baby chicks are fun, congrats!
 

Bear and Dart

Songster
Feb 15, 2020
284
267
141
Just a few pointers:
The phone number you give the hatchery, is the one the post office should use to call you on when the chicks arrive.
The chicks should come with tracking labels so you'll know when they leave the hatchery, arrive at the distribution center near the hatchery, arrive at your nearby distribution center, arrive at your local post office. But don't panic if they don't give you all the updates, except as described in the next two paragraphs.
Some post offices will call you when the birds arrive (generally about 5-6 am), but others wait until 8 am. I actually had one almost not let me have the birds until 8 am. My new locale, is more reasonable.
Visit the post office and say "Hi" to them and let them know you're ordering the birds and what day they should arrive. They should arrive 2 days after the hatch date (wednesday about 6 AM for a monday hatch). Wednesday afternoon, things go south for the babies pretty fast if not sooner.
Have everything you need ready, your brooder (paper towels at first so they don't eat the bedding), make sure your brooder can keep a stable temperature. Best to figure out before the birds arrive, if your brooder bulb/heat source is too much or too little, so you don't have to fiddle with it when you have newly arrived chicks in there. I'll leave all the other basics out, this is just what I've found different from mail order vs buying them from a store, where they're already eating/drinking. The main ones are, make sure they are drinking, then eating. And (tho this is also true for store bought birds) to watch for pasty butt and clean it off if they get it.
And, there may be one or a few DOA's, so you'll have to decide if you have kids or sensitive people, how to handle that possibility. You won't likely realize there are any dead, until you are hurriedly removing them from their box and into the brooder.
Baby chicks are fun, congrats!
Thank you!
 

bluemtnwmn

Songster
Apr 28, 2020
215
356
136
Southwest Virginia
The only thing I would add to @springvalley123 's comment is when you are putting the chicks into their brooder, dip their beaks into their water source so they know where to find it. Have some electrolytes or nutridrench on hand just in case. Things can be a little hard to find these days so getting it in advance could save you some anxiety. Also, don't put their feed into the brooder for a little while after arrival (I read about an hour or so. I forgot this when mine came in and it may have caused some early issues). Water is more important and can help prevent some issues if they drink well before eating.
Last but not least, enjoy! They grow so fast!
 

Bear and Dart

Songster
Feb 15, 2020
284
267
141
The only thing I would add to @springvalley123 's comment is when you are putting the chicks into their brooder, dip their beaks into their water source so they know where to find it. Have some electrolytes or nutridrench on hand just in case. Things can be a little hard to find these days so getting it in advance could save you some anxiety. Also, don't put their feed into the brooder for a little while after arrival (I read about an hour or so. I forgot this when mine came in and it may have caused some early issues). Water is more important and can help prevent some issues if they drink well before eating.
Last but not least, enjoy! They grow so fast!
Thank you!
 

Bear and Dart

Songster
Feb 15, 2020
284
267
141
The only thing I would add to @springvalley123 's comment is when you are putting the chicks into their brooder, dip their beaks into their water source so they know where to find it. Have some electrolytes or nutridrench on hand just in case. Things can be a little hard to find these days so getting it in advance could save you some anxiety. Also, don't put their feed into the brooder for a little while after arrival (I read about an hour or so. I forgot this when mine came in and it may have caused some early issues). Water is more important and can help prevent some issues if they drink well before eating.
Last but not least, enjoy! They grow so fast!
Actually I’m curious, what can happen if you put the feed in early?
 

bluemtnwmn

Songster
Apr 28, 2020
215
356
136
Southwest Virginia
Actually I’m curious, what can happen if you put the feed in early?
The one remember for sure is an increased likelihood of pasty butt. Sounds funny but it can lead to constipation that can kill a chick. I had 2 with pasty butt for a few days, 2 that had it for a solid week and a half to 2 weeks. So that's 2 weeks of washing chicken butts (vents) at least twice a day. 1 of my 2 chronic pasty butt chicks got constipated and needed an enema (smh), I wasn't sure he was going to make it. I will never forget to give water first again!
 

TwoShepherds

Crowing
Apr 4, 2019
784
4,134
367
Southeast TN
I like to give mine some gro-gel right after they arrive and I put some electrolytes in the water, which can usually be ordered from the hatchery and arrives in the box along with the chicks. I don't handle mine for the first day or two (unless they have pasty bums) so they can settle in and recover from the stress of shipping. Oh, and don't forget to relax and have fun! Chicks are delightful!
 

Bear and Dart

Songster
Feb 15, 2020
284
267
141
The one remember for sure is an increased likelihood of pasty butt. Sounds funny but it can lead to constipation that can kill a chick. I had 2 with pasty butt for a few days, 2 that had it for a solid week and a half to 2 weeks. So that's 2 weeks of washing chicken butts (vents) at least twice a day. 1 of my 2 chronic pasty butt chicks got constipated and needed an enema (smh), I wasn't sure he was going to make it. I will never forget to give water first again!
Oh that’s not good! Thanks for letting me know about that because I’ve never heard of that so I can try to prevent pasty butt.
 

MANNA-PRO

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