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#70094 - 02/06/07 01:47 PM Re: baby chick shipping nightmere
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello DollyLlama,

I know how you must feel, please don´t blame yourself!

We had some birds delivered directly by the breeder IN PERSON (yes, it´s the "famous" Schöneberg) and we recieved 3 dead Brahmas out of 4 in only 1 (yep, only one box!!!) carton with NOT A SINGLE air-hole;-( Mr. Schöneberg claimed to have packed the birds BY HIMSELF, yet he can´t be so silly to think 4 Brahma hens could survive in 1 small carton without fresh air for a 10 hour trip in his car!?! Schöneberg claims decades of experience in breeding!

I´d like to add we are really proud to be part of the FEW that fight Mr. Schöneberg, who indeed is very powerful (financial/political) and has lots of lawers;-) Nevertheless we so-called "crazy young alternatives" kicked his ass, Mr. Schöneberg was forced/punnished(sp?) to pay a fee to the animal shelter in his home town! So after all it´s the animals (in this shelter) that profit, this makes us feel we did the right thing, it´s ALWAYS for the animals;-)

Another thing: what´s this "cocks for warmth" issue all about? Didn´t I read somewhere they pack surplus cocks into the shipping box to warm the chicks? Again, I don´t blame you. As someone said before those folks get paid for doing their job, and if they don´t do it in a responsible way this is NOT your fault!

Best greetings,


PS: If it wasn´t so sad it would be funny: guess who was blamed for the 3 dead Brahma hens? Yep, it was us! Why WE buy birds in Winter and why didn´t WE drive the 2,000 miles ourself, just anything was our fault... Nobody thought a single moment about Mr. Schöneberg who actually killed those birds by stacking hem into a box without air-holes and driving 10 hours to the place where we met (halfway between him and us). Hope our story did make you feel a bit better! Our feelings are with you!

#70095 - 02/06/07 05:51 PM Re: baby chick shipping nightmere
Cranberry Creek Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 211
Loc: Canada
All this has really got me thinking. If I ever order from a hatchery or breeder I think that I will take extra care to make sure they arrive alive. I think I would wait until spring to order as well just in case.


#70096 - 02/06/07 05:58 PM Re: baby chick shipping nightmere
Dolly Llama Offline

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Iowa
Thanks to everyone for the input. I was assured by McMurray Hatchery that this is very rare for that many chicks to die. Since the initial 49 came back to life, 3 of those have since died. All the rest look so cute and happy. They were really hungry and thirsty. I don't think they have stopped eating and drinking since. It really is amazing to me that they even lived. They looked soooo dead. I also don't understand the extra chicks. I had about 25 extras added for warmth. However they may have also been overcrowded and possibly smothered too. They always send Red Star Males as the extras. I think they probably just can't get rid of them and rather than cull them, they just send them as extras. We usually end up raising them and then selling them for meat birds when they are about 3-4 months old. However, I don't know where I would put 80 extra chicks. Thant would be a problem. Thanks again. McMurray is really good about making things right with the customer. We've had mix ups before and they always straighten it out. Thanks again everyone.

#70097 - 02/06/07 06:17 PM Re: baby chick shipping nightmere
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
I hesitate to post this since I fear I will inspire outrage. Let me preface my comment by saying I like my birds. Of course it is very sad to receive dead chicks or to continue losing a few within the first few days of arrival. However...

The animal rights folks tried to shut down mail order chicks. That is the alternative. All of us who like to raise rare breeds, or common breeds in different colors, or just any breed which isn't raised in our local area would be out of luck.

In the genetics/breeding forum there is a lot of discussion about selecting and culling - that means killing. If you are trying to breed a particular body type, vigor, color (etc) you are going to get chicks that don't meet your criteria. If you keep them all, your breeding projects grind to a halt or you need a lot of space and facilities.

Many of us eat our birds. Some sell for meat. Is it better to butcher a bird (at the end of the bird's economic path) than to ship it and have it die in transit (at the beginning of it's economic path)?

I think we do the best we can by ordering from reputable sources, and maybe timing our orders to maximize the chances of a safe trip (not only our convenience and time lines). That would include not getting them during the hottest part of summer. By all reports, freezing to death isn't such a bad way to go - whereas dying of the heat is fairy horrendous. Then again, I'm not so sure how much we should anthropomorphize chickens.

Or we can stick to locally available birds.


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