Chicken Stimulus Package: What to Do After Receiving Chicks by Mail


| 7/21/2014 3:31:00 PM


Tags: mail order chicks, chickens, broody hens, Virginia, Pat Foreman,

Murray McMurray Hatchery emailed saying the chicks shipped on Saturday — six days before the Home and Garden Show. They could arrive Monday, but more likely Tuesday, and even possibly Wednesday. If they arrived Wednesday, they would be ultra-stressed and some would probably be dead on arrival. Just-hatched chicks can be shipped in the mail because they have a three-day window before they must have food and water or become too weak to eat or drink.

Avoiding Chick 'Starve Out'Order Chicks By Mail

This stressful situation is called "starve out": when a chick becomes too weak to search for food and dies of hunger and dehydration.

In natural incubation, the three-day window serves as a chick buffer zone that allows the mother hen to remain on the nest, giving time for the all the viable eggs to hatch. After 3 days from the first chick pipping out, the hen’s duties and attention shift to the live chicks. She must abandon the un-hatched eggs to find food and water for her chicklings.

When the chicks arrived, I wanted to be 100% ready. I set up and tested the brooder on Sunday so that, if the chicks arrived Monday, their warm abode would be ready. Good thing! 7am Monday morning, the post office called and I could hear the distressed peeps over the phone. I’ll be right there!”  The faster I can get the chicks fed, watered and settled in, the greater their survival rate. Luckily, these chicks only had 2 days in transit, and they are here 1 day ahead of the Polar Vortex — so getting chilled during shipment was one less concern.

I switched on the lamps to pre-heat the brooder. Then I dashed off to the post with my mixed terrier dog, Woody, a certified poultry protector who is fascinated with chicks. The post office staff was really glad to see me. The high-pitched chirping was so loud they had the chick-box on the back loading dock.

It was a good transit. The tally was 312 live chicks, one dead on arrival that must have lost its footing and suffocated. Hatcheries put in additional chicks to make up for those that don’t survive the transit. These little fuzz-nurf-balls only weigh from ¾ ounce to 1.3 ounces.


thefranchchick
7/22/2014 1:55:02 PM

What a humorous, yet very educational experience to read! I'm a new homesteader and always enjoy learning techniques to allow my little spread to survive and thrive.




dairy goat

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