Admittedly, my order was placed a little later than normal. The busy-ness of our home has me running a bit behind tradition. The confirmation came stating our chicks were shipped, but the pick up call did not. Four days passed before we received a late night call, after postal hours, that the chicks were in. By morning the results were dreadful. Nearly half our birds were DOA. Those that remained didn't last long.
Contact with our hatchery confirmed the error had occurred in transit; the birds seem to have sat in shipping between there place and ours. Rising temperatures and enclosed trucks led them to their fate. Graciously our hatchery re-ordered.
Confirmation came, but the call did not. Again, though one day earlier than the last, our birds were still not here until three days past their scheduled pick up. Again, the results were fatal. With dread and remorse I contacted the hatchery seeking a solution to the mix up. They were on top of the error and eager to resolve as well. Bless them.
As of right now, half the birds we anticipated are alive and seem to be holding their own. We decided to accept credit to the account and not attempt further shipments right now. The hatchery is working to reach out to the postal offices regarding care of live animal transports. It has been a tough season, but it is a blessing to work with a wonderful company.
A few lessons learned:
*stay on top of the anticipated arrival date- it would not have helped this time, since the birds truly were not arriving on time- it does help you prepare
*be open and honest with the post office and your hatchery- both sets of employees were helpful and ready to answer questions.
*know your hatchery- we have a long excellent history with our hatchery and it really helped during this mess.
*accept what you can not change and move on- I hate losing them, but I can't fix it. Focusing on what is truly helps.
*be ready for disaster- have electrolytes, incubators, isolation areas, and even a hair dryer available for emergencies.
The hatchery we have used for many of our homesteading years is Murray McMurray Hatchery; excellent company with very considerate and helpful staff. I highly recommend them.