How Does Meyer Hatchery Ship Chicks Year Round?

Do you ever wonder how day-old chicks arrive safe and sound to their new home 100s of miles away? Well, you are not alone. One of the most asked questions we get is, how we ship safely year-round? There’s a lot that goes into shipping chicks and other poultry types during the dog days of Summer and the cool frigid days of Winter. Our shipping team is the heart of our operation and ensures your chicks arrive at their new homes successfully year-round.

Meyer Hatchery Day Old Chick Shipping Floor
The United States Postal Service is Key

It all started in the year 1918 when Postmaster General A.S. Burleson said yes to mail-order chicks. Ever since then, chicks have been traveling thousands of miles across the country. Did you know to this day, the U.S. Postal Service is still the only mail service that allows live chicks and other poultry types to be shipped?

Our hatchery works very closely with USPS to ensure a safe arrival for your chicks. The chicks ship on their hatch day, and will arrive within one to three days. They can survive their journey without food or water because right before a chick is about to hatch they ingest the rest of their reserve yolk. This gives them enough energy to be sustained for several days before arriving at their new home. Airmail is almost always used to ship the chicks from the nearest major hub to the airport closest to the chicks’ destination. Then the chicks are picked up through ground transportation and head to your local post office, where the postal workers will call you immediately for you to pick up. It’s the most exciting thing, walking into your local post office hearing those sweet baby chirps.

How does Meyer Hatchery ship safely all year round
Meyer Hatchery Day Old Chicks Shipping Boxes on Truck
Meyer Hatchery Shipping Department Loading Chicks on Truck

Our shipping department prepares the whole week before by calculating the weather, preparing boxes, and getting supplies ready for the big day. We even have different boxes for different seasons. The Summer boxes are filled with holes that are punched open to allow more airflow. The Winter boxes don’t have as many holes to keep heat in.

The hatchery also includes a heat pack, if the destination is a bit colder and the shipping team decides it is warranted. The heat packs are a single-use and are designed for reliable and continuous heat release for up to 96 hours. It is typically found on the bottom between the nesting material and the box. The heat pack is non-toxic and can be disposed of in your trash can once your chicks arrive. We ship all of our chicks with excelsior padding which is a comfortable and absorbent nesting material. Depending on the time of year, location, and how many chicks are in the box to ship, we may include more or less of this bedding type material in their boxes. The nesting material is stapled to the side of the box for security during the chick’s journey.

Number of Chicks Matters

During the warmer months of April until November, our minimum chick per order is 3 for both standard and bantam size chicks. Our minimum does go up to 8 chicks in December through March, due to the cooler months nationwide. The more chicks in the box the warmer it’s going to be because of their body temperature. If you are ordering a large number of chicks they will arrive in a larger box with dividers. This allows for the chicks to be spaced out a bit more so they don’t become overheated. Our small boxes fit around 25 chicks and our large boxes fit up to 100 chicks! Our larger boxes have dividers, so the chicks cannot pile in one corner, which can make the box tip during transportation.

Meyer Hatchery Day Old Chick Assortment in Shipping Box

Losses are not typical and we strive for 100% healthy chicks upon arrival. We do know they may happen for reasons beyond our control, and for this reason, we have our 48-hour livability policy in place. If you experience a loss or injured chick upon arrival and through those first 48-hours, Meyer Hatchery will issue a refund, store credit, or offer a replacement for properly cared for chicks within the first two days.

Whether it’s blue skies and sunshine, or it’s cold and snowing we are able to fulfill your need of having day-old chicks year-round. If you have any further questions about shipping please contact us by chat, email, phone, or text. We look forward to safely packing up your newest additions soon!

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