**I guess I should put in a warning here: there’s pictures of dead animals further down in the post. **
Three years ago, when we bought our first chickens, I also wanted to get some ducks. We were in Tractor Supply, I had my chickens in hand, and Mike said “No ducks. We’re not getting a duck.”
Well, since we vowed to be more self sufficient last year, we said that if we were going to go back to eating meat, we were going to raise it ourselves.
I’m not ready to raise a cow just yet. I don’t want to milk a cow, or kill one… ((Tho, I do love steak and sometimes I miss it))
So, we thought we’d start with meat chickens. I’ve watched many videos on YouTube about how to humanely ((as possible)) kill a chicken, and while I’m not looking forward to it, I’m not exactly opposed to it either. One problem:
We bought our meat chicks this past Thursday, and for fucks sake, they’re such friendly and adorable chicks! Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
I know they’re going to end up on a plate in the future, but it doesn’t stop me from cuddling them and playing with them.
I also wanted to get new egg laying chickens, and… DUCKS!
Our local Tractor Supply didn’t have any ducks in store, and the type of chickens I wanted, they just don’t sell in store. So, I figured I’d order them online.
I wasn’t thrilled about having live animals shipped, let me tell you. However, I read the reviews and 99% of the time, the chicks arrived alive, and healthy. I guess I was one of the 1% for it not to work out like that.
So, my order was this: 10 Easter Egger hens. ((They send 12, just in case of one dying or so…)) and 10 ducks.
I ordered them on Saturday, February 24. They ship birds Monday-Wednesday. I got an email on Tuesday that my chickens had shipped. Tracking information said I would get them on Friday. That to me seemed like a long time to keep baby chicks in a box. I assume that they don’t open the box during shipment to feed or water the birds. It doesn’t seem to me like babies can go that long without food or water. Then, I had to assume they would be okay, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to be shipped.
I got an email on Wednesday that my ducks had shipped, and that I would get them on Friday as well.
These birds weren’t going to be delivered to my house, but I would get a call from the post office and then I would have to go pick them up. No problem there.
When we were on our way home from Calais on Thursday, my phone rang. It was a guy from a post office in Hampden, Maine. He said that they had my chicks, and I could come and pick them up if I wanted to. In Hampden? It was 1pm when they called me, and there was no way I could get down there. I had 12 new chicks in the backseat that I had to get home and put into their new accomodations. He said ok, and that they would be delivered tomorrow.
That same night, around 7pm, I got a phone call from a woman who said she had my chicks at some warehouse and I could go get them if I wanted to. I had no idea where this warehouse was, and it was 7pm. ((Just to clarify, there is no USPS warehouse near me. So…)) I told her there was no way I could get them, and she said ok, then they’ll be delivered tomorrow.
Friday morning: I was up at like 5:30 because I was so excited!! The morning seemed to drag as our post office doesn’t open until 9:30. At 10am, my phone rang. It was the post office, and I could go pick up my chicks! ((I was feeling slightly uneasy tho…as I had had a dream the night before that Mike told me that all my birds were dead and I wasn’t getting them.))
So, Mike and Kenna went to pick them up. ((Post office is 30 seconds away..)) The three minutes he was gone felt like an eternity… Then, they were back and I was so excited…until Mike walked in the room.
First thing I noticed? Complete silence. He was holding a noiseless box. He holds up the box and says “These are dead. All your chickens are dead.”
And I thought he was fucking with me. I was waiting for his “Nah, just kidding.”, but it didn’t come.
I was like “Are you fucking kidding me?”.
He says, “Nope”, and sets the box on the coffee table. Kenna had a box too, and I did hear some noise from that one.
The girls opened up the box that did have some noise, and found 8 little baby ducklings. Two of them were dead 😦 Opening up the quiet box, I was super saddened to see 12 dead baby chickens. There wasn’t even one that was *slightly* alive. They were stone cold dead.
I WAS PISSED OFF.
I didn’t even look at the happy sounding ducks, as I was too busy trying find a customer service number. I found one easily enough…however trying to get through to an actual person? Not nearly as easy. So, I called my local store, not to complain about dead birds, because it wasn’t their fault, but to ask if they had perhaps a different number that would get me a person. The gentleman on the phone was really nice, but he didn’t have any other number than the one I had. Okay. Now what? Mike found a phone number on the box of the hatchery that the chicks came from. So I called them.
The woman I spoke to was extremely apologetic for the dead birds, and after looking up my order, said they would replace the birds with new ones. These should be shipping March 13th, and I should get them by the 14th or 15th. I’m hoping it’s by the 14th. I don’t think those babies can survive a 4 day trip
So, where do I lay blame? Not with Tractor Supply, or the hatchery. I blame the shippers, and whoever was transporting the birds. Cause seriously, on Thursday, with the first phone call I got, they were in Hampden. That’s an hour and a half from me. Instead of transporting the birds to another facility ((even though they could of been dead by then anyway)), why did they not get brought up here instead? Our post office would still of been open. And maybe I wouldn’t of lost two ducks.
So, I went to leave a review on Tractor Supply about the order. I didn’t say anything bad about TSC, nor the hatchery. However, they won’t post my review. Why? Here’s their reason:
Wait. Okay. Wait. No. Wait. What?
So, it’s okay that my daughters had to receive a box of dead chickens but you won’t actually show the image? Why? Work on your shipping, and make sure if animals are going to be shipped that it’s done much faster, so things like this don’t happen!!!
I feel so bad for those poor babies!
So, that’s what I got. 😦
But as for my living babies?
I haven’t gotten any real pictures of them yet, but the 8 surviving ducks are doing fantastic! One of them has adopted Kenna and follows her everywhere, and they’re all super energetic. ((And super cute!! OMG!!)) The meat chickens, well they’ve already gotten bigger in the 4 days that we’ve had them. They are super loveable! We had all the ducks and chickens running around the kitchen this morning…it was the cutest chaos ever!!
The next blog will be on a happier note! Because it’s going to be about a non-animal, soon-to-be new member of the Rhoades Asylum!!
Till next time…