Put an end to the shipment of day-old chicks!
Every year, 20 million day-old chicks are thoughtlessly thrown into boxes and shipped as “perishable goods” through the postal service. You have a chance to help stop this horrific practice. All you need to do is take action today!
When allowed to, a mother hen communicates with her chicks through the shell before they hatch. In hatcheries supplying individual buyers or feed-stores, the chicks are born in an incubator with no mother in sight. Within hours of their life, they are sexed, vaccinated, stuffed in boxes, and sent through the mail. According to the United States Postal Service, they are supposed to arrive at their destination within 72 hours. This means, and this is the best-case-scenario, that they are crowded in a dark box without food or water for 3 days. They are shipped year-round, no matter the weather. Chicks endure below freezing winter temperatures and inhumane sweltering summer heat. Can you imagine “mailing” your adopted puppy or kitten under these conditions?
Without a doubt sending day-old babies through the mail is cruel, but recently it has become horrific. Thousands of chicks have arrived dead due to delayed shipments and chaos within the United States Postal Service in the wake of Covid-19. Typically 1-2% percent of chicks die during transit. In August of 2020 entire shipments of chicks were arriving at their destination dead. Farmers in Maine and New Hampshire reported a staggering 4,800 chicks were deceased upon arrival.
People purchase hens because they produce eggs. But, what happens to the male chicks? Most roosters are killed soon after they hatch. Most commonly they endure asphyxiation by gassing or maceration in high-speed grinders. This means that they are ground alive. The ones who survive are packaged and shipped with the hens. They may be sexed incorrectly, purchased unsexed, or used as “packing peanuts” to help keep the female chicks warm in transit. When people receive unwanted roosters they abandon, kill, or dump them at a shelter or sanctuary. Animal Place gets multiple calls and emails a day about unwanted roosters. If we are unable to take them in, we try to find a safe haven for them in private homes or with other sanctuaries.
The shipment of live-day-old chicks is unethical. We must demand an end to this cruelty. You can use your voice to advocate for chickens. Go to animalplace.org/advocacy/ to sign and send a letter to the United States Postmaster General, find sample letters, and learn more. It only takes a few moments of your time. Take action now and demand that this practice come to an end. Join us in making a difference for the 20 million chicks who face the cruel practice every year.