Saturday March 31, 2007

Shipping Insurance for Chicks

On Wednesday mid-day I called the hatchery and told them my new batch of chicks had not survived. At that point there were five survivors -- four red leghorns and my new "mystery chick" which is white with dark eyes and dark skin on its legs.

The hatchery offered to replace the order again but I declined. I asked for a refund and they credited my charge card for the chicks that had died by that time. They kept the shipping charge and sympathized with me about my losses.

The second order from the hatchery was shipped insured. When I inquired about filing a claim for the insurance while talking with the hatchery, they said that I would have to file with the post office.

By Friday all but three of the new chicks had died. I'd faithfully put each of the second batch into a doubled sealing bag in my freezer. I had an errand that took me over to the side of town where the Post Office is and so I grabbed a small cooler and my frozen bag of chicks. Here's some guidelines about



1. Ask for shipping insurance from the hatchery when you order the chicks.

2. When the chicks arrive, keep the packaging they came and the receipt that's included in the package until you know they will all survive.

3. If chicks die, put them in a sealing container or plastic bag and freeze them. (Then wait to do the following steps until you are sure that all the remaining chicks will survive -- I had two die five days after they got here -- and after I went to the Post Office.)

4. Download or obtain a copy of USPS form 1000 and fill it out.(click here to download form)

5. Call to check which Post Office branch you need to take the package to. The Post Office site says you can go to any branch but when I went to the terminal where I picked up the chicks I discovered neither my local branch and or that office would accept the insurance claim, I had to go to a larger main branch.

6. Take packaging, completed form, and the chicks with you to the Post Office.

(Read more about this story in my May 30th blog.It turns out that if the Postal worker refuses to take the dead chicks, you need them to sign a sheet of paper that says the chicks were presented and they declined to accept them.)

When I went to the office holding the shipping container, a completed form 1000, the receipt for my order and my little paper bag filled with the sealed, frozen plastic sack of dead chicks it was relatively uneventful to file for the loss. The Postal worker (hi Avis) seemed truly devastated that the chicks had died. "I love animals," she cooed and didn't even ask to see the frozen chicks. She did take the container from me though and kept it for their records. The Post Office will not cover the shipping charge (go figure) but did cover the value of the chicks.


Long story short, I still think it may be too early in the year to order chicks. With seven new leghorn hens (survivors of the 52 that the hatchery shipped) and my new mystery chick I should have enough birds to lay eggs for our small geezer commune.

Later this year I think I am going to go with chicks from a standard-bred strain that will turn out broody and raise their own babies.