Tracking the Stork

If a stork delivers human babies, could we deduce that a stork delivers baby chicks as well?

It was yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, March 21, when I received an email from Townline Hatchery where we had ordered our chicks. It looked like this:

ALMOST READY!
Please allow 24 hours for most tracking updates.

I immediately clicked on the tracking # and learned that at 3:28 P.M. a shipping label had been created.

Since the hatchery is less than two-hour drive from our home, I assumed our bundle would arrive today, so I continued to check the USPS (United Stork Postal Service???) tracking number for updates. Here is the route and timeline the stork service took to deliver our bundle of 28 chicks.

3:56 P.M. accepted at USPS office in Zeeland, MI

5:11 P.M. arrived at USPS Regional facility in Grande Rapids, MI. Estimated delivery was before 9:00 P.M. on 3/23/23 *Note they are going in the wrong direction as Grand Rapids is to the west of Zeeland while we are to the east. Apparently, Storks don’t adhere to ‘as the crow flies”.

That was the last update before I went to bed last night.

When I got up, way too early, this morning there was another update.

3/22 12:20 A.M. arrived at USPS Regional facility in Pontiac, MI *at least they are now traveling in the right direction*

Then:

6:59 A.M. arrived at our local USPS office.

7:10 A.M. Out for delivery *This was a bit disturbing as it was my understanding that we would have to pick up our bundle at the local office. We didn’t want them riding around in the stork mobile for half the day when we could bring them home and assure that they were warm and well. I tried calling the office but only got a message that they were not open yet.”

8:39 A.M. My phone rang. A terse voice said, “you have chicks at the post office.” I asked if they could be picked up now and which door to go to, and my husband was on his way out the door as I hung up the phone.

9:00 A.M. my husband returned home with our bundle of peepers.

Awww! So cute and so many peep, peep, peeps… I noticed black spots on the heads of a few of them and was a bit concerned because buff orpington chicks, the breed we ordered, are solid yellow. I then realized that the three with black marks on their head were the roosters we ordered, and the hatchery had thoughtfully marked them so we could identify them.

For some reason I thought that we had only ordered 18 chicks (getting old or something). After we had them in their new home, I began trying to get a beak count (not easy as they were all moving around) and quickly realized that we had way more than 18. When I looked up my receipt from the hatchery, I discovered that we had ordered 28 chicks – 25 pullets (females) and 3 roosters.

Since they were continually moving around I didn’t a full count until I saw the picture below.

We got all 28 +1= 29! Feel free to count for yourself but I have counted them at least 6 times and keep counting 29.

Ranger was quite excited to see the babies. He has checked them out several times during the day. I wish you could see how fast his tail is wagging as he watches them. It’s so funny. He did bark at them a couple times which sent the whole flock into a tizzy, but he seems to have gotten over the need to do that. We are a bit surprised that Ruby has not paid them any attention as of yet. I guess she will just meet them when she is ready.

Thanks for visiting and happy spring!!

33 thoughts on “Tracking the Stork

  1. They sure are sweet Ruth – I tried to count and they all merged together, so I’m going to take your word for it – you got a bonus chick. I like your quip about United Stork Postal Service??? The picture of Ranger peering in and disturbing their peace was cute – I can imagine how he was wagging his tail at his new sisters and brothers. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. He is fascinated and I’ll bet he feels like he is in charge of them. I liked how they marked the roosters with black spots for you and their funny messages … sounds like you are a regular customer when it comes to picking chicks. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. Those comments were actually my thoughts as I tracked the package. We haven’t ordered chicks or bees by mail in many years – since the year the bees took three extra days to get here and arrived dead. The last two years we were not happy with the chicks we got at the farm store so decided to try this hatchery and hope and pray the USPS got them here alive and well. Thankfully they are all still doing well.

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      3. Well I guess I was a little slow on the uptake there Ruth to think they were writing that, but I assumed you dealt with the same place. I follow the Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary on Facebook – they rescue all types of waterfowl and they live forever after at this couple’s home that has a pond like yours plus a barn. Matt just did a post last week about the farm store – they were selling the chicks I think it was a quarter apiece, a very small sum and there was a box and they were crowded with their grain in a tall container – none could have reached it to eat. Very sad. Matt asked people to boycott the place and write to get the practice of selling chicks there stopped. I remember what happened with the bees. I went to the alpaca farm one time and the owner was going to show me how he took the honey off the hive and he went in and all the bees had died over the Winter. He blamed it on all the farmers using pesticides and contaminating the bees.

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  2. I bet those postal workers love this time of year. I’m glad they arrived safely even with taking the scenic route. I have similar pictures of Harley peeking in at the babies. Good memories .

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    1. I’m not so sure how much they love it since they can only hear the peeping but can’t see the cuteness sine the holes in the carton are so small. I have pictures of Scout and Trooper with the babies too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I loved the United Stork Postal Service too! Cute post….esp. the dog picture. I’m curious that they would even ship them that way – how do they stay warm during transit? I see the air holes in the cardboard box, but it’s been fairly cold out, and I thought chicks had to be kept at a certain temp. Also the steel container you keep them in is quite deep, so they can’t get out? Is it kept inside a coop?

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    1. Thanks Joni! Newly hatched chicks can go about two days without food or water, so shipping has to be quick. (The label on the carton said that ours hatched at 10 A.M. on the 21st and we had them by 9 A.M. on the 22.) They put a heated gel pack in the bottom of the carton to help keep the chicks warm and they have a minimum amount that you can order (I think 15) so the chicks help keep each other warm. We use the stock tank with high walls to keep chicks from flying out and keep dogs from reaching in. Our coop does not have electricity and even if it did having a heat lamp in it would be a fire hazard. So for about two week they reside in the spare bathroom in our house.

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    1. Thanks Anne! I was picturing a ’60’s or ’70’s cartoon with a stork carrying a bundle then delivering it to a mother hen. I’m just not sure how the hen would react. Would she be upset because the stork had her babies or thankful that she did not have to sit on a nest for three weeks. ๐Ÿ™‚

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