Welcome to the madhouse, MacFarlane Pheasants’ central office in the thick of the day-old pheasant chick season. Each week 100,000 chicks are born, packaged, and shipped across the country, all with our guarantee that birds will arrive fresh from hatching and ready to grow. But this well-oiled machine doesn’t just happen, so step inside to discover an insider’s view of our chick order process.
When our customers place an order, our first stop is in our spreadsheet, the massive inter-office document that shows all our office staff how many birds we’ll have, how many we’ve sold, and how many we have left unclaimed. Unlike an airline or a hotel, we never double-book. True, there’s wiggle room for you to adjust orders as needed, but your birds are your birds, and our pledge to you is that we won’t be jerking you around with their arrival date.
From there, we send your order to a staff member, who draws up the invoice. (Though we’re as personable as can be over the phone in customer support, we’re a tight-run ship to make sure your experience is professional and prompt. No one benefits from a tardy bill.) Your order is reviewed, and then it’s forwarded to another office worker for review. When everything is good to go, we process the payment.
From there, life goes on as usual—until the week before your chicks are set to ship. On Wednesday or Thursday morning, before our hatchery meeting, we’ve printed out shipping labels and health documents to accompany your order. Our hatchery has them in hand as they prepare to ship your chicks.
The next Monday and Tuesday are filled with baby birds hatching, split between the two days. We’ll confirm with you what day you should expect your birds to ship, but we don’t mince words: “day-old chicks” mean pheasant chicks that are exactly one day old, and on either Tuesday or Wednesday your order is out the door with two-day priority shipping. Birds born on Monday are guaranteed to be at your doorstep by Thursday afternoon, blinking in the summer light and so new you can still smell the shell.
“Communicating with our customers is very key,” says Pam Wallisch, a MacFarlane Pheasants support specialist. She and the rest of our staff are working through lunch most days, standing by to take your chick orders in preparation for your fall hunting season. But reserve your birds today—our last hatch of the season is the week of August 19.