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Shipping Chicks Safely During Cold Weather Months

On June 7, 2024 in Chick Sales, Chicks by Karina

At MacFarlane Pheasant Farm, ensuring the safety and well-being of our pheasant chicks is our top priority, no matter the season. Shipping chicks during the colder months presents unique challenges, but with careful planning, we ensure that our chicks reach their destinations safe and sound. Committing to quality and safety, we guarantee live chick delivery, providing peace of mind to our customers.

Here's an in-depth look at how we manage to ship chicks during cold weather and the precautions we take to ensure their safe arrival.

Packing to Ensure Temperature Control

One key aspect of shipping chicks safely in cold weather is maintaining the correct temperature inside their shipping boxes. We use specially designed boxes for winter (March to mid-June) and summer to help regulate the temperature effectively.

Winter Boxes

Our winter boxes are designed with fewer holes to minimize heat loss. In addition, we pack more birds into each section of the box during the cold months. Each box has four corners; during the winter months, we place approximately 130-133 chicks in each corner. This helps the chicks keep each other warm through shared body heat.

Summer Boxes

Conversely, our summer boxes have more holes to allow for better ventilation. During the warmer months, we reduce the number of chicks per box to about 105. This prevents overheating and ensures they remain comfortable.

Heat Packs

We include heat packs in the shipping boxes to ensure warmth during the colder months. These heat packs are effective for up to 60 hours, providing additional warmth and comfort for the chicks throughout their journey.

Local vs. Long-Distance Deliveries

When shipping chicks in cold weather, the more control we have throughout the delivery process, the better. To ensure this, we have two shipping plans in place based on whether the delivery is long-distance or local.

Local Deliveries

We handle the transportation of nearby deliveries directly in our temperature-controlled trucks. These trucks are equipped to maintain the optimal environment for the chicks, ensuring they stay warm and comfortable throughout their journey. This method gives us full control over the delivery process, minimizing the risks associated with cold weather.

Long-Distance Deliveries

For longer distances, we take a proactive approach. Our team drives temperature-controlled reefer units to Minneapolis, where we deliver the chicks to the postal service's hub location. This provides a safer and quicker delivery of the birds. By doing so, we reduce the time the chicks spend in transit, ensuring they remain in a controlled environment for as long as possible.

We carefully plan these trips. Minneapolis is about five hours away from our farm, so we always ensure our trucks leave the farm by 3 p.m. to make it to the hub before the doors are locked for the night. We allow a time cushion in case the trucks have maintenance issues and have several contingency plans in place in case trucks break down along the route.

Other Safety Precautions & Contingency Plans

We take additional precautions to ensure our chicks arrive safely and have several contingency plans in place to prevent issues.

Preventative Maintenance of Delivery Vehicles

All our delivery vehicles undergo thorough preventative maintenance before the delivery season begins. This ensures that each truck is in optimal condition and ready to safely transport our chicks. We meticulously check all fans and replace all belts to prevent any unexpected failures during transit. Additionally, the reefer units receive a comprehensive check-over to confirm they are functioning correctly and maintaining the necessary temperature range.

By addressing potential issues before they arise, we aim to minimize any risks associated with mechanical problems and ensure our chicks arrive at their destinations safely and on time.

Live Chick Labels

We place clear "Live Chick" labels outside the boxes. These labels alert postal workers and handlers to the presence of live animals and encourage extra care during the handling and shipping process.

Post Office Pickup

To prevent chicks from being left on doorsteps or in potentially unsafe environments, we only ship chicks to the post office nearest our customers. Customers must pick them up from there to ensure they are not exposed to the elements for too long.

We often coordinate with customers to select the best and safest post office in their area, ensuring the chicks' safety..

Contingency Planning

Our approach to delivery is proactive, and we always think ahead to foresee potential issues. We understand that despite the best-laid plans, unexpected situations can arise. To mitigate these risks, we have developed comprehensive contingency plans to address any challenge that could disrupt the safe delivery of our chicks.

Through meticulous planning and our commitment to addressing potential problems before they arise, we ensure that our chicks remain safe and secure throughout their journey, no matter the circumstances.

Our Commitment to Excellence & Safety

Shipping chicks during the cold weather requires meticulous planning and a commitment to their safety. Our careful planning means customers can trust their chicks will arrive healthy and ready to thrive.

Whether you're a long-time customer or new to our farm, you can trust MacFarlane Pheasants to deliver your chicks safely, no matter the weather.

Looking for chicks this season? See our selection and order online today at

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