poultry shipping crisis

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Wish I was computer literate enough to post a link for this, but there are some very interesting updates on the poultry shipping issues today on PoultryConnection.com's poultry forum. Evidently chicks are now being refused or sent back to sender from at least some(several) locations. ( One woman who ordered from Privett five days ago still has no word of what happened to her birds.) A big legal battle is brewing, and help is being earnestly(again) solicited.

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), September 05, 2001


I was doing research into shipping a few worms for evaluation and found Northwest ( which does the USPS priority shipments) is refuseing all "live cargo" and won't ship those either. The folks at our local P.O. said they are trying to find alternative means. Other carriers charge eight to ten times the price of USPS. I hope they figure a solution soon or I'll either have to drive them myself or wait till next season during the spring or fall shipping window period ( If I'm lucky). Maybe I should just aim them in the direction of the university and let them crawl there :>)

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), September 06, 2001.

it really seems that there is a major push on to stop people from being able to feed themselves. I bet they would find objections to fertilized eggs as well. Arrrrgggh. Man, how many battles can we all fight at once?

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), September 07, 2001.

I hear what you're saying, Doreen! Jay, I'm afraid this is not something that is just temp or seasonally related, and is not going to blow over on it's own. Peta evidently has been making a major effort for some time to persuade carriers to refuse any live shipments on "humane" basis. For more current info on this problem, go to birdshippers.org

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), September 07, 2001.

So, my next question is what is everyone going to do about this? I don't mean protesting or letterwriting, I mean what practical things are you going to do? I am personally looking for a Rhode Island Red rooster to replace my current Araucana one. I'll be breeding a more versatile chick (hopefully). Anyone planning to join a poultry club, or better yet, start one in your area. It sounds like keeping backyard poultry could become very difficult without cooperation from other breeders. Any ideas?

-- melina b. (goatgalmjb1@hotmail.com), September 07, 2001.

I recieved some info from our postmaster today. I posted in response to a chick shipment thread on CS. We may possibly see some relief to this matter soon. After all it is costing them business.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), September 07, 2001.

As far as what we all are going to do. I myself, plan to just keep on going as usual. We're supposed to be self sufficient, so any of us old timers (pre y2k :>) should be able to keep a herd of whatever they chooose, be it chickens , rabbits , goats whatever they choose, as long as they have a breeder set. The newcomers will have to work out deals with local established farmers or homesteaders to get breeders. You know the large commercial operations will keep their chicken lines running and a 'steader is supposed to be self sufficient as possible. The confirmed routing regulation is going to hit the pocketboooks of semi commercial folks, but they will also be able to establish confirmed routing shortly, because the Post Office is losing out also

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), September 08, 2001.

Jay, I think there is more to it than that. Yes, if we have flocks established and we have contacts within an area established we can carry on. BUT what if your entire flock is wiped out by a predator or disease? What's going to happen to all the "purebreeds"?

I started out with Gold laced Wyandottes exclusively and now I have a bunch of different types and will be getting a mixed rooster this fall from my sis in law. I won't have a single purebred left after mine pass on. I don't see anything wrong with hybrids, but breeds have been developed for a reason and with a lot of work.

Look at goats for instance. Are they discontinuing shipping of goats and dogs and cats and etc. as well? That is the impression I got. Taking that into account there will be a lot of inbreeding which isn't necessarily good. Especially in the hands of a not so well informed non geneticist, like myself....like MOST people.

Combine this with the all out police state tactics that they want to employ on transportation of stock due to the possibility of foot and mouth and we have some serious issues to contend with, no? It really is going to make things tough on people wanting to branch out or needing to start over or just get started.

All of this bureaucracy is just give a bit here...give a bit there and next thing you know you haven't got any room left to give.

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), September 08, 2001.

Thanks for your reply, Doreen. I'm sitting here with 6 RIR hens, 2 Barred Rocks, and a stupid Araucana rooster. The only purebred breeders I have are a trio of Silver Laced Wyandotts. They aren't what I would call dual-purpose, as they are rather small and lay small eggs. (I also have a menagerie of "mutt" chickens that are interesting to look at, but don't breed anywhere near true to their ancestry). It's nice to say "keep a breeder pair of everything" but the reality is, as you say, a predator, old age or repeated inbreeding is gonna getcha sooner or later. I guess the answer is to stay in touch with others who keep purebreds and outcross as often as necessary. Thanks a bunch, PETA.

-- melina b. (goatgalmjb1@hotmail.com), September 08, 2001.

Yes, Doreen, the restrictions are on all live cargo. Maybe "supply lines" will be set first in larger areas. My problem apparently was the remote destination. As far as entire herd wipouts, until the shipping problem can be resolved, we will have to rely on our own skills and local suppliers or special trips to where a destination confirmation is available with a stock trailer. Since this affects the commercial producers more, I would think the suppliers would know more about as to where they can ship to and you can also check with your local Postmaster regarding the Domestic Mail Manual regulations on live cargo, also it's listed at www.usps.com. I tried to access it online, but did something wrong in my download. That was why I went to our PM in person. I know it looks bad at this time, but I do have faith that the post office will figure a solution. Live cargo is a big part of their business. Just take extra precautions now to protect your existing livestock. Maybe seperating the herd into smaller groups that can be monitored and keep contact with other local raisers also. Most of all, take it in stride as it comes, take precautions, look at the situation from different perspectives (outside the box), keep well informed from accurate sources and NEVER forget, you are more skilled this year than you were in the past, use the knowledge and skills you have acquired from the past. Failures and obstacles are nothing more than the scenic path to success.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), September 08, 2001.

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