From there, the chicks went to Poplar Spring, a refuge for farm animals in Poolesville, Md. Six of them were adopted by Peaceful Fields Shelter in Winchester, Va. Terry Cummings, director of Poplar Spring, said that finding good homes to adopt out farm animals, including chickens, is typically difficult, so the nine remaining chicks will live permanently at Poplar Spring.
They are busily eating and running around under a heat lamp that mimics the warmth of their mother, who would usually sit on top of them for most of their first month of life, Cummings said.
Most of the chicks were uninjured in their journey through the postal system, Cummings said. One suffered a minor leg injury. Since that chick limps, it is the only one the staff at Poplar Spring can tell apart from the others (until their feathers grow in, at age one or two months). So right now, the injured chick is the only one who has been given a name — Marcie.
Cummings said the chicks seem to have been just one day old when they were mailed. Mailing baby chicks from hatcheries is legal, Cummings said, though often fatal if the birds get too cold inside the package. These birds, since there were so many, must have kept each other warm. “They sort of act like packing material,” Cummings said.
They’re now 11 days old and “just doing their baby thing,” Cummings said.
This post has been updated.