Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Extreme heat might have killed 1,000 chicks that were shipped by mail from Iowa to Kentucky, a United States Postal Service spokesman confirms.
The baby chickens arrived at the main post office in Louisville Saturday afternoon, according to David Walton, a USPS spokesman. Temperatures reached 106 degrees in Louisville, but Walton said 1,000 of the 5,000 chicks died due to extreme heat. The chicks were destined for various locations throughout Kentucky.
"The deaths were likely caused by the intense and excessive heat. It's a shame because the postal services deals with the shipment of hundreds of thousands of animals everyday," said Walton.
Walton said it's not uncommon to mail poultry, in fact, the USPS deals with the shipment of live animals all the time, he said.
Paul Brown has been raising chickens in the backyard of his Old Louisville home for years. He says he's heard of other farmers losing chickens to this summer's extreme heat, which is why he makes an effort to keep his cluckers cool.
He keeps their coop in the shade and allows them to roam free in his backyard.
"We've heard some farmers at the farmer's market had some losses as well, we've tried to let our chickens out in the evening, make sure they have water in the yard," said Brown.
"I guess if it's 140 degrees in a container you're gonna lose - anything is going to die. It just seems too hot. It's like leaving a baby in a car," Brown said of the dead chicks.
Walton said the incident is unfortunate and that the postal service handled the chicks properly. They arrived in a one-day ground transport from Iowa. The postal service makes efforts to keep live animals cool by placing fans in the distribution center, Walton said.
Brown said shipping chicks in 100-degree temperatures is definitely not ideal.