A couple of weeks ago, I wandered out to my husband's office (it is in the part of our house that used to be a garage) and found his office manager frantically making phone calls.
"The chicks are in, and I can't find anyone to pick them up for me," she said. I immediately volunteered, because although I had heard about how baby chicks are delivered in the mail from hatcheries, I had never seen it. I grabbed the boys, and we headed to the post office.
We could hear them as soon as we walked in the door. No doubt as to which box belonged to Joan. The chicks are shipped when they are only one day old, because they still have the energy from the yolk to sustain them. (It lasts for up to three days.) The receiving post office calls the new owner as soon as the chicks come in, for immediate pick-up, for the benefit of the post office worker and the chicks.
Something about holding a box of loudly peeping chicks that makes you smile.
To get an idea of just how loud they are, the boys made this video in the car driving home:
Once you get them home, you have to put a shallow container of water in the box with them and dip each chick's beak into the water, to make sure they start drinking since they are close to three days post-hatch, and the yolk nutrition is running out. (She fed them as soon as she got them home; this first, critical operation took place in the office storage room.) Joan dipped each chick's beak several times, both to make sure they got some water in and to make sure she had gotten every chick, since there were two of each breed.
Don't ask me what breeds. I think the yellow ones are Buff Orpingtons but not sure about the others.