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FAQ

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions:

Since 1918, the USPS has been shipping live day-old poultry via Priority Mail! When birds are hatched, they absorb their yolk sac for nutrition. They have plenty of nutrients to make their journey to you. We bring your babies to the post office the morning they are hatched and they begin their flight to you. Your Post Office will call you when they arrive for pickup.

Started Pullets are also shipped USPS Priority Mail. Orders are carefully boxed for safe arrival, and are shipped with a small amount of fresh produce to provide nutrients and hydration on their route to you. Note: Started Pullets cannot be shipped with day-old poultry, their ship dates vary from hatch dates.

For non-live shipments, we use the most economical as well as quickest way to you.

Our poultry shipments are sent USPS Priority Live and arrive safely within one to three days.

In the rare cases losses occur, Valley Hatchery LLC offers a 100% live arrival guarantee. The details can be found here.

We ship as few as three day-old birds! All day-old standard chicks have a minimum of three, you may order one cockerel with a clutch of pullets. Shipping minimums vary by type of day-old poultry:

| Large Fowl Chickens (3) | Bantam Chickens (5) | Turkey (3) | Ducks (3) | Guinea (5) |

There is no minimum of for Started Pullets to ship, you may order as few as one.

Day-Old Poultry: Estimated hatch or ship date projections are listed on each breed listing, they are updated throughout each day. When viewing you cart, the first available date for your selections will appear. At checkout, you can select this date or a later date, remember this is an estimate only. Your actual confirmed date may vary when your order is received, we will have our system confirm a date that has all the birds you chose available. We will email you your confirmed hatch date within 3 business days of your order being received. During our regular season, we hatch both Mondays & Wednesdays. We recommend always placing your orders early in the season if you prefer to raise your chicks during a specific time. We try to estimate as best as possible what our hatch will yield. 

Started Pullets: Started Pullets ship on Tuesdays & generally ship within 2 weeks of orders being placed. A confirmed ship date will be emailed within 2-3 days of your order being placed.

We ship to the Contiguous United States. We cannot ship outside of the United States or to Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.

No. We mark our outgoing live parcels for the Post Office to hold for pickup. We put your phone number (and alternate if provided) on the parcel, noting for the Post Office to call on arrival. However, we always recommend calling your Post Office on ship day to let them know you have a live shipment on the way. They may take your contact info, just to be sure they have it!

In some cases, the local carrier may offer to deliver the chicks to you. We do not recommend this as the carrier vehicles are not heated or cooled and are not free of drafts. We highly recommend pickup. 

Day-Old Poultry: A $25 shipping fee is charged plus $0.30 per day-old bird purchased.

Supply Order and Started Pullet Order shipping cost is calculated at checkout depending on where they are being routed to.

Smaller orders of day-old poultry require additional handling, heat packs and care therefore a $25 Small Order Fee is charged for orders with fewer than 15 birds. To avoid this fee, add 15 or more birds to your cart.

We are headquartered in Ohio. We ship day-old poultry both from our Ohio and Missouri facilities. We ship from our regional post offices direct to you. Started Pullets are shipped directly from a family farm we are partnered with located in the beautiful State of Montana.

Blue chickens do not breed true, therefore our blue to blue matings result in around 50% blue chicks, 25% black chicks, and 25% splash chicks. We will send as many blues as possible with your order, but you should also expect some black and splash chicks.

Hens will lay eggs with or without a rooster! Without a rooster, the eggs are infertile, they cannot develop into chicks. If you do have a rooster, eggs need to be collected daily and kept in a cool place before being used so that they won’t develop into chicks. Fertile eggs are perfectly safe to eat, and you would never even know!

As soon as you have a good idea of what you would like to order, you should get it in. We start accepting pre-orders for the upcoming season in December and hatch February-September. At checkout, you can select a ship date that works for you. Our chicks are sold on a first come basis, so it is ideal to get your order in sooner than later to ensure you get what you want. 

Shipping day is a very busy day at the hatchery. We enter all shipment details into USPS and extract a report at the end of the ship day with your tracking number. We upload these tracking numbers in the evening after we have finished our ship day. We appreciate your patience. In the case your order does not ship as scheduled, we will reach out to you. We kindly ask not to call the hatchery on ship day to check on your order. With hundreds of orders shipping out, this can really slow down our ship day as it is often all-hands-on-deck. We assure you; we will follow up with you in the case of a delay. 

It is important to note, that the tracking system USPS uses is NOT a complete, real-time report of the package’s location, and the system is still in its infancy. Please do not panic if the Tracking ID information shows that the package has not moved or doesn’t appear to be making progress, USPS tracking often estimates delivery several days later than they are due to arrive as the tracking system cannot recognize it is a LIVE shipment which is treated priority.

It is important to keep in mind that sexing is not 100% accurate. You can find the details of our sexing guarantee here. It is important to have a plan in place what you will do if you do receive a rooster, you had not planned for. Many customers utilize Craigslist or other listing sites to rehome their unwanted roosters. 

We have a minimum per breed to make sure we can fulfill orders in a timely process. Orders with one or two of multiple breeds are very timely to fill. We are working on a tight schedule on shipment days, as we have to ship day-old poultry the day they hatch and are on a deadline to the last truck leaving the Post Office. On most days, we are working with a limited crew and every minute counts on these busy days. We unfortunately cannot make exceptions to these minimums. 

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