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Live Baby Chicks Used as Packing Peanuts

April 18, 2012



Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms, a company that sells and ships live birds, uses live baby chicks as packing material! According to complainants and Ideal Poultry’s own website, male chicks are included as filler in live shipments so that the birds who were ordered can be kept warm during transit. Sadly, many of these filler chicks reportedly arrive dead or die within hours of arrival. One caller who adopted several ailing filler chicks from a neighbor contacted PETA with a heartbreaking story: She tended, fed, and watered her chicks with a dropper throughout their first night, but she could only watch as each one slowly died.

We reached out to Janet Crouch, the owner of Ideal Poultry, but our concerns were brushed off with the response that male chicks are used for warmth and to take up extra space in the box. … Adding males for warmth is an acceptable practice with backyard poultry hatcheries.”

Your voice is needed! Please contact Crouch and let her know that live animals are not disposable and that using them as shipping material is inhumane! Please urge her to stop shipping live animals or, at the very least, to use heating packs in place of live chicks.


Janet Crouch
Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms, Inc.
800-243-3257, ext. 5562
254-697-2393 (fax)

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Dear Ms. Crouch,

I am shocked to learn Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms ships live baby chicks as packing material and I am respectfully requesting you discontinue this business; one, they may not survive shipping and two, the recipient may abuse, neglect, or even kill the baby chicks, especially those people inexperienced in the care of baby chicks.

Please allow me to elaborate.  Animals are sentient beings, capable of thought and emotion, including love and suffering.   I ask you to acknowledge this important condition that both humans and non-humans share.  Animals are undeserving of this cruel legacy whereby they are exploited and suffered for human greed and egotistical motive, which only fosters the dangerous premise of acceptable suffering against all animals, human and non-human.

Please consider my request, immediately cease causing harm to these inquisitive and intelligent animals by discontinuing your participation in the breeding and shipping business. Many other companies have already made the decision to stop the transportation of animals for such unethical practices, and I hope you, too, make the similar decision.  Animals have rights to live free from pain and suffering regardless of objections to acknowledge such; I therefore hope this message finds you willing to examine and subsequently change your potential complicity in their abuse and potential death.

Thank you for taking the time to read this importance request.


Filler chicks?
Beyond cruel
And sick :(

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


40 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 4:44 pm

    I find this absolutely disgusting that anyone can be so heartless to treat live creatures especially baby chicks this way who could be crushed tghey are living creatures not disposable packaging,I thought that some men were cruel but by God this woman has no love or compassion only coldness in her heart for these little creatures,yes I know that there are some women who are hard as nails worse than some men,but them sort of women act like men,but surely some must care about these creatures and what they suffer…


  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    April 18, 2012 4:44 pm

    Filler chicks?
    Beyond cruel
    And sick 😦


  3. Fabienne permalink
    April 18, 2012 4:51 pm

    Done it sweetie and will make event out of this, for this is absolutely unacceptable!


  4. April 18, 2012 5:01 pm

    Reblogged this on margo54 and commented:
    Cruelty to living creatures really mystifies me and disgusts me how anyone can hurt any creature for greed or enjoyment,they must be mentally brain dead…


    • April 18, 2012 6:15 pm

      Thank you for these links! People are already commenting on dead animals. 😦


  5. April 18, 2012 5:28 pm

    Done ~ Sharing


  6. Athena Hogue permalink
    April 18, 2012 6:08 pm

    My God, is there anything people won’t do to an animal? What happens with these male chicks when they aren’t used for filler? (Can’t believe I just typed that…) Are they ground up or tossed out in plastic bags like so many others? It seems male chicks don’t stand a chance no matter what…


    • April 18, 2012 6:16 pm

      Male chicks are not “productive” to the industry. If not for filler, more than likely just disposed. It’s sickening. 😦


  7. April 18, 2012 8:47 pm

    The alternative for male chicks is to be ground up alive. Both make me sick.


  8. karin yates permalink
    April 19, 2012 12:07 am

    I think the real problem here is that these kind of companies who supply chicks typically kill the males in the same manner as the egg industry. Sometimes people will order a “straight run” — males and females, but usually they just want the pullets (females). It’s not clear from the article how the “filler” chicks are shipped (in the mail) differently from the others, or why they would be sick.


  9. April 19, 2012 6:41 am

    Homo sapiens is FRUGIVORE animal species- has NOT enzymes for using meat/milk/eggs/bread like own food.
    Natural food of humans are raw fresh fruits with seeds and raw fresh vegetables, everyting else are Frauds of meat/milk/eggs/bread “industries“ owners for making them better profit, but very HARM to humans and very harm to animals and very harm to whole Planet.Also it is `good job“ for pharmacological/medical “industries “ owners if there are as many ill humans as is possible.


  10. cetude permalink
    April 19, 2012 7:47 am

    Zoonotic diseases associated with baby chicks include salmonella, campylobacterosis, C. diff (from farm factory practices of frequent use of antibiotics), avian tuberculosis, erysipelas, ornithosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Psittacosis. Bird flu. I’m sure people are getting poisoned with this “live packing”.


  11. cetude permalink
    April 19, 2012 7:48 am

    Sounds like to me this a violation of health codes – and isn’t shipping live animals illegal in the postal service?


    • Lynn Bellus permalink
      March 22, 2013 11:27 am

      Again, you know very little of what you speak. The US Postal Service has been shipping live animals since it’s inception. To this day, they still ship reptiles and poultry.


  12. cetude permalink
    April 19, 2012 7:50 am

    Report her to the Health Department and US Postal service if she’s shipping live chicks. Chicks can spread diseases they are rather nasty creatures to be truthful and spread fecals material all over the place.


  13. April 19, 2012 12:26 pm

    These people should be investigated, if they can commit such a hideaous act with inocent babies they probably abuse other animals and people.


  14. LINDA BADHAM permalink
    April 19, 2012 5:08 pm



  15. Ann permalink
    April 20, 2012 5:09 am

    Absolutely disgusting. Words cannot describe how I feel about people who are capable of this.


  16. April 23, 2012 10:13 am

    My own letter to Janet:

    Dear Janet,

    The use of live chicks as packing material is simply unacceptable, as is your cavalier attempt to simply brush off people like me that are expressing concern and outrage about this practice. These are sentient beings. Birds are among the most intelligent of animals and the very idea that you would subject them to torture and death as a means of providing additional warmth for the shipment of other living creatures suggests that you have virtually zero regard for animals.

    This behavior is absolutely intolerable, inhumane, and wrongheaded. If it is, as you claim, a standard practice in your industry that is not merely not an excuse but a reason for a deep investigation into the other abuses your industry — and your company in particular — perpetrates upon living things.

    Here’s what you should expect:

    a real investigation into what your company does and how it treats all animals
    exposure of this revolting practice on an absolutely massive scale
    coverage in both animal related and mainstream media
    a loss of revenue as disgusted people take their business to companies that treat animals with the respect they deserve
    thousands of outraged people like me writing to you to express their disgust
    animal authorities writing about this in high-traffic publications
    an onslaught of negative press
    massive social media awareness of what you’re doing.

    My suggestion: change your policy immediately. Apologize profusely. Make a sizable donation to organizations that protect and care for animals. Improve your treatment of and respect for animals across the board and make all your facilities available for spot checks by representatives of animal rights organizations.


    Oliver Starr


  17. April 23, 2012 10:46 am

    Is it OK if I send her an email and call her “Crotch” instead?? What a discusting human being!!!


  18. April 23, 2012 11:22 am

    Reblogged this on Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife and commented:
    This is not a wildlife story, but it illustrates the manner in which all living beings are subject to being treated by our culture. Absolutely horrifying what is done to these little guys. Even worse is what egg producers do to male chicks. They throw them alive into grinders because they are of no use to them. I am not over exaggerating, this is indeed what they do.


  19. Rebecca permalink
    May 14, 2012 10:35 pm

    It’s really not so bad as it sounds — chicks have been shipped live for GENERATIONS via mail — and the breeders OFTEN have surplus from good hatchings — so rather than have them go unclaimed, they insert a few extras into the batch to keep the whole lot warm. They also often include one or two of the rarer varieties, so that people can see first-hand how absolutely gorgeous the rare species are — and then the customer MAY want to purchase more of the rare ones — which helps keep those heritage breeds alive!!


  20. Evie permalink
    August 1, 2012 9:56 am

    This is only the tip of the iceberg. If you saw “Dirty Jobs” on TV you saw how chicks are sexed. Since their privates are inside, the newly hatched chicks are squeezed to make those parts visible out the back end. The girls are then place on a conveyer belt. The boys go into the trash can, alive. I unwittingly purchased three pullet chicks from Ideal Poultry by purchasing them from my local feed store. One turned out to be a cockerel and not even the breed I purchased. He survived, and although he has a slight limp, he is healthy and a very sweet roo. He guards his hens well, is respectful of the dogs and he is gorgeous. I have no idea what breed he is, but I’m glad he survived. We, who purchased chicks for laying hens pay a premium for pullet/girl chicks so that we don’t have to feed and care for roosters. They aren’t needed for egg production and having more than one can lead to aggressive behavior, though not always. While chickens are legal in many cities, many don’t allow roosters, or may limit ownership to just one rooster. As long as we consider roosters of no value, hatcheries will treat them as such. The hatcheries always add extra chicks to allow for in transit damage. They do care that their chicks arrive alive because it affects their rating, not because they care about the little babies. No one wants to pay for dead chicks. We really shouldn’t be shipping any chicks at all. If we start buying from local breeders, picking them up ourselves, we would eliminate the problems. We slam the hatcheries, but the guilt lies in ourselves. Until we are found without fault, should we throw stones at others?


  21. FAY DONE permalink
    August 19, 2012 11:31 am

    This is SHOCKING, Evil and Cruel !!


  22. D.Hopkins permalink
    January 4, 2013 12:39 pm

    I bought my husband 6 rock girls for xmas last yr, got 17 roosters as “packing material” was shocked and overwhelmed as what to do with these mystery guys. We decided to let them grow to adults then had them “processed” by this guy in the country. We were over whelmed by 37 chickens and mature roosters are a pain.Ideal told us maybe ONE male to help keep our girls warm.will get our chicks from another source or hatch more ourselves.


  23. D.Hopkins permalink
    January 4, 2013 12:42 pm

    I forgot to mention, many of the 24 had broken toes and limped.


    • Lynn Bellus permalink
      March 22, 2013 11:32 am

      I seriously doubt Ideal told you 1 male. It clearly states on most of their web pages that you should order the minimum quantity, in order to keep your birds warm. And I also seriously doubt Ideal sent all their cripples your way…


  24. Ideal Customer permalink
    March 29, 2013 3:44 pm

    I received Chicks from Ideal Breeding Farm yesterday via the U.S. Postal Service. Almost 700 miles from their location. I had ordered 10, as quantity is based on dollar amount of order. Upon inspection, my 10 pullets ordered were well, and as of today seem perfectly fine. Ideal had added 11 additional male chicks, apparently white leghorns for warmth. As of today, within 24 hours, I have lost 3 of them. I spoke with a local major hatchery today, not Ideal, and had told them of the high amount of added chicks received. They said that most chicks added are generally late hatches, and some are lethargic and not expected to make it. Yet, as they are God’s little creations, I’m out cost and expense of rearing these chicks as well as any other. Eventually, I’ll have to sell them, or give them away, as this isn’t the breed I raise.


  25. January 17, 2014 8:53 pm

    Reblogged this on "OUR WORLD".


  26. Jenny permalink
    April 12, 2014 11:59 am

    If they didn’t ship the chicks, they would be otherwise just thrown in a meat grinder or a trash can (more cruel than shipping them out to people that might take care of them). The problem is not the hatchery, but the public demand for hens. The customer doesn’t want the roosters. Contrary to public opinion, the chicken meat at the store is not from normal chickens like most of those sold at hatcheries. Meat chickens are a separate breed that is killed at 8 weeks old, so there is no public demand for roosters of the old-fashioned chicken breeds (those sold by hatcheries). The sickness lies with the consumer! Don’t eat eggs if you want to stop the cruelty. Or if you pick up a little cute female chick at the feed store as a pet, try to think of where all the baby boy chicks are (and don’t ask the store owner since they don’t even know the truth about the boy chicks being killed). They aren’t for sale because no-one wants them, thus they’re killed at the hatchery.


  27. Judy Leslie permalink
    September 24, 2015 8:32 pm

    I also was shocked to see the dead baby chicks when my Blue Silkes arrived. I ordered more chicks & 9 of the “peanut chicks” lived. So now I have the chicks I ordered PLUS 9 more chicks. I called the company and they stated “I could do what ever I wanted with the “peanut chicks”. I keep them and they are now in the same pen as my other chickens. They are not all male, as some of them are laying eggs. This is a cruel practice as I don’t know what other people do with the live chicks. I will not order any chicks with this company again until they stop using “packing peanuts”.


  28. Jenny permalink
    February 6, 2017 11:05 am

    99% of male chicks are throw into meat grinders or gassed at hatcheries, so giving them away free with other chicks actually cuts down on the deaths of these chicks. If you order a female chick either bt mail or at the feed store (feed stores just order females), the corresponding male chick you didnt order was killed, plain and simple. Order straight run dual purpose breeds (male and female) and raise the roosters for meat (kill at 4-5 months old if living in a city that doesnt allow roosters), or whenever they start crowing.



  1. Baby Chicks Used as Packing Filler – A2M1N

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