Dead “chicks” causes concern for Arkansas farmer


Kuettle said on any given order he usually receives them in two days.

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HIGHFILL, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Current issues surrounding the United States Postal Service makes one local poultry breeder question the current delivery system.

Jonathen Kuettle has been a poultry breeder for four and a half years.

On Thursday morning, August 27, he got a voicemail from the Gentry Post Office.

I got a phone call stating that my poultry was in and they were all dead.

“I just wanted to let you know you had some baby chicks here, the bad news is they’re all dead, but you can pick them up anytime you get ready.”

He said recently he ordered a shipment of chicks from Ideal Poultry, a Texas-based company.

The chicks were shipped on Monday, August 24.

Kuettle said on any given order, he usually receives them in two days, but in the midst of the United States Postal Service facing rapid cuts, the chicks came in three days and were all dead.

“It’s just real irritating,” he said.

KNWA/KFTA reached out to USPS. They said the shipment was sent in standard time.

The U.S. Postal Service is one of just a few carriers that ship live animals, and we have established procedures for the safe handling of live animals. When properly packaged and labeled, these live parcels are given special handling outside of our normal automated process.

Our tracking information on this order shows that it met the service standard of 3 days to arrive at the destination facility for delivery or pickup. USPS accepted the package from the shipper on August 25, 2020, and they arrived at the Gentry, AR, Post Office on August 27, 2020. We apologize to the customer for this unfortunate event.

As information, we strongly recommend that live animals be mailed via Priority Mail Express, our overnight mailing service. We always want to hear directly from our customers immediately when they have a delivery concern, and urge them to call the U.S. Postal Service’s Customer Care Line at 1 800-ASK-USPS or contact their local Post Office as soon as possible so that the issue can be looked into and addressed promptly.

For more specific information on the types of live animals that can be shipped via the U.S. Postal Service, as well as packaging and labeling information, please check our website: USPS


This is not the first issue like this seen across the country — there was a recent case where thousands of chickens arrived dead to a farmer in Maine.

“It’s very important because we have to have baby chicks like this to raise up, so you and I can have eggs and have meat on the table,” Kuettle said.

United States Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, addressed some of the setbacks USPS is experiencing while testifying before congress a few days ago.

While we have had temporary service decline, which should not have happened, we are fixing this.


“This is my hard-earned money, going to nothing,” Kuettle said. “It’s affecting everyone.”

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