A poultry farm in Maine received shipments of chicks that were dead on arrival. It's blaming the post office.
- Thousands of chicks transported through USPS to farms in Maine arrived dead, the Press Herald reported.
- The chicks were mishandled due to cost-cutting measures undertaken by the USPS and the organization's postmaster general Louis DeJoy, the report alleged.
- Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine is sending a letter addressing the issue to DeJoy and US Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sonny Perdue.
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At least 4,800 of chicks going to farms in Maine arrived dead due to mishandling by the US Postal Service, the Press Herald reported.
Pauline Henderson, owner of Pine Tree Poultry told the outlet that all 800 of the chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery that she picked up from her local Post Office were dead.
"We've never had a problem like this before," Henderson, who has regularly received shipments of chicks told the Press Herald. "Usually they arrive every three weeks like clockwork. And out of 100 birds, you may have one or two that die in shipping."
The outlet reported that the chicks were mishandled due to cost-cutting measures undertaken by the USPS and the organization's postmaster general Louis DeJoy.
DeJoy implemented measures like cutting back mail sorting machines and ending overtime but on Tuesday announced that he will be suspending those measures until after the election.
The postmaster-general was asked and agreed to testify in front of Congress on the status and trajectory of the postal service. The measures were criticized for their potential to disenfranchise voters in the upcoming November election.
After receiving many complaints about the issue, Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine told the local outlet that she's sending a letter to Dejoy and US Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sonny Perdue to address the dead chicks and losses to Maine farms.
"It's one more of the consequences of this disorganization, this sort of chaos they've created at the post office and nobody thought through when they were thinking of slowing down the mail," Pingree said.
Henderson told the outlet that she previously got an order where 150 of another batch of 800 chicks arrived dead. She explained that the shipment prompted her to sends workers to drive down to Pennsylvania to pick up the chicks, which was a financial burden and risky especially with COVID-19. Then she decided to try the post office again, before ending up with 800 dead chicks shipped to her.
While the hatchery told Henderson it would refund her for each dead chick, that still doesn't compensate her for lost time, the local outlet reported.
"This is our livelihood, this isn't a hobby farm," Henderson said. "We are trying to save our livelihood."
The farm employs four full-time workers, two part-time workers, and has a crew that comes to help process the birds every few weeks. The farm is one of the largest producers of poultry meat in Maine, she said.
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