Farmer receives dead baby chicks in the mail

DEAD CHICKS RAW_frame_43564.jpeg
Posted at 4:17 PM, Feb 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 19:18:07-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — They may be known as the Ladies of the Lamb at the Nashville Farmers Market, but it's the eggs that keep people coming back. "Sean gets eggs from us every week," said Elaine Dustin, owner of Ladies of the Lamb. "We have one guy coming for four dozen, those are pre-orders."

But something happened last week that caused this lady in pink to see red. "An apology would be nice, an explanation would be even nicer," said Dustin.

Elaine routinely orders baby chicks from a hatchery in Iowa that are shipped by the United States Postal Service. "They can’t last more than three days," said Dustin.

With all of last week's winter weather, it took more than five days for her chicks to arrive at the Lawrenceburg Post Office. "They handed my husband the box and turned around and left. He opened it up and they were all dead," she said.

Elaine's husband took heartbreaking photos of twenty dead chicks in the livestock box. "I’ve never had one die, I’ve never had them lax about calling us," said Dustin.

In addition to being a traumatic experience, this could also have a long lasting impact on their income. "It’s gonna be a financial impact because our eggs are going for $4, $4.50, $5 for a dozen so that can add up pretty fast," she said.

When NewsChannel 5 reached out to a spokesperson for USPS, they directed us to a service alert on their website.

It turns out that the U.S. Postal Service issued an embargo for shipping all live animals during the winter storm. It was issued one day after Elaine's chicks shipped from Iowa, which caused the multiple day delay at a processing center in Louisville, KY.

According to USPS's website, the embargo on shipping live animals was lifted yesterday.

Now she's demanding answers, but USPS won't return her calls. . "These are living creatures and people sometimes think we don’t care, but we do care about our animals and we take good care of our animals," said Dustin.

In the meantime, she's worried they'll struggle to keep up with demand.