Live Day Old Chicks - Snake & Raptor Food - Free Shipping


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Table of Contents

How do we ship live chicks?

Our baby chicks are packaged with care and comfort.  We then ship them through the United States Post Office with Priority mail, which is 2-3 day service.  The chicks are fed and hydrated prior to their departure, ensuring they arrive alive.  Every package is marked "Hold at Post Office for Pick Up."  This ensures the baby chicks arrive alive and healthy.

Where do we ship from?

Our baby chicks are shipped from Pennsylvania.  

What can eat live baby chicks?

There are a lot of predators that enjoy the nutrients from baby chicks.  And many of those predators are domestic pets.  Ball pythons, boa constrictors, green tree pythons, monitors, hawks, and other predatory raptors.  

The baby live chicks offer a high amount of protein compared to rodents.  This protein makes live baby chicks a great option for adult snakes, lizards, and raptors.  However, baby chicks do have a high amount of phosphorus, which negates the calcium reptiles need from their food.  This phosphorus comes from the yolk sack in the baby chick.  A good way to remove this phosphorus is let the baby chick grow 1 week.  Their body will absorb the yolk sack, which will reduce the amount of yolk in the animal.  

Ultimately, baby chicks and week old chicks are best served for reptiles and raptors that are adults and fully developed.  If your snake or reptile is young, and still needing fat, then mice would be a better option until they get old enough to be fed a steady diet of baby chicks.

Difference between baby chicks, mice, and rats?

 Baby chicks Mice (pinkies) Rats (neonatal)
Protein 68 61 58
Fat 21 30 27
Vitamin E 40.7 5.9 15.6
Calcium 2.5 4.8 8.7
Ca:P Ratio 1.4 1.1 1.5

 

There are a lot of differences between mice, rats, and chicks.  And we cover many of those differences in our detailed guide.  Mice and rats are the common prey of choice for many meat eating reptiles.  But baby chicks are often over looked.  Which is mildly surprising due to a few advantages they have over rodents.  Baby chicks for sale have a higher protein content.  Many snake and reptile owners have noticed differences in pet growth and size when fed a diet rich in baby chicks.  

But specific pets shouldn't be fed a diet only on baby chicks for sale.  Baby chicks are high phosphorus due to their yolk sack.  High phosphorus can interfere with a reptile's ability to absorb calcium, which can lead to terminal diseases like metabolic bone disease.  So it's critical to feed your chicks a diet rich in calcium prior to feeding.  But it would also be helpful to remove the yolk sack.  Owners can remove the yolk sack from their chicks.  However, this will kill the baby chick.  Or, owners can allow the baby chick to grow for about 1 week.  By that time, the yolk sack will have been absorbed into the chick's body.

If you're feeding a young reptile, pinky mice tend to be the preferred option.  Their high fat content, and respectable protein content will help the young animal grow in a healthy adult.  But the same principles apply.  Their nutritional profile will need to be supplemented to accommodate the reptile's needs.  

Because each prey (chicks, mice, and rats) requires some additional supplements, it's argued that live baby chicks for sale are going to be the best and most cost effective option for new reptile owners.

 

How to feed live chicks to snakes?

Chicks can be fed dead or alive.  The common theory is to feed thawed, dead feeders to your snakes.  This is due to safety concerns for the snake.  A rodent will defend itself if attacked and can injure the snake.  Baby chicks are harmless.  Their beaks and talons are underdeveloped, and will not harm, scratch, or pierce the animal.  This makes them a great live feeder choice for snakes and carnivorous reptiles.

Because adult snakes eat infrequently, you'll want to freeze some of your live baby chicks after they arrive in the mail.  This will prevent them from growing too large for your snake to consume.  

Which snakes can eat live chicks?

Any snake that can eat rodents will enjoy the protein boost offered by live chicks.

Which raptors can eat live chicks?

Hawks, falcons, owls, pterodactyls, and other birds of prey.

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unboxing superworms from the mail

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 unboxing discoid roaches in the mail

What to Expect When Receiving Black Soldier Fly Larvae in the Mail - VIDEO

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What to Expect When Receiving Dubia Roaches in the Mail - VIDEO

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Conditional Live Delivery Guarantee 

 

The Conditions

  • Customer must be home to receive delivery.  Or package must be held at Post Office.
  • Destination temps must be 45 degrees F or above.  No exceptions.
  • Customer must provide correct shipping address. 
  • Applies to paying customers only.  Winners from the CritterFam contest are excluded from the guarantee.  

If the conditions for the Live Delivery Guarantee are met, Customer must do the following:

  • Send us pics of the deceased.  Pics can be sent to contact@thecritterdepot.com
  • We must be notified within 24 hours from the moment customer receives package.  

If conditions are met, we will ship a replacement package free of charge. 

 

Shipping In Winter - Full Disclosure

  1. We will not ship when Destination Temps are below 25 Degrees F              
  2. Live Delivery is Not Guaranteed when Destination Temps are below 45 Degrees F

If you are ordering crickets, superworms, or any other live product during the winter, you need to be realistic: we’re trying to ship a live product through sub 30 degree temperatures affordably.

We take extra measures during the winter to try and increase their chances of survival.  However, history has proven that customers are 4x more likely to receive perished crickets when shipped in the winter.  This is fact.

Shipping in the winter has always been our biggest challenge.  And every other crickets vendor has the same problem.  No one wants to send you dead crickets. We want to provide you with excellent service, because we know you care about your pet. But the reality is we can’t control the weather. And there’s only so much packaging we can do before we have to increase our costs.

We still have success shipping in the winter.  

If you decide to order for a winter delivery, here's what you can do on your end to ensure you receive happy, healthy live products:

  • You MUST be home to accept the delivery.  The live product cannot be left outside in the freezing temperatures, or it's certain they won't survive. 
  • If we ship with the Post Office, we highly highly highly recommend that you communicate with your post office.  And that you ask them to hold the package for pick up.  
  • If there is a problem, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the live product.

We only ship Live Products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

Before YOU and every other customer collectively sends us disgruntled emails on Monday asking where your order is, please know that we only ship live products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  And this isn't because we're lazy.  It's because we need to be proactive, and make sure the live products don't get stuck in transit over the weekend.  If they get stuck over the weekend, there is an increased probability that they will not survive the transit.  And perished animals in your mail box don't do either of us any good.  

When Will My Order Ship?

Great question.  In fact, it's too great of a question.  This question makes up 80% of our incoming emails!  And all we can think of in the office is what better things we could do with that time.  So here's the nitty gritty breakdown for when your order will ship:

  • If order was placed on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday then your order will be shipped on the following Monday.

shipping crickets

  • If order was placed on Sunday, or Monday then your order will be shipped on Tuesday.

shipping crickets

  • If order was placed on a Tuesday then your order will be shipped on Wednesday.  

shipping crickets

And please know that these shipping schedules can change depending on Post Office holidays.  But if you still have questions about your shipment, please do not hesitate to email us as contact@thecritterdepot.com.  

Ok Bug-Boy.  But What about The Tracking?

Great question.  We will upload tracking information within 36 hours after the order has shipped.  So if your order ships on Monday, the latest we would update tracking information for your order is by Wednesday morning.  

And What About DOA's?

DOA's (dead on arrival) are a part of the business.  It's not profitable for us to send out deceased animals.  So please know that we take every possible precaution before shipping.  

But we care about our customers, because you're the ones putting us in business.  And we guarantee live delivery as long as specific conditions are met.  So if your order does not arrive alive, please let us know.  As long as conditions are met, we will have another order reshipped free of charge on the next shipment date (this excludes winter reshipments, which will be reshipped at our discretion).  

We Ship with The Post Office and with FedEx

We ship with the post office for a few reasons.

  1. They keep their packages inside their climate controlled buildings.  This is a game changer.  Instead of leaving the packages out on a dock, they are brought inside the building.  Which can drastically increase the survival rate for the crickets and superworms.
  2. They Deliver on Saturdays. Since they deliver on Saturdays, we're able to ship on Wednesdays.  Most packages are delivered within 2-3 business days.  So if we ship on Wednesday, that 2-3 day window falls in the same week, which avoids any Sunday transit delays.
  3. Cost Effective. And one reason why we're able to keep our prices so low is because we use the post office.  USPS Priority mail is a great, and reasonable priced service.  And any savings we gain, we pass right back to the customer.  

The post office is our preferred shipper.  But depending on your proximity & time of year, we may upgrade your shipping service to FedEx for these reasons:

  1. The Post Office is unreliably slow during holidays.  The drawback with the post office they don't guarantee delivery dates.  They will advertise 2-3 days for their Priority Mail shipments.  However, the don't guarantee you package will arrive in 2-3 days.  And this becomes painfully obvious during the holidays, specifically between Black Friday and New Years.  Which puts us in a tough spot because our preferred shipper with climate controlled facilities is no longer dependable.  So we'll ship with FedEx for this reason.
  2. Faster Shipping/Shorter Transits.  Faster shipping and shorter transits have obvious benefits.  The live product will get delivered faster, and in a preferred habitat.  And FedEx does guarantee their delivery dates, which is beneficial for the customer.  

Unfavorable Shipping Conditions

Temperatures are a big consideration when packaging and shipping live products.  And at any time, we may decide to postpone deliveries if we feel the live product will not survive the transit.  If that is the case, we will make our best effort to contact the customer so that can make other arrangements if desired.  

But if the temperatures are too cold, we can package the crickets with heat packs.  And if they are too hot, we can package them with cold gel packs.  But these alone doesn't guarantee live delivery.  

But either way, we need to keep a close eye on the weather when we get into the extremes.  So please keep that in mind when expecting deliveries.  

Winter Shipping Policy

  1. We will not ship when Destination Temps are below 25 Degrees F              
  2. Live Delivery is Not Guaranteed when Destination Temps are below 45 Degrees F

If you are ordering crickets, superworms, or any other live product during the winter, you need to be realistic: we’re trying to ship a live product through sub 30 degree temperatures affordably.

We take extra measures during the winter to try and increase their chances of survival.  However, history has proven that customers are 4x more likely to receive perished crickets when shipped in the winter.  This is fact.

Shipping in the winter has always been our biggest challenge.  And every other crickets vendor has the same problem.  No one wants to send you dead crickets. We want to provide you with excellent service, because we know you care about your pet. But the reality is we can’t control the weather. And there’s only so much packaging we can do before we have to increase our costs.

We still have success shipping in the winter.  

If you decide to order for a winter delivery, here's what you can do on your end to ensure you receive happy, healthy live products:

  • You MUST be home to accept the delivery.  The live product cannot be left outside in the freezing temperatures, or it's certain they won't survive. 
  • If we ship with the Post Office, we highly highly highly recommend that you communicate with your post office.  And that you ask them to hold the package for pick up.  
  • If there is a problem, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the live product.

 Remember...

Dead crickets or superworms don't do you (the customer), or us (the cricket grower) any good.  So let's work together to ensure your live product survives the transit.  

We can only ship Live Products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

We want to get your products delivered quickly just as badly as you do.  But the reality is that shipping live products isn't the easiest task.  And that means we have to be disciplined and strategic when we ship.  Otherwise, there's an increased probability that perished crickets will show up on your doorstep.  And that doesn't do any good for the customer or shipper.

We Ship with The Post Office and with FedEx

We ship with the post office for a few reasons.

  1. They keep their packages inside their climate controlled buildings.  This is a game changer.  Instead of leaving the packages out on a dock, they are brought inside the building.  Which can drastically increase the survival rate for the crickets and superworms.
  2. They Deliver on Saturdays. Since they deliver on Saturdays, we're able to ship on Wednesdays.  Most packages are delivered within 2-3 business days.  So if we ship on Wednesday, that 2-3 day window falls in the same week, which avoids any Sunday transit delays.
  3. Cost Effective. And one reason why we're able to keep our prices so low is because we use the post office.  USPS Priority mail is a great, and reasonable priced service.  And any savings we gain, we pass right back to the customer.  

The post office is our preferred shipper.  But depending on your proximity & time of year, we may upgrade your shipping service to FedEx for these reasons:

  1. The Post Office is unreliably slow during holidays.  The drawback with the post office they don't guarantee delivery dates.  They will advertise 2-3 days for their Priority Mail shipments.  However, the don't guarantee you package will arrive in 2-3 days.  And this becomes painfully obvious during the holidays, specifically between Black Friday and New Years.  Which puts us in a tough spot because our preferred shipper with climate controlled facilities is no longer dependable.  So we'll ship with FedEx for this reason.
  2. Faster Shipping/Shorter Transits.  Faster shipping and shorter transits have obvious benefits.  The live product will get delivered faster, and in a preferred habitat.  And FedEx does guarantee their delivery dates, which is beneficial for the customer.  

Unfavorable Climates

Temperatures are a big consideration when packaging and shipping live products.  And at any time, we may decide to postpone deliveries if we feel the live product will not survive the transit.

But if the temperatures are too cold, we can package the crickets with heat packs.  And if they are too hot, we can package them with cold gel packs.

But either way, we need to keep a close eye on the weather when we get into the extremes.  So please keep that in mind when expecting deliveries.