I have so many questions about this story.

At least 4,800 chicks arrived DOA to local farms, according to a story from the Portland Press Herald.

The story reports that Representative Chellie Pingree wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.  (No relation to the Perdue chicken family, so says this website.  What a coincidence that his name is Perdue!)   Representative Pingree's letter said, in part, according to the report:

Mortality losses from delays and mishandling are not only hugely problematic from an animal welfare perspective, but have also taken an emotional toll on the recipients, many of whom are families building a backyard flock or children raising birds for 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) projects...... For these families, receiving chicks in the mail is a longstanding tradition, and with family farms in America already struggling to keep younger generations engaged and interested in agriculture, these negative experiences could significantly undermine those efforts.

Wait.  What?  Sending chicks through the mail is a longstanding tradition?  Who had that idea?  That just seems crazy to me!  No offense to the men and women who work at the USPS, of course.  My beloved brother works there himself, but how can shipping chicks through the mail be a humane thing to do, no matter who works there?  Are they being handled with kid gloves?  I admittedly, am lacking information on this.  Maybe the chicks are handled gently as they travel through the mail system, but I think I'd have to see it to believe it.

Ya know, maybe it was a different time when all this "shipping live animals through the mail" stuff started.  Maybe there wasn't as much mail or maybe there was a designated "chick handler," but that position has been eliminated.  I don't know.  All I know it, those chicks had a rough death and that sucks.