Egg Hatchery: Mail Order Chickens

music
ambience: chicks peeping

It’s possible to order all sorts of things by mail – even baby chickens – with a little help from the biology of the chicken. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. A family run hatchery in Webster City, Iowa, has been sending its catalog to customers across the United States since 1919. The hatchery owner is Murray McMurray.

“We bring the eggs into the hatchery, we incubate them here, in a 21 day period or a 3 week period, the the baby chick hatches. We process those chicks, put them in boxes and mail them by airlines, and the postal service, to their destination, and have ’em there within 72 hours of the time they’re hatched, We’re dealing with a very delicate product that’s perishable. We guarantee 100% live arrival, and so we’re under a great deal of pressure here. When they hatch, we’ve gotta move. The United States post office, who is the only carrier of baby poultry, requires us to have the birds from the time of hatch to their destination in 72 hours, and the way we’re able to do that is that mother nature has helped us with that. The baby chick hatches from the albumen, the white of the egg, – the embryo is formed from that right prior to hatching – it absorbs the yolk of the egg into it’s abdomen, and that gives it all the nourishment it needs to make that trip within 72 hours very easily. It does not need food, it does not need water to make that trip, and actually can last longer than that, but we’re required to have it there within 72 hours, and so that’s a neat feat of nature that allows us to be in this business, yes.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Egg Hatchery: Mail Order Chickens

The biology of the chicken makes it possible for newly hatched chicks to be sent through the mail.
Air Date:12/16/2003
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: chicks peeping

It's possible to order all sorts of things by mail - even baby chickens - with a little help from the biology of the chicken. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. A family run hatchery in Webster City, Iowa, has been sending its catalog to customers across the United States since 1919. The hatchery owner is Murray McMurray.

"We bring the eggs into the hatchery, we incubate them here, in a 21 day period or a 3 week period, the the baby chick hatches. We process those chicks, put them in boxes and mail them by airlines, and the postal service, to their destination, and have 'em there within 72 hours of the time they're hatched, We're dealing with a very delicate product that's perishable. We guarantee 100% live arrival, and so we're under a great deal of pressure here. When they hatch, we've gotta move. The United States post office, who is the only carrier of baby poultry, requires us to have the birds from the time of hatch to their destination in 72 hours, and the way we're able to do that is that mother nature has helped us with that. The baby chick hatches from the albumen, the white of the egg, - the embryo is formed from that right prior to hatching - it absorbs the yolk of the egg into it's abdomen, and that gives it all the nourishment it needs to make that trip within 72 hours very easily. It does not need food, it does not need water to make that trip, and actually can last longer than that, but we're required to have it there within 72 hours, and so that's a neat feat of nature that allows us to be in this business, yes."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music