Baby chicks arrive dead as Maine farmers wonder why formerly reliable USPS shipments aren't working
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The past several weeks have brought stories of seniors and veterans not getting their prescriptions because of the U.S. Postal Service's slowdown by the Trump administration. Small businesses are now suffering as shipments are delayed and now farmers are facing problems.


The Portland Press Herald reported Wednesday that a Maine farmer went to the post office to pick up 800 baby chicks that he had ordered for his family farm, Pine Tree Poultry. They've been processing cage-free chicken meat for years, and for the first time, the baby chicks were all dead.

"We've never had a problem like this before," said Pauline Henderson. This isn't her first order, but it's certainly the first to end like this. "Usually they arrive every three weeks like clockwork. And out of 100 birds, you may have one or two that die in shipping."

She isn't the only one with the problem, either; any birds that went through the Postal Service's processing center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, died, impacting farms in Maine and New Hampshire.

in Shrewsbury, 16 postal sorting machines were taken offline as part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's effort to slow down the mail.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is asking DeJoy about the problem in a letter to him and the Department of Agriculture.

Pingree's office has been overwhelmed with dozens of complaints from people in the state trying to raise small flocks of chickens in their back yard.

"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.

"And can you imagine, you have young kids, and they are getting all excited about having a backyard flock, and you go to the post office, and that's what you find?" she added.

She noted that she wanted to include Secretary Sonny Perdue because she wasn't sure he was even aware of how bad the USPS slow down is impacting farmers and ranchers.

Pingree also noted that the USDA is responsible for enforcing farm regulations that protect against animal cruelty, and this could follow under those guidelines.

"This is a system that's always worked before, and it's worked very well until these changes started being made," Pingree said.

Read the full report from The Portland Press Herald.