The 18 chicks arrived last week by way of long distance mail on a doorstep in Santa Clara County.
The recipient refused them; the hatchery no longer wanted them and animal control could not handle them, so they wound up at Animal Place.
"It was a very small box, they couldn't even turn around inside when they arrived," Marji Beach of Animal Place said.
It is legal to ship chickens and other living creatures through the mail; they do it with insects and lizards too. Animal rights activists think there is something wrong with that.
The only thing I know is that it is no way to treat a living, feeling, being," Animal Place executive director and co-founder Kim Sturla said.
Dan Suzinski, who runs Silicon Valley Animal Control, and originally took in the chicks, agrees.
"It's about a hundred year old practice that is outdated," Suzinski said. "I don't really think acceptable to ship animals through the mail."
Animal rights activists hope that because of this case, and others in the past, they will finally be able to ban the practice. But it will not be the first time they have tried.
"We want to work on legislation to stop day-old chickens from being crammed into boxes and shipped via the postal service," Sturla said.
As for the chicks, Animal Place hopes to adopt them out to safe homes. If not, they will live out the rest of their lives in Vacaville. Those interested in adopting a chick can call Animal Place at (707) 449-4814.