Heather Ainsworth  /  AP
Baby chicks frolic in the water while on display at Chester's Flowers in Utica, N.Y., April 11.
updated 4/14/2006 6:04:20 PM ET 2006-04-14T22:04:20

Baby chicks and ducklings are popular gifts this time of year but The Humane Society of the United States is urging the public not to buy them.

Humane Society cruelty campaign director Ann Chynowith says the common practice of shipping day-old birds in the mail is inhumane.

Upset postal workers are coming to the animal welfare organization with reports of baby chicks dying in the mail. Chynowith says heartbroken mail workers are not allowed to open packages that can’t be delivered, even if there are chicks dying inside. There are, however, regulations for their disposal.

The U.S. Postal Service says there are strict packing requirements to protect day-old poultry and they must be delivered within 72 hours.

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