Mail-order animal catalog from 1972

Flickr user BryantSpokane scanned and posted "choice pages" from a 1972 Stromberg's Chicks & Pets Unlimited catalog. Stromberg's apparently used to mail-order live chickens, chinchillas, ferrets, armadillos, skunks, badgers, beavers, possums, prairie dogs, and other critters. It's an historical document that manages to be exciting and queasy at the same time -- you can imagine the trembling excitement of a kid in 1972 contemplating this mail-order menagerie, and then imagine the plight of some poor armadillos and badgers and such stuffed into cardboard boxes and sent through the post. Yikes!

Stromberg's Chicks & Pets Unlimited 1972 (via Neatorama)


  1. In the US it is still possible to order chickens and other live birds. You need to order a minimum amount and extra space will be filled with so called worthless male chicks as warm live packing peanuts, it is a better fate for the boys than being thrown live into a trash can.
    Mail order is a way for people who do not live near a feed store or rural hardware store to obtain pet chickens, turkeys, ducks, peacocks, and quail.

    1. Actually, rebdav, it’s more common to throw the male chicks into a cull line at the facility (where they are ground, live, in an auger) than to mail them with pullets. Do a search on YouTube for “killing male chicks” and it’s the first vid that comes up.

  2. I think I’ll just order me up one of them raccoons. They’re so hard to find otherwise.

  3. I remember my grandmother told me one of her dachshunds arrived by mail. He was a black short hair and she could hardly see him through the airholes. He didn’t only survive that ordeal but developed into a lovely dog and had a long and happy life.

  4. Life truly sucks for a fur bearing varmint. I hate to think what happens to animals in transit during a mail strike.

  5. Of course everyone knows that Stromberg’s still exist and still sells and mails chickens and other birds to customers….

    Their bird quality is pretty good and you actually get better birds than you get from local feed stores. We’ve used them before, but found a better quality bird (for our pasture poultry) from a smaller “Mom & Pop” outfit.

    Stromberg’s would probably still be shipping, but in the US it’s only legal to ship birds and cold-blooded animals through the mail.

  6. I somehow question the wisdom of giving a bored young child ready access to a nigh-infinite supply of badgers.

  7. I remember almost nothing about one of the old/original Grand Theft Auto games, apart from one of the radio ads that would run for

    I didn’t actually know that animals got/get posted like this however. Apart from smaller creatures such as bees. (I have seen bees listed on the Royal Mail website of things you *can* post…. with the correct packaging.)

  8. I just wanted to order a few squirrels. My neighborhood has gray squirrrels, but no black white red or tufted ones. Google so far has failed me.

  9. We’ve mail-ordered a couple of ducks and tortoises before (from different places, of course :P). They all survived the experience. The ducks were a tidge dehydrated because UPS “lost track” of the box at one stop on their route, but they were fine after I gave them some water+electrolytes. The tortoises were hatchlings, and probably slept the whole way.

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