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 It's an historical document that manages to be exciting and queasy at the same time -- you can imagine the trembling excitement of a kid in 1972 contemplating this mail-order menagerie,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)

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  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….

    http://www.strombergschickens.com/

    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 PetsOvernight.com.

    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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