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Grocery Store Eggs versus Shipped Eggs: What Hatch Rates Do You Get? Hatch-a-long

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

For the first time I bought hatching eggs from eBay. They are being shipped from a farm in North Carolina, by a seller with 97% positive feedback, someone who sells a lot of purebred chicken eggs as well as quail and pheasant eggs, at low prices.

It occurred to me to do an experiment by starting these 12 shipped Ameraucana eggs in the incubator at the same time as some grocery store eggs.


If anyone else out there would like to try this, we could do a hatch-a-long thread about it. My eggs are supposed to arrive in a few days, and I've bought a dozen brown Rock Island fertile eggs that are a only a week old, to start incubating with them.


Edit of 4/6/16: I've found another source for fertile eggs, right here in Sebastopol, CA. It is the Community Market, which carries organic groceries. My choice was fertile eggs from Red Rose Half Acre in Windsor.

The price was $8.99 for a dozen, and the eggs have the same Julian date, 088, as the Rock Island fertile eggs I got, which are warming up to room temp now. The Red Rose brand eggs are a good variety of colors; two white, four green, and the rest are brown. Another batch of mystery eggs....

Edited by Dubrovnik - 4/6/16 at 12:01pm
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

My shipped eggs from North Carolina arrived today; none were broken or cracked, but candling indicated to me that a lot of the air cells were rolling. These air cells all looked bigger than they ought to, for a week-old egg.

Anyway, they and the grocery store eggs are all numbered and in the incubator now, but the shipped eggs are upright in a carton to help the air cells re-form.

The shipped eggs are all silvery grey and hard to candle because the shells don't let in much light. At least most of them are not too porous.

Edited by Dubrovnik - 4/10/16 at 1:01am
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

It's day 7 for my eggs; how the time has dragged!


The multi-color eggs from CommunityMarket/RedRose Half Acre are showing some signs of life. There are little red veins in a couple of eggs that don't have completely opaque shells. A lot of these eggs look like Marans and are hard to candle, dark and not real porous.


My Rock Island brown eggs from Andy's Market may be a little bit behind. There's cloudy swirly stuff in the bottom of the eggs, but I don't see veins yet.


Of my shipped Ameraucana eggs, 8 have big rolling air cells and four are completely opaque, no telling what's going on in there. Two of the rolling air cell eggs are turning reddish inside, though.


All the eggs are upright, big end up, in cartons with the bottoms cut out.


I'm keeping the humidity between 40% and 50% most of the time. The red plugs are both in and will stay in until I need to lower humidity in a hurry. Tomorrow I start taking the eggs out of the 'bator and leaving them at room temp for two hours a day. Anyone else here do this? It's supposed to result in stronger chicks.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

On day 22 I culled my eggs that weren't developing. There were tiny embryos in four eggs (two Rock Island and one from the shipped eggs), looks like they stopped developing a week ago.

This leaves me with 9 eggs, all from Red Rose Half-Acre farm. These were eggs that did not get washed.

Today is day 25, and one of the brown eggs has pipped and it is rocking and CHEEPING!


OMG, the third time's a charm. I feel so lucky. My incubator really does work. But these eggs are really late! Perhaps sitting in a grocery cooler slows down their development a lot. This set was from the Community Market, a local organic grocery.


(Edit an hour or so later)

My pipped chick got a little help from me hatching, he's big though. I assist-hatched the others and found two others alive, one an olive egger and one from a brown egg. So my chick will not be lonesome, if the others make it. They were so big, molded inside the eggshell, they could never have hatched without help. So this is what I get for following the manufacturers instructions.

There has to be a happy medium between dry hatching and 50-60% humidity, that would result in more live chicks. The other six chicks were all huge and dead in shell. I think the problem was not that their development was slowed by the cooler, it was humidity too high, resulting in giant drowned chicks. I'm sad and glad at the same time, but I have assisted hatch experience now, thanks to all the good advice about that here.

All but one of the Red Rose Half-Acre eggs developed, so I rate their fertility very high. Only one of the shipped eggs developed, and two of the Rock Island eggs did.


Conclusion: even an idiot can get some grocery store fertile eggs to hatch, if they are fresh and have not been washed or shaken up too much in transit.

Edited by Dubrovnik - 5/3/16 at 8:53pm
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