I have been a serious chicken geek for five years. I have designed and built coops, bought and brooded day-olds, treated illnesses, fought preditors, and hatched chicks under a broody and in an incubator. There are still things that I haven't done, some I want to do, some I don't.
One thing I wanted to try was shipped eggs, but I could see the potential for losing money or eggs or both if you don't know what you were doing. I seized an opportunity to experiment and will share my experiences here.
Ron was interested in the Marans/EE eggs and I began collecting those a week prior to the ship date. I told him I would try to ship in a few days, but there were not quite enough Marans eggs to suit me, so I collected through the weekend until I had enough (18). Some of the eggs, including the best colored one, had been collected a few days prior to my decision to grant them hatching egg status. That means that they were older and had not been turned systematically, but they were also not left to sit undistrubed. My eggs sit in three baskets (two are for collecting eggs from the nest boxes one is for storage) on my counter for a few days and are often moved from one container to another as one empty basket is taken to the coop and boys select the ones they want to fry. The temp in our home runs to the low side, I'd estimate 60*- 64*. I wish (there I go again) that I had marked the eggs with the date they were laid so that that could be factored into the hatch rate. Next time.
SCG wanted a variety and that made it easy for me. I segregated all the eggs laid on Sunday and Monday (23) and used the 'prop and swap' method to turn them while waiting to be packaged to ship. I selected the eggs that were larger than a pullet's egg but smaller than the ones my "old ladies" lay. I ended up with 15 to send to Maine. I included one nice Marans egg in her bunch (sorry Ron) just because they make such handsome roos and if it is a hen, which she will likely keep as a layer, it will either be pure BCM and lay nice dark eggs, or it will be an Olive Egger! (IF it hatches.)
It just occured to me that I am quite optimistic on the hatchability of all of them!
Generally speaking, I feed 16% layer pellets (free choice,) provide crushed oyster shell (free choice) and my flock free ranges as far as they care to go from 6:30am to whenever they decide to put themselves up at dusk (spoiled rotten chickens.) There are currently two roosters for 28 hens so I will be interested in the fertility rate on the eggs. If the roosters' deterimation is an accurate indicator, they should all be fertile.
After some research, I packed and shipped some BCM/EE crossed eggs to a Ronott1 in California and an assortment (BO, EE, SLW, and BCM) to a Superchemicalgirl in Maine. I used this method http://www.skylinepoultry.com/Packing___shipping_eggs.html (mostly) and I incorporated some touches of my own.
I did some things right and some things wrong.
Right - I rolled each egg in bubble wrap and marked the direction of the small end.
- I used shredded paper (waste from work) as filler and packed it fairly tight.
- I double boxed
Wrong - I shipped the least expensive and slowest, method. Next time I will ship the one that guarantees a two day (or is it three day?) delivery.
- I failed to coordinate my shipment with the weather, they went through some scary-cold temps on their trip.
I will be updating this thread and hope that the others involved in my experiment will weigh in as well. Stay Tuned!
Edited by Wisher1000 - 1/25/13 at 8:35am