Egg injury during shipping...can we do anything about it??

Discussion in 'Buy Sell Auction - Archives' started by Three Cedars Silkies, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    So...we all know that many things can happen to eggs during shipping which can cause them to fail incubation. My questions is this...is there anything we can do when packing to help prevent egg injury. I'm not talking about packing to keep them from cracking...we've proven that this isn't hard to do. My theory is that the inside of the egg is what takes the brunt of shipping damage. Kind of like traumatic brain injury. The photo below shows what we in the medical field call a "coup contra coupe" injury to a brain. When the skull strike a fixed object you get a "coup" injury...when it strikes a fixed object, THEN is forced back into another fixed object, you get a "coup contracoupe" injury. The illustration shows it well. My theory is that this is what happens to the egg yolk during shipping causing "scrambled eggs", broken aircells and disrupted blastoderms..the area where the sperm fertilizes the egg.

    So all you mechanical engineers and physicist out there need to help us figure out the best way to prevent this type of injury from happening!! [​IMG]

    I'm thinking that if the eggs are NOT swaddled in a carton, but wrapped and allowed some room to move, there would be less likelihood of this type of internal injury. Of course, this doesn't change the possiblity of x-ray...although that's quite controversial because the very low amount used to view packages shouldn't be enough to sterilize an egg. Of course, extremes of cold and heat can be a factor, but generally that can be avoided...especially if you call ahead and ask the PO to hold them for pickup. That way they aren't in a cold or hot delivery vehicle all day.

    I recently received some silkie eggs from Wisconsin...a long way from Florida. They were individually wrapped in a small piece of foam, allowing each end to remain open a bit so as not to smother the egg. I think bubble wrap is great, but I do think that a completely covered egg can't breathe properly. These 15 eggs were placed inside a piece of newspaper side by side. There was newspaper on the bottom, sides and top to protect the eggs from hitting the box itself. ALL egg shells were intact...there were NO broken aircells and NO scrambling of the eggs. On day 2 I can already see the beginning of some veins in most of the eggs. I'll keep track of this set and keep you posted on how they continue to develop.

    OK...I've talked enough...what are your thoughts?? It would be great if we could come up with a method of shipping that just works MUCH better than others and share it with everyone. [​IMG]


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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2008
  2. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you wanted to just do some home testing on this topic, here's how you can do it.

    First put a ShockWatch sticker on a box (they have a bubble that bursts when pre-determined G-forces are reached)

    Package up your eggs in whatever way you want to test and box them

    Then drop the box from enough of a height that the stickers burst

    Then stick your eggs in the incubator and see what happens, maybe one packaging method will diffuse the G-forces better and the hatch will be noticably better

    I'd love to do this type of project myself, but I don't currently have a rooster ('cept my Bantam Polish, and I don't want his offspring!)

    It would be expensive - the stickers aren't cheap - but it would be extremely useful.
     
  3. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    OMG...I didn't know they had such a thing. That is exactly what I need to do....but not with my exhibition cochin eggs! [​IMG] I'll see if a farmer around here has some inexpensive fertile eggs...or if anyone wants to send me some free...I'll pay for the shipping...I need LOTS of them...I'll be happy to do that as well.
     
  4. millebantam

    millebantam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Little Rhody
    The absolute safest, shock preventative egg packing that I have seen, consists of a block of medium density sponge-like foam (similar to what's in furniture cushions). The block measures 3"x2"x8", and has three 1 1/4" holes punched through it, spaced 1" apart. The eggs are inserted into the holes and are very securely suspended, yet the material is soft enough to have a fair amount of "give" if it were to suffer a significant impact. Aside from being outright crushed, it's almost foolproof. It's probably a bit on the pricey side, but it seems like many sellers charge 13 to 16 bucks for a package that only costs about 8 bucks in actual postage to send. I'm sure that it wouldn't hurt them too badly to spend an extra buck or two on packing materials to protect those bajillion dollar Marans eggs, lol.
     
  5. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Those shockwatch stickers pop up on ebay now and again at a huge discount over retail.

    They have used those stickers on Mythbusters a few times. They are pretty neat!

    You'd need to use eggs from one source that are reliably hatchable and fertile - definitely not shipped eggs because they could be already damaged.

    If I was doing the experiment, I'd always set a few eggs from the same batch to hatch that had not been dropped to confirm that they are 100% fertile and hatchable.
     
  6. magsrags

    magsrags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    In all my experience shipping antiques..(of course not eggs but fragile as well)..paper.paper.....paper........Tightly crumpled/wadded up newsprint etc. It absorbs a LOt of shock but breathes.....gives a bit and is light weight.
     
  7. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    Quote:Well, duh!! What an idiot I am [​IMG] ...ship me eggs and I'll check them [​IMG] [​IMG] ...

    I'll get them locally.

    Tell me exactly how you would set up the protocol for the most accurate results. [​IMG]
     
  8. Hi! I got eggs in a foam dealie with holes 'once upon a time' and the overall packaging was less than desirable (there were cracked/broken eggs in the box) .
    I'm sending out 2 boxes and recycling that holey foam with lots of extra cushioning. I'm not real comfortable with it but just to be safe, I wrapped the foam packages in bubblewrap.
    It's interesting you mention 'smothering an egg'. I had a package of bubblewrapped eggs 'refused-at-delivery' and returned here. The eggs all were viable and hatched. Those eggs were 'smothered' for 10 or so days.
    Merry Christmas!
    Lisa
     
  9. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh my, you want a test plan? But I'm retired! [​IMG] I was an engineer and wrote a lot of test plans; it's easy to get carried away with this stuff.

    I think some type of impact absorbing foam might be the answer, too. If they use it in helmets to protect heads, it should work for eggs. But you can still get a concussion while wearing a helmet, so obviously there's a limit to the technology.

    As far as O2 goes, if the cells in the eggs are not actively doing anything, I don't think they'd need O2 for anything, would they? I'm just thinkin' out loud here...
     
  10. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,033
    46
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    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    As far as O2...don't know...like you, just thinking that if an egg is porous and there is O2 exchange, what would happen if there wasn't any/much for 7 days or so. Like you said, if there was no embryo to need that O2, then maybe no harm done. There probably isn't a LOT of O2 exchange when a broody hen is sitting on a clutch. You may be absolutely right Dipsy...it may not make a hill of beans difference....just trying to think of all the variables.

    I'll look into the shock absorbing foam. I'm still convinced the problem is a coupe-contracoupe injury to the egg and if we can figure a way to minimize that, our hatching rates will go way up. Of course, it also has to be economically feasible. People who RECEIVE hatching eggs may not also SEND hatching eggs and therefore would not recycle the material.

    Judy
     

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