Hatched shipped eggs with birth defects

ConnieA

Crowing
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
791
1,809
282
I ship hatching eggs, and I hatch eggs that were shipped to me. It is so true that shipping is not what it used to be. The USPS conveyor sorting systems have up to 3-foot drops, and the only way to get around that is to opt for special handling charges. That still won't buy you even temperatures so the embryos won't stop/start, or a pot-hole free trip.

If you can get hatching eggs in person, your hatch rate will probably go up.

Before COVID-19 shut down so many of the shows and swap meets, I used to arrange ahead of time to bring eggs for people. I hope to be able to do that again soon.

Meanwhile, here's how I ship and incubate shipped eggs. It's an older post, but I still pretty much do it this way:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-do-s-and-don-ts.744566/page-22#post-18429247

You can only control one end of the shipping process, and nothing in the middle. I hatched 3 out of 24 Dutch Hookbill eggs from the west coast last year, even though they were well-packaged and shipped next-day. The postal worker who left them on my step left the box upside down, contrary to the box markings. Not saying that an hour upside-down on my front step is the only reason the hatch rate was so low, but it's an example of the shipping events you can't control.
 

JacinLarkwell

Free Ranging
Mar 19, 2020
8,760
15,254
581
South-Eastern Montana
I ship hatching eggs, and I hatch eggs that were shipped to me. It is so true that shipping is not what it used to be. The USPS conveyor sorting systems have up to 3-foot drops, and the only way to get around that is to opt for special handling charges. That still won't buy you even temperatures so the embryos won't stop/start, or a pot-hole free trip.

If you can get hatching eggs in person, your hatch rate will probably go up.

Before COVID-19 shut down so many of the shows and swap meets, I used to arrange ahead of time to bring eggs for people. I hope to be able to do that again soon.

Meanwhile, here's how I ship and incubate shipped eggs. It's an older post, but I still pretty much do it this way:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-do-s-and-don-ts.744566/page-22#post-18429247

You can only control one end of the shipping process, and nothing in the middle. I hatched 3 out of 24 Dutch Hookbill eggs from the west coast last year, even though they were well-packaged and shipped next-day. The postal worker who left them on my step left the box upside down, contrary to the box markings. Not saying that an hour upside-down on my front step is the only reason the hatch rate was so low, but it's an example of the shipping events you can't control.
Aren't hookbills hard hatchery anyways? Thanks for the link though, that's really helpful
 

ConnieA

Crowing
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
791
1,809
282
Aren't hookbills hard hatchery anyways? Thanks for the link though, that's really helpful

I have about 80% hatch rate of my own DHB eggs in my own incubators, and that may be because I tend to ship the freshest, cleanest eggs and keep the older and dirtier ones for myself.

Shipping definitely lowers the hatch rate for any egg, I think.
 

JacinLarkwell

Free Ranging
Mar 19, 2020
8,760
15,254
581
South-Eastern Montana
I have about 80% hatch rate of my own DHB eggs in my own incubators, and that may be because I tend to ship the freshest, cleanest eggs and keep the older and dirtier ones for myself.

Shipping definitely lowers the hatch rate for any egg, I think.
Oh, okay. I knew shipped eggs have lower rates, but I thought I read something about hookbills being harder in general to hatch
 

HeatherKellyB

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
2,939
5,492
437
Moore County, NC
There are so many variables, many unknown, that could cause this. The eggs, your incubator, shipping, handling, touching the eggs with contaminated hands, etc. The list is long. I ordered MANY eggs from eBay. It was such a learning experience. It's difficult to blame one aspect but I couldn't pinpoint one cause and feel 100% about it. I am in NC and mistakenly ordered eggs from CALIFORNIA! Imagine my surprise when I had some hatchers! I found that I had to make a choice and only choose breeds that I can mix from my own, only buy local, or take the risk for the breeds that I really wanted. In the end, I still have a few breeds that I want so desperately, but my coops are full. No matter what, I wish you the very best
 

cher2324

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2020
28
32
44
I agree. That was the first and will be the last time.
I would’ve agreed before last week. Early Last summer, I had a broody and I ordered from two different breeders on eBay for Bluebells, and Marans. I also threw some local fertilized eggs under her (some went into an incubator). I let them rest, followed a special schedule for the shipped eggs, turning by hand for the first few days, then automatic upright turner for the last 14. Nightmare! None of the shipped eggs hatched!! Only the local eggs. I even tracked the air sacs to try and detect detached sacs. But that’s the chance you take. I’m not pointing any fingers, but I think it was the transit that did it, one batch got lost. I swore off ordering from eBay. Anyways, recently we ordered Lavender Orpington eggs from eBay (crazy right?!) and they came FedEx. Oh my goodness! Great packaging, super fast delivery, so different! They are five days in the bator, we’ll see! Fingers crossed! Moral of the story? Ya never know! Things have a way of working out. I’m sorry about your chicks, we’ve had them hatch out with problems that sometimes you can fix and sometimes you can’t. 😔 in the long run sometimes it’s for the best. We’ve gone to local egg farms with roosters (we don’t have roosters) and told them not to wash the eggs to set them. Try local. 😎
 

stefzbiz

Songster
9 Years
Oct 3, 2011
133
33
177
Jacksonville, Fl
I would’ve agreed before last week. Early Last summer, I had a broody and I ordered from two different breeders on eBay for Bluebells, and Marans. I also threw some local fertilized eggs under her (some went into an incubator). I let them rest, followed a special schedule for the shipped eggs, turning by hand for the first few days, then automatic upright turner for the last 14. Nightmare! None of the shipped eggs hatched!! Only the local eggs. I even tracked the air sacs to try and detect detached sacs. But that’s the chance you take. I’m not pointing any fingers, but I think it was the transit that did it, one batch got lost. I swore off ordering from eBay. Anyways, recently we ordered Lavender Orpington eggs from eBay (crazy right?!) and they came FedEx. Oh my goodness! Great packaging, super fast delivery, so different! They are five days in the bator, we’ll see! Fingers crossed! Moral of the story? Ya never know! Things have a way of working out. I’m sorry about your chicks, we’ve had them hatch out with problems that sometimes you can fix and sometimes you can’t. 😔 in the long run sometimes it’s for the best. We’ve gone to local egg farms with roosters (we don’t have roosters) and told them not to wash the eggs to set them. Try local. 😎
I have my fingers crossed for you!!
 

MissMonty

Songster
5 Years
Sep 12, 2015
496
936
186
Dayton, OH
There are a LOT of factors that could be at play and I don't think its automatically the sellers fault. Birth defects can be caused by a lot of things. Some genetic some environmental. Since you only got one batch of egg. What your talking about is one of those things that can be caused by genetics or it can be caused by how the eggs were handled early on.

Since this package was with USPS so long my guess is it happened with them.

Shipped eggs do have a lower hatch rate but depending on what you're looking for you may not have a local source so its a risk you have to take. As for eBay its going to vary by seller, some are great some are not so great. Always read the reviews before purchasing and that should help
 

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