How can I tell if eggs bought on e-bay were EVER fertile - been in incubator for 8 days

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tdew, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. tdew

    tdew New Egg

    Feb 18, 2014
    OK, so my daughter wants to begin breeding and showing Silkies - which is great because I raise egg-layers only and she has not shown any interest in chickens until now. I got a new incubator for Christmas that has all the "bells and whistles". I found a lot of 12 FERTILE silkie eggs, random coloring and purchased them. They have been in the incubator now for 8 days, and only TWO of them have developed very well - 2 others show MAYBE one vein, 2 have a red spot in the yolk - but the other 6 have shown NO changes at ALL.

    Of course, sellers on E-bay state that once the package leaves their home, they are not responsible for improper handling or improper incubating.. now, the eggs came to me CLEANED - which was the first warning sign.. I haven't contacted her yet regarding this, because I kinda know what she will say - she isn't responsible.. but I am thinking that perhaps if I can show that 6 of the eggs weren't fertile to begin with then I may have a leg to stand on - and maybe she will send more, refund some of my money OR I may be able to use the e-bay buyer protection to recoup my loss..

    Can someone tell me if those eggs that do not even have the blood spot were infertile to begin with. For my daughter's sake - I really hope that the two eggs that will hatch will be a rooster and a hen - then she can at least know that she will be able to breed them soon!

    Thanks everyone!!
  2. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Shipping eggs is always a gamble. There are many factors that can affect the viability of shipped eggs; temperature during shipping, box handling,the age of the eggs, etc. About the only way to tell if any of the non-viable eggs were fertile or not would be to open them up and look at the yolk for the "bullseye" or the circle around the white spot. From your posting it appears that some of these eggs were fertile, so there will too many possible outside factors to recoup your shipped egg losses. I would suggest finding a local Silkie breeder and pick them up at the breeder's location. That way you can minimize shipping issues.

    Sorry about you low viability rate.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  3. dickhorstman

    dickhorstman Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Cleaning,or washing is done on every egg at a commercial hatchery.
  4. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Just because an egg looks washed, doesn't mean it is....I don't send eggs that are too filthy or with anything other than small spots. I gently wipe them off and if they don't look good, I don't send them. Of course, I'm not every other person out there selling eggs and I've personally received eggs I would have been way too embarrassed to send to anyone. LOL

    I don't usually candle until day 10 or there's less of a doubt as to fertility--which also leads me to another point--fertility and hatch-ability are two different things. You can have 100 fertile eggs, put them in the incubator and get 100 chicks. Or you can take that same 100 eggs and ship them somewhere and get zero.

    Hatch-ability also has to do with handling by the post office during transit. Were the eggs exposed to extreme temps? Jostled around? Dropped? Shipped by air in an unpressurized cargo area? Sent through an x-ray machine? How much time passed between when the hen laid the egg and when the person collected? Or between the hen laying and the person shipping? Who knows?

    Any time receive shipped eggs, I figure that 50% hate rate is about all I'm going to get. It's a total gamble....

    This is really not the time of year to be shipping/receiving eggs, either...maybe if both the sender and receiver are in very warm climates...but I (personally) don't attempt to send any eggs during the winter when I know my birds are not breeding much (if at all) and the cold temps around the U.S. make me feel uncomfortable attempting shipment right now.

    Also--did you let the eggs rest before you put in the incubator?

    Lastly, even incubators with "all the bells & whistles" have issues. I spent $400 a couple years ago on a Brinsea and it's been nothing but a piece of crap. I ended up going back to my Hovabators and have had MUCH better luck. The thermometers that come with most incubators are garbage and you should get something that has a hydrometer as well. I use the Accurite thermometer/hydrometer comb (they're about $12 at Wal-Mart) and I've had some of mine 15 years and they're still working well.

    Good luck with the eggs.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by