How long do hatching eggs last? How long can they be in transit?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
This may not be the best place to ask, but I am interested in purchasing hatching eggs. How long can they be in transit, or how long from the time they are laid, can they be stored before they are incubated?


12 Years
Jan 3, 2008
Newnan, Georgia
As best I recall after 7 days they start to loose the viability... However I had a great hatch of cuckoos and they were 10 days old when I set them. So I would say 10 days... MAX


11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
7-10 is usually what's quoted. It does depend on storage conditions. How long they can be in transit depends on when they were collected. If someone only has 2 hens and sends you a dozen eggs even if they got an egg a day from every hen the eggs are at least 6 days old at the time they ship. If they take 2-3 days to get to you they are now 8-9 days old and if you let them rest overnight before setting they are now about 9-10 days old. If someone has 20 hens and gets you a dozen eggs the night before they ship they are now about as old as the number of days it took them to get to you. The more time in transit though the more they get shaken up and put through temperature extremes so that would fall under extremely bad storage which would shorten how long they are good.


Brook Valley Farm
12 Years
Mar 1, 2007
7-10 days is generally the max "shelf life" of eggs. When I collect eggs to ship I only like to send what I can collect in 2 days time. So if I ship to someone on Monday, I send them Saturday & Sunday's eggs, plus whatever I can get on Monday morning before I ship. I'll usually include Friday's eggs as extras, but I generally won't sell eggs more than 2 days old, as they are then going to be in the Postal system for 2-3 days. This means that the eggs are going to be 3-6 days old when they get to the person buying them. If I shipped eggs any older than 2-3 days old, the buyer would be getting unacceptably old eggs, in my opinion.

That said, I've had eggs that were in the Postal system far too long develop nicely. Right now I have 8 eggs in my incubator that traveled literally coast to coast and were in the Postal system for 5 cold days before they were delivered to me (in the middle of the biggest snowstorm our area has seen in 10 years, no less
). I haven't done a good candling/count of all of them yet, but I took a peek at several on day 4 and every one I looked at was developing!! (Equibling, these are your Orp eggs!! I'm impressed--these are tough babies!) So I can assume that these eggs were 6-7 days old when they got to me, and they are doing great! So sometimes they do defy the odds.
Of course, these particular eggs were older than they should be because they got held up by the P.O., which is no one's fault of course. You gamble anytime you ship eggs, no doubt about it.

Scratchn By

11 Years
Nov 7, 2008
East Texas
Just remember this... You're building a reputation when you start selling eggs. You may not know it, but people are talking via PM about how the eggs did in the bator. I've had byc folk PM me before the eggs even arrived. I don't usually do bad press, but I will give them the facts. If the eggs were old, I'll tell them. But, that might not be the reason they did not hatch. The USPS could have drop kicked them through the uprights. Who knows?

So, if you want good press (behind the scenes...) try to ensure fertility, store them properly before shipment, ship what you advertise or better, pack them like you'd want yours packed and get them in the mail asap. If it's extremely cold weather, you may not want to ship any. Success or failure... You play a huge roll. The USPS is the gamble.


New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom