How many is good? Ways to improve hatch rates with shipped eggs.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kecrow, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. kecrow

    kecrow In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2010
    I've been purchasing shipped eggs off of e-bay and my success has been mediocre at best. I let the eggs rest before I apply heat and the last batch of 24 I got 1 and this batch I got 2. I had more candle, but the end was dissappointing. I live in an area where fertilized heritage breeds are difficult to find and I'm looking for ways to improve my numbers. I have a good incubator and even sprung for the humidifier. Any ideas are welcome. I did this all summer and found it dissappointing nearly every time.

  2. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Try again in early spring, especially if your summers are hot. You can ask if the shipper will ship with an ice pack included in the package, but to be honest I don't think it does much- it certainly is not providing cold when it hits my doorstep.

    What you CAN do if it is very hot is to not let them settle outside of the incubator. Sometimes in hot shipping days (like now and the last month or so for us), the eggs will start to incubate IN the package- then when you let them settle, you effectively end the progress and the result is a poor hatch or no hatch at all! But the eggs DO have to settle after shipping, so the best way to do that is to put them in your incubator for 12-24 hours without turning. If they have started, you won't kill them and if they haven't this period won't kill them.

    I would also make sure that you crack EVERY egg you get from shipping and check for fertility- definitely don't assume infertility. If the eggs have been incubating for a while but show no progress, you may want to chill them in the fridge before cracking them, otherwise the yolk may be runny and you won't be able to tell what happened. If you find many infertile ones (which is unlikely, they are much more likely to have been scrambled during shipping), this is something the breeder should know about- they may not replace your eggs, but they can try to make changes for the next people.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Also, hatch rates are not typically 'good' for shipped eggs. 50% is what most people hope for, less than that is typical and more than that is miraculous.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  3. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    kecrow~~this was my first year "buying" eggs online, so that I could add new blood to my flock. Since I live in the boonies, and there are NO Silkie breeders withing a hundred mile radius, and the nearest poultry show is over two hours away, I really don't have a choice except to buy online.

    This is what I found~~from the 7 breeders whom I bought eggs from, that were auctioned on eBay, my hatch rate was ZERO!!!!! ~~from the 3 breeders whom I bought eggs from, that were auctioned on eggbid, my hatch rate was around 15% (excluding the crook who sold me SUPPOSEDLY Lavender eggs, but I won't even go there) ~~from the 5 breeders whom I bought eggs from, that were auctioned on BYC, my hatch rate was around 75%

    I used the same incubation methods for ALL of the eggs; I bought all of the eggs during the same season/weather conditions.

    So my personal conclusion is : I'll NEVER waste my money on eBay eggs again.....BYC'ers are the way to go

    Just my opinion
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    I admit to only buying eggs from ebay a few times but the times I had have not been horrible- I think it really is up to the buyer to choose the right seller. I ordered peachick eggs and my hatch *should* have been 50% the first time (two died right before hatching but they definitely went and grew all the way). The second time, I should have put them straight into the incubator, but I wasn't thinking and I was responsible for the die-off of the eggs that had started incubation. I checked fertility and they were all fertile and showed a little under a day's progress. I have three survivors of my stupidity in my incubator still.

    I recently bought a dozen BCM eggs from an eBay seller (after much debating who to buy from, I looked through dozens of sellers and waited over a week) and I couldn't have been happier- I received 14 perfectly packaged eggs with amazingly dark color for the time of year, and ALL 14 are growing. If I muck it up between now and then that's not the seller's fault.

    Alternately, I traded eggs on the egg chain here at BYC and received 10 golden lakenvelder eggs that I've seen zero progress on. I bought silkie eggs on BYC and so far have 15/18 growing.

    The point is, everyone has bad days and yes it's *probably* better to buy from the more trusted sellers here on BYC, but I definitely wouldn't exclude eBay from your searching grounds because of a few bad hatches.

    Just be very careful that you're investigating the sellers (ANY seller), reading feedback about packaging and hatch rates/fertility rates (although remember a lot of people call every clear egg infertile when some are post office scrambled or as in my own case, not cared for properly upon arrival). Do your best to communicate with the seller before you bid- make sure the seller is taking it to the post office (instead of having them come pick it up, some people are lazy) and that they'll place a hold on the eggs (meaning they stay at your post office for you to pick up rather than riding in a hot, bumpy truck all day before reaching your house). Call your post office or go in to let them know the eggs are arriving so THEY know to be careful with them. Ask your seller to NOT write 'hatching eggs' on the side- people who do not know better may assume 'hatching eggs' stands for eggs which are currently hatching in the box, and may shake the box to hear the chicks. Instead "Live Embryos- Do not Shake or X-Ray" tends to work better.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  5. IggiMom

    IggiMom Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    I cannot really say as to the rate, but since I have gotten incubating pretty much down, at least I think so, I have a number of people that I get eggs from here on BTC, and they pretty much hatch except for just a few.

    I have never gotten eggs from eggbid or ebay. I have seen some stuff on other threads about eggbid that really make me leary.

  6. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    I thought I'd share my results of my very limited experiences with this.

    First shipped eggs -- turkey eggs of ebay, received on May 3. I ordered 6, seller sent 9. Eight developed, one was infertile. Of the 8, one died late in the shell, 7 hatched, one was immediately ill, couldn't stand, neck flopped, etc., I tried to save it but it died around 4 or 5 days old. So, I ended up with 6 healthy chicks that were two months old this week.

    Second shipped eggs. Button Quail eggs shipped to me in mid-June. Out of 25 eggs, I ended up with 8 hatching, one died. I have 7 now that are a month old this week.

    Third shipped eggs. Ordered 50 coturnix eggs, received 55, one broken and I broke a couple more in handling them. I pulled out 22 clear ones/rotten ones at lockdown. I ended up with 9 hatching, and probably close to that many that died in the shell at the end.

    Fourth shipped eggs. Button Quail. 30 received on 07/13. I've had 9 hatch so far, and a couple more are pipped. It's late, like 21 days today, but I hope the last few make it. I broke 3 of them in handling. I hope a couple of the rest still hatch, I'll give them until tomorrow.
  7. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    i have better hatch rates on eggs i ship to other folks. my hatch rate is anywhere from 45 percent on shipped eggs to me to 85 percent on my own eggs. i had a lady hatch 15/15 this year that i shipped out and another lady i got a email from yesterday had 13/15 hatched and was waiting for the other two to hatch.

  8. neener92

    neener92 Songster

    Aug 30, 2009
    I have had great success with shipped eggs, I'm unsure why (not that I'm complaining) perhaps it's because I use a broody? I have hatched 17 out of 20 guinea eggs (I know they ship better), but I've also hatched 5 out of 6 scrambled duck eggs (they are hatching as I speak). I have 9 turkey eggs that i am going to take out to my broody right now, well I will probably end up dividing them up since I do have 4 broodies!
  9. puredelite

    puredelite Songster

    Always a risky undertaking with shipped eggs, USPS is not known for their soft touch at all. Have recently ordered eggs off of E-bay to introduce some new blood. All eggs have been securely wrapped for shipping and none have been broken in transit. First 20 set in the incubator gave me 2 chicks. Seller was kind enough to send me 40(!) more with me paying postage. After candling at 7 & 14 days have 20 still in the incubator that are hatching tonite. Looks like I might get a good percentage this time out of the 20 good ones. BTW, last hen that was setting on 7 eggs hatched 6 chicks! It is very hot now to be shipping eggs- some parts of the country they might arrive well done and ready to eat!
  10. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Quote:Just noticed this comment. Sorry to hijack the thread, but why do Guinea eggs ship better? Just wondering cause I've thought about getting Guineas but assumed I'd have the same bad hatch rates as I've been getting with shipped chicken eggs...

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