How old are fresh hatching eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by WestKnollAmy, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    When ordering eggs from breeders and they are saying they are sending fresh eggs, how old do you expect the eggs to be?
    Considering shipping of 3 days, is 5 or 6 days still fresh?
    Is 10 days still considered fresh eggs? What about 14 days?

    Inquiring minds want to know?
  2. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    I try never to send eggs over 2 days old. 3 days is the max. But my PO sends all my eggs express so you usually get them the next day which would make them 3 to 4 days old.
    But I hatch what I call all my old eggs myself. And they will be up to 3 weeks old, it is eggs I dont sell for or I dont have room for in the incubators.
    But you have to remember a hen lays a clutch of eggs before she ever sets on them.
  3. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    I start collecting on Saturday to ship out Tuesday morning. Anything older than that is my own to hatch. I currently am only setting eggs every two weeks for myself and have seen no difference in hatchability but if I tell people I will ship fresh eggs, then that is what I am going to do.

  4. That's it. I ship eggs laid 1st, 2nd, 3rd, ship 4th (or eggs laid Fri, Sat, Sun, ship Mon or whatever is freshest).
    I've candled eggs I've rec'd in the mail and seen some r e a l l y large air cells for *supposedly* 'fresh for hatching' eggs (and usually unhatchable --- older egg = reduced viability = bigger air cell = more likely to get displaced during shipping).

    After 10 days, I no longer consider an egg 'fresh for hatching'. That doesn't mean an older egg can't or won't hatch, it is just not *fresh* any more and reduces the chances.

  5. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Thanks everyone.

    I received eggs today with dates on them. The oldest was marked 30th and then a scattering of dates after that, mostly 1 and 2's.
    After the breeder telling me her chickens were laying like mad I expected 2 dz fresh eggs. I paid for 2 dz and got 21. That is being least I hope so.
    It took over 2 weeks to get these with numerous inquiries on my part and I was guaranteed fresh eggs. When I asked about the dates on the eggs today she told me THAT was fresh! Geez, 11 days old is not fresh, imo!
    Well, yeah, I set them at home like that but like Lisa said, the fresher the better for shipping and I have never sent out eggs more than 4 days old and feel bad when I can't get them in 3 days!

    I thought I was doing right by my customers and now feel better that I am. I know not all breeders have the same philosophy.
  6. That's not too too terrible. I'd say 11-day-old eggs are still hatchable (but not so fresh). When were they shipped? Did USPS misplace them for an extra day or two? Were the air cells intact?
    I paid for 2 dz and got 21.

    Been there. Paid for a dozen eggs and got 11 eggs one time --- all intact and had a decent hatch, but I bought a dozen (12) eggs and there were only 11 in the box. Wasn't expecting extras, just the eggs I bought. No note or explanation of why, or a refund (or offer of refund) of the egg I was shorted.
    If I can't supply the right egg count of fresh eggs, I send a partial refund or reschedule the shipment.
    I often see offers of '12+ eggs for hatching' from folks that have one or two hens of a breed and wonder how they accomplish that (they usually have big disclaimers that they are not responsible for eggs after they are sent).
    You do, I'm sure, do right by your customers. And true, not everyone has the same philosphy. People are funny.
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Before you buy, I suggest that you ask the seller what their definition is when they say fresh. Everybody has a different idea of what that means.

    Two week old eggs are fine to hatch, but considering how the post office can dither around, it wouldn't surprise me to have shipment take a full week in the mail. I don't sell hatching eggs, but if I did 2 days, 3 days absolute max before they are shipped and then hope they have a quick trip and if not, they will still be hatchable. At least hatchable for age, no telling what the post office might do to them.
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I just sent out two dozen hatching eggs today. 7 were laid this morning and the rest were laid since Monday.

    It's a "test hatch" to see if the 5.5 month old roos are doing their job.
  9. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    The eggs got to me in 3 days, not stuck in the PO. Air cells are burst. But that happens and is no fault of the breeder. However, I think fresher eggs would have had a better chance.
    And forgive me for not finishing my explanation on the dates, there were 2 eggs that were packed in that had 7 on them and a few 5's.
    I was just amazed at the comment that eggs shipped at 8 days old was still considered fresh as I have been stressing over shipping out eggs no older than 3-4 days old.
    I have set these, no problem there but I doubt I will get a good hatch. I have gotten 100% hatch from shipped eggs this spring and also only 25%. It happens.
    The whole deal was sort of upsetting and I am sure we have all been there with other breeders. Paid money and expected them but never got any email saying they went out, waiting and emailing back only to be told one excuse after another. Eggs finally show up but a tracking number was never sent. And then to be told they sent plenty of extras only to find the order wasn't even filled completely. I felt duped.

    I don't want to be this type of breeder so that is why I asked what everyone thought as fresh. The other things I know I do not do to people. And I am trying to understand that sometimes life gets in the way.

    Thank you for your opinions on fresh eggs being shipped out. I just needed to clear that up. Having them shipped in is why I got 2 dz, so I could get a decent hatch.

    Oh, another thing! The dates were written on the eggs in magic marker. Another huge no-no to me. I always use a pencil on my eggs.
    Have any of you noticed it being a problem with hatchability?
  10. There should be no issue from Permanent Marker on the eggs. I mark 99.9% of my eggs for hatching with Sharpie Permanent Marker here. No problems with hatchability.
    Good luck with your eggs. I hope they surprise you pleasantly.

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