How to improve hatch rates on shipped eggs?


9 Years
Jan 7, 2011
New Kent
We are just beginning to start a flock of chickens for my daughter's 4-h project, and due to the lack of breeders in the area we have been buying hatching eggs. So far I am seeing less than a 50% start rate. Take this hatch for example I started out with 44 eggs ( the sellers sent lots of extra's) I candled at day 10 and tossed 25. I have now candled again, with a better light and I have at least 9 more that I am pretty sure are quitters. I see blood rings in them, and far less development than in the other eggs. That means I am down to less than 25%. I hatched out a couple of barnyard mixes for my neighbor, and they all hatched. Does anyone know of anything we could do that would improve the success ratio? Thanks for any advice.


There is no "I" in Ameraucana
Jan 18, 2008
Newman Lake, WA
Make sure the seller isn't selling you old eggs. I usually only ship eggs that are a max of 4 days old; sometimes the extras are five days old. Age of the egg is an important factor.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
I agree you need to make sure you're getting fresh eggs, but there are some things that shipping does that nothing we can do can improve your hatch rate. It's just a risk that goes along with shipped eggs. I was in the same boat as local breeders and so I had to rely on shipped eggs to get the breeds I wanted. If I had to do it over I'd start out with started pairs or trios. I think it would have been cheaper in the long run. I had everything from 0 out of 18 eggs to 11 out of 13 eggs.

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