How to sell fertile eggs properly


13 Years
Aug 2, 2009
Southwestern Washington State
Chicken newbie here, but need to find all the ways I can to have my flock pay for their own feed due to finances.
I have a beautiful Buff Orpington roo and eight BO pullets just starting to lay. So I'm looking into the future a little, but I'd like to sell fertile eggs and also hatch some. I see people advertising online locally asking for fertilized chicken eggs to hatch and wonder if I could fill a need. I do not have show quality but do have attractive, healthy and productive birds.

I'd like to know the proper steps and did not find a thread about this here on BYC.

I would need to:
1) Let my pullets get a little older and see that they are laying well and the eggs show the fertilized "bulls eye". Do I need to watch that my roo is covering all my girls? I have one roo to 18 hens (other breeds as well). Should I put him with just his BO girls for awhile?
2) I should hatch some myself to make sure things are going right. I already have a broody RIR so I could do this now, but should I hatch eggs from young pullets? Do I need a separate pen for chicks?
3) I should keep the eggs I'm saving for hatching at a cool but not refridgerated temp, not washed.
4) What terms should I use to define their quality online if they are just feed store birds? Is it unethical to reproduce birds of this quality? I think they are real nice myself.

Thanks in advance for your advice! I've learned so much already here at BYC and have only been a member one summer.
HI. First you should try to keep your birds pure bred. Barnyard chickens are mixed breeds and even though there are some real cute mixed breed chicks out there, it is much better to keep them pure.
Chickens have been around forever, and each breed has had many decades of breeding out certain traits and if we mix breed, we would be unwittingly breeding bad traits back into our birds.

I would wait until they are at least 32 weeks old before breeding them. And I would have a separate pen for them to breed in. Put the roo in the pen with the same breed hens and collect the eggs daily for 7 days. Place the collected eggs UNWASHED in a cool place that will hold a steady temp of 50 degrees. Fridge is too cold. We use a small fridge outside and raised the temp in it and it works great at holding the steady temp. We also use a dry cloth to wipe each egg down. Also remember after they lay and you collect them, bring them in the house to get them room temp for a few hours before tossing in a cool storage.

Then hatch out at least 3 batches of collected eggs. This should give you a good idea of the health of the fertile eggs your hens are laying.

After doing all that, then you could sell your eggs as pure bred and show pictures of the beautiful chicks that hatch out of your eggs.

And remember, eggs are a dime a dozen (figure of speech), but good quality eggs are extremely hard to come by.

As far as hatching your own chicks, once they come out of the brooder, yes you would need to keep them separate from the rest of the flock until they are about the same size, or they will just get pecked half to death (or worse). There are lots of threads here on how to introduce new chicks to the current flock. I have always had good success with waiting until dark when the chickens are asleep to put the new ones in with them. This way they all wake up together the next morning and then they would just work on their normal pecking order.

Hope this helps you.
Concerning selling fertile eggs, I would also suggest that you keep your Buff Orpington rooster with ONLY your Buff Orpington hens. IN THAT WAY, you can be EASILY CERTAIN that those eggs will be "pure-bred".

The "pure-bred" fertile eggs would, without a doubt, be much easier to market as fertile eggs for hatching. This breed (Buff Orpingtons) are famous as fine producers of large brown eggs!

The "mutt" (cross-bred) chickens/eggs MAY or MAY NOT be good producers when they mature. Hybrid-vigor may help (such as with fine-laying Sex-Links), but the reverse can also be expected.

So, IF it were me planning to sell fertile eggs, I would keep the "breeding line" PURE with the Buff Orpingtons.

just my 2 pesos worth,
We certainly do want to keep the breeding line pure...but the other two breeds eggs look quite different. So I should keep the Orpingtons together so he can for sure breed with them all or so that I can for sure know whose eggs? I have heard that rhode island red/orpington crosses can be nice laying hens and would not mind keeping one or two as a layer if that happened but the other breed I have is russian orloff which sounds awful crossed with an orpington, so I was wanting only orps really. And if I were selling them I'd of course have to be 100 percent sure.

I happen to have an old fridge I wasn't sure what to do with so now I'm thinking I have a use for it......

I did not realize that the chicks would have to be the same size to be together in our coop and run. Gosh what happened in the old barnyard days, chicks got pecked to death? Sounds like I'll need a second enclosure no matter for putting the breeders together and later for the chicks. Can more than one hen be together with their respective chicks or do they need to be apart from one another?
I believe if you have a broody hen, the hen will protect the babies. Some people separate the hen/chicks, some don't.

I think the poster above is assuming you hatch eggs in an incubator, thus the separation is necessary.

I haven't done this yet, but that's my impression from what I've read here.
Keep your breed pure if your wanting to sell fertile hatching eggs, most people want a pure BO. My thoughts!
If your only roo is a Buff Orp, you know your eggs from the Buff Orp hens will be pure-bred, whether the roo is with the other hens or not.

When I want eggs from a particular hen or hens, I separate them at night, so they wake up in the "isolation pen". After they lay for the day, I let them back out with the rest of the flock.

However, if you can easily tell your Orp eggs from the others, there's no reason to separate them at all. Just collect the Orp eggs to sell. They will be pure. The roo being with other hens as well, won't change a thing.

Some people like barnyard mixes. If you have customers that don't mind, or actually prefer, mixed breeds, you can sell those other eggs, too.

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