My first shipped eggs! An incubation adventure

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
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I made a deal with my aunt that if she ordered some leghorn hatching eggs for me, I'd return the favor with some started silkie pullets when I was able to start breeding them. She agreed, and my 13 rose-comb brown leghorn eggs arrived yesterday! (I ordered 12, but they sent an extra) Candling revealed some minor air cell issues. Nothing like some of the horror stories I've seen regarding shipped eggs, so I'm hopeful for the best.

My incubator fits 41 eggs at a time, so I filled out the remaining spots with mutt eggs from my own mixed flock. Since I plan on selling pullets in the spring, I decided I may as well get as many chicks out of this hatch as I can. I let the shipped eggs rest for about 24 hours before putting them into the incubator this morning, along with the mutt eggs I'd gathered from my flock.

The due date is October 14.


As you can see, I have a wide variety of chickens in my flock. The chicks that hatch from these could be any number of mixes from more than 30 different breeds (as well as any number of mutts that are already in my flock). Many of the chicks that hatch from this brood will be third generation offspring from my own flock--something I find to be really cool! The pullets that result from this mix could lay just about any egg color except for pure white or dark chocolate brown, but it's completely the luck of the draw what genetic mix I'll end up with. I made a point to collect as many eggs from my older birds as I could, since they have proven to be healthy hens with solid laying habits, but I also included a lot of eggs from hens who just started laying over the past couple of months.

I will keep you posted on their development!

---Edit for clarification---
This isn't my first incubation ever--just my first incubation with shipped eggs! :) I've incubated several broods of chicks since I got the incubator for my birthday in January, but they were always with my home-grown mutt eggs. Sorry for any confusion!
 
Last edited:

Sustained

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Sep 17, 2014
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I made a deal with my aunt that if she ordered some leghorn hatching eggs for me, I'd return the favor with some started silkie pullets when I was able to start breeding them. She agreed, and my 13 rose-comb brown leghorn eggs arrived yesterday! (I ordered 12, but they sent an extra) Candling revealed some minor air cell issues. Nothing like some of the horror stories I've seen regarding shipped eggs, so I'm hopeful for the best.

My incubator fits 41 eggs at a time, so I filled out the remaining spots with mutt eggs from my own mixed flock. Since I plan on selling pullets in the spring, I decided I may as well get as many chicks out of this hatch as I can. I let the shipped eggs rest for about 24 hours before putting them into the incubator this morning, along with the mutt eggs I'd gathered from my flock.

The due date is October 14.


As you can see, I have a wide variety of chickens in my flock. The chicks that hatch from these could be any number of mixes from more than 30 different breeds (as well as any number of mutts that are already in my flock). Many of the chicks that hatch from this brood will be third generation offspring from my own flock--something I find to be really cool! The pullets that result from this mix could lay just about any egg color except for pure white or dark chocolate brown, but it's completely the luck of the draw what genetic mix I'll end up with. I made a point to collect as many eggs from my older birds as I could, since they have proven to be healthy hens with solid laying habits, but I also included a lot of eggs from hens who just started laying over the past couple of months.

I will keep you posted on their development!

Looking forward to an update!
thumbsup.gif
 

PrairieChickens

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7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
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Kansas
Well, I'm anxious as all get out right now.

I candled the eggs last night and was able to see the tiny embryos fluttering inside. Though small, their movement was unmistakable. I also noticed that somehow the egg turner had come unplugged, and I don't know how long the eggs were sitting in the same position before I noticed it. I plugged it back in, and checked on them again tonight, but now I'm not seeing movement in any of the eggs. It may be too soon to tell for sure that the embryos have died, but if they have, what could have caused it? The only thing I can think of that would cause the eggs to quit like that would be a sudden spike in temperature, but how? Surely the heat generated from the turner's motor wouldn't have thrown off the incubator that much? Did a stray ray of sunlight find its way into the corner of the room where the incubator is tucked away? Did the incubator itself malfunction? Was there even a heat spike at all? I don't know

I am trying to stay calm. I won't know for sure if the eggs have quit for a couple of days, but needless to say I'll be terribly disappointed if this hatch fails, especially since I won't be able to replace the leghorn eggs. It would figure that the first incubation I have issues with would be the ONE with bought eggs instead of freebies. Fingers crossed that I'm just fretting over nothing.
 

HugHess

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Jul 14, 2014
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Best wishes for a healthy happy hatch!
My first set of shipped eggs are due to hatch on or about October 3rd.
It has been an adventure!
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
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The embryos doesn't always move when you look at them. Wait a few days and candle again, but I'm sure they'll be fine.
 

PrairieChickens

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Jun 29, 2012
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Whew! So, chalk that one up to first-timer anxiety--I candled a couple of the eggs this morning and not only have they shown more development, but one little embryo even fluttered for me! I guess I'm just nervous because these are my first eggs that I've paid for.

I'll take photos tonight. It's really neat how much you can see through a white-shelled egg, and I'm optimistic that photos should come out very clear.
 

Bryam

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Aug 19, 2008
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So exciting? What hatchibg methods are you going to use? Upright or on the side? Are you dry hatching?
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
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Kansas
The eggs are upright in an egg turner. When they're ready to hatch, I'll probably put the shipped eggs in a modified egg carton so they stay fat-end up. I've done something similar with eggs in the past that had the aircell at the wrong end, and the chicks were able to hatch despite being propped up in a carton. I've been going dry so far, but the aircells are growing too fast for my liking. I'm going to add water here in a little bit to bring the humidity up.


Here's a photo I just took of one of the little rose-comb brown leghorns. I used an LED flashlight under a flower pot for the "candle".
 

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