Question about shipped eggs


10 Years
Aug 24, 2009
I recently set 20 shipped eggs that were sent cross-country. They were packaged incredibly well and all arrived intact.

I let them rest for 24 hours and then set them in my Genesis 1588 inside an egg carton (pointy end down) and did not turn them for the first 5 days. At day 5 I put them on the egg turner. I candled on day 10 and had 4 clears and 2 quitters--14 were viable, active and had great air cells. All 14 made it to lockdown.

Unfortunately only 6 hatched. I noticed that many of the eggs pipped very low on the egg, one even pipped on the wrong end but hatched successfully. Several never managed to pip. The majority pipped in the lower-middle and I am assuming since they didn't puncture the air cell they died. I didn't do egg-topsies on the eggs other than the ones that pipped low and never hatched and their head position was so low on the egg.

Any idea what would cause this? I've never had anything like it happen before. I've also never had 14 of 20 shipped eggs make it to lockdown
I think shipping is just hard on eggs, really hard. I bought goose eggs this year, several batches, and had big problems with detached air cells Out of 19 total eggs from 3 batches, I had 4 hatch and one died in 2 days. Last year, I had somewhere between 25% and 88% success on shipped eggs, but it averaged probably about 50%.

Most of my eggs last year were quail eggs. I had a lot of issues with late dead in shell, and health issues on the ones that did hatch.

This spring, I did a batch of my own quail eggs. I still only had about 60% hatch rate, because I was incubating eggs that were as old as 5 weeks AND some of which had been exposed to outside temperatures as cold as 8/9 degrees F. But, the ones that didn't hatch basically just either didn't start at all or were just plain rotten eggs. And, the birds that hatched are really healthy and much more vigorous than the birds from the shipped eggs, with none of the health problems.

IMO, bottom line is that shipping just takes a toll, and my philosophy is that I just need to start many, many extra eggs in order to end up with a decent number of birds.
Thanks Denninim, that's what I was thinking. I've never had great success with shipped eggs.

MarkMatt, the waiting until day 5 was an experiment based on research I've done. I have to say I had a much higher rate of developed embryos this way than ever before.
I think waiting till day 5 to start turning them on top of the eggs being shipped probably led to the poor hatch rate. Birds don't wait until day 5 to start turning their eggs. I have hatched thousands of eggs and never waited to start turning them. Just my opinion.
My hatch rate isn't that great with shipped eggs either. I got 20 out of 36 that hatched, and 5 out of 12 eggs.
I'ld kill for that hatch rate....I got two out of 24...the rest developed just never hatched.
I just shipped a bunch of eggs this week and we'll see how it turns out.... Shipping cost us a bunch more, but I hope its worth it. I packaged eggs individually like normal and then in a live bird Horizon box. No bouncing around on a conveyor belt, no exposure to extreme temps, and guaranteed by 2nd day at least. The express mail was $82 and the box was $10. Let's hope the buyer has better results on these eggs.
I'm hatching shipped eggs right now. I have 20 out of 20 ameraucanas that made it in to lockdown (at least I think they were all viable at that point - not the best candler), anyway, the 7th just hatched! Today is day 23 and I don't see anymore pips at this point. I had to pull the first 6 out an hour ago. I hope I didn't doom the remaining eggs. I got the humidity and temp back to normal fast.
Here's hoping for at least a few more!

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