Shipped eggs


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 3, 2009
If a shipped egg gets to the point of hatching, day 17+ and it dies can I still blame the postoffice or is it something that is happening in the hatching. I have had 1 egg hatch in 16 and over half of them made it to the last few days. They died in their shell. Humidity is at 66+% the last 3 days, and over 40% during incubation. There are currently 24 in the incubator, they are dark and not sure on the fertility but they will hatch next week if they are good. What can be done to get a better hatch rate. I am not hatching these eggs I am paying someone to hatch them for me and this is what I have been told. I am so upset about this. I am at the point I will never buy a shipped egg again.
Thanks CK
Well, if they made it to day 17... there's no logical reason to blame the USPS. Must be a problem with incubation, I'd say.
I'm incubating some shipped eggs right now.
One shipment... 5 out of 6 were scrambled by USPS... I knew that as soon as I candled them. No ones fault - shipping can do that sometimes. I really don't blame anyone.
Second shipment... 13 out of 14 are developing nicely. One had a bloodring, but had started veining before I lost it - it was just not meant to be.
Don't concern yourself with "who to blame," I'd be more concerned with why chicks are dying in their shells.
Temp fluctuations?
Opening the 'bator too much?
Power outtage?
I agree, if they are developing it's not the shipping. When they die at the end like that it's usually a humidity issue. If it's to high during the incubation process they don't draw down enough and the chick will drown as it pips into the air sac. If the humidty is to low they will draw down to much, they will pip into the air sac but it's to dry in the shell for them to turn and pip around the outer shell. If you gently open the shell from the big end it will tell you what happened at the end.

another big big factor that Paganbird mentioned is keep the 'bator closed when you stop turning. When you open it all your humidty you need for hatching goes right out the window so to speak. A sitting hen will leave the nest everyday for food and water right up until they start pipping then she won't get off until they hatch. It's actually the chicks hatching that raises the humidty under the hen.

Steve in NC
I've that happen quite a lot as well. It could be due to the handling, or to the incubation methods. I believe if the egg is not kept at the proper temperature during holding, it can cause them to quit very late like that. I have a list somewhere of hatching problems and causes, let me see if I can find it.....
Here you go....Problem analysis It seems that most storing problems are due to the eggs getting chilled, which is obviously not going to happen right now. It is probably a problem with the temps and/or humidity during the hatch.
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Steve, you asked if it happened every time.

I have not been doing this very long so it is hard to say.

But no, I have had some successes.

And right now, I have 14 Serama eggs under Big Momma, my broody, so it will be a test!

In a sense, I have had good luck with shipped eggs, because they have been fertile.

I truly do not think the problem is with the shipping, but with my incubator.

And of course my care of it--maybe temps too low or high or likewise humidity.

I am starting all over and taking more care, and we will see.

I got all excited and tried to do staggered hatches and so forth, and I think I need to take it slowly, one hatch at a time,
and, I have sent for a couple of thermometers and hygrometers specifically for incubators from

So perhaps I will start having better 'luck'.

Well, that was interesting. Thanks for the link.

Gosh. Makes you wonder how any of them DO hatch.

It surely does seem as if the dying in the shell late in development is usually incubator heat or humidity problems, which is what I suspected, as that is what makes sense.

When we first started incubating we were using a hovabator and it seemed like everytime you looked at it the temp was different. Sometimes we would get good hatches sometimes not. So i'm sure it was a factor - one thing the hovabator did excell at was hatching waterfowl eggs for some reason.

Steve in NC

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