Shipped eggs!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by backyardjack, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. backyardjack

    backyardjack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm planning on starting a flock though incubating shipped eggs so I was just wondering if anybody had any experience with shipped eggs and offering some tips! :) also wondering how many buff orpingtons is good amount to start with if I want about two dozen eggs a week and do buff orpingtons have a good temperament? :D
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't really had good experiences with shipped eggs myself, but others have. It's a very big gamble with shipped eggs of whether or not they arrive in undamaged condition, or if they will even hatch. My advice: "Don't count your chickens before they hatch". ;)

    I've had two shipments of duck eggs and only got ONE duckling out of each batch (first time was 10 eggs, second time was 14 eggs). Air cell damage was a big problem and the few that did start to develop in each of my batches died at varying stages of development. Some were deformed, some died with no obvious reason. Shipped eggs can be a big heartache, but sometimes you luck out and get a good hatch rate. All you can do is hope for the best!

    One piece of advice that I can give is to let them sit for a full 24 hours before you start to incubate them. This will allow the contents in the egg to "settle" after their journey and give them a better chance at hatching. I wish you luck with your eggs!
     
  3. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hatching shipped eggs is a challenge and can be heartbreaking. My first suggestion would be to look through the articles here https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-and-raising-chicks, Most especially the Hatching Eggs 101 article. There is a TON of great info there, including a section all about shipped eggs. I would also strongly advise browsing through this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/738943/the-great-egg-shipping-experiment. It has a lot of great info about what works and what doesn't for packaging shipped eggs. It'll allow you to ask better questions of the shipper about how the eggs should be packed for shipping. Packaging can make a huge difference on the success of your hatch.

    I don't have buffs, but I do have Lavender Orpingtons. Orps typically lay 3-4 eggs per week each. So for 2doz a week you'll probably want 8-10 hens. But keep in mind, that hatching your own will mean you'll have both cockerels and pullets. You'll need to have a plan on what you're going to do with the roos.

    Orpingtons in general are known for being very sweet and docile. Mine certainly are. They are huge, fluffy, gentle giants. So sweet, and not at all flighty like many of my other hens are.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  4. backyardjack

    backyardjack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much I certainly will have a read, my main reason for chosing buffs is because they are duel propose so we can 'axe' the boys when the time comes :) I surpose there can be no harm in trying
     
  5. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was one of the reasons I chose them as well. I hatch my own eggs rather than having to buy chicks every year, and I don't consider the boys a drawback. They just go to freezer camp when they start making a nuisance of themselves, so I get both eggs and meat from my flock. I just wanted to mention it, as a lot of chicken owners do not wish to cull, and rehoming roos can be problematic.
     
  6. This might be helpful:
    SHIPPING
    The worst enemy of shipped hatching eggs is transportation. The USPS regularly tosses the packages around in transit, so it is important to know that your seller understands how to package eggs properly. Simply placing the eggs in an egg carton and packing the carton in a box is the absolute worst way to pack hatching eggs. The best methods involve individually protecting each egg with padding and then protecting the shipment as a whole. Good packing will also protect the eggs from extremes of temperature to a certain extent while on their way to you.

    Our favorite method is to wrap each egg burrito-style with bubble wrap, tape all the wrapped eggs AIR CELL UP into a "raft" so no one egg can shift, then pack that in more cushioning material in the box. We prefer to have that box sealed and then cushioned inside another box...this is called double-boxing and it will cost more as there is more time, postage, and materials involved. A few shippers will use foam inserts with holes cut in a block of foam that each egg sits in. In our experience these are a good second choice. Do not hesitate to ask the seller how they package eggs if this is not clearly stated in the auction.




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    Successful hatch!
    HATCH RATES
    Of course it is important that the eggs you purchase are fertile, but shipped eggs that don't develop are not necessarily infertile. Ask the seller if they regularly hatch the same eggs. Often sellers will list their hatch rates in the auction description, but it is important to note that shipped eggs will generally have a much lower hatch rate due to detached air cells and/or micro cracks from rough handling in transit. 50% is considered an extremely good hatch rate for shipped eggs. It is possible to have zero to 85+% hatch rate on shipped eggs. Shipping eggs is risky business, and you may want to consider purchasing chicks or older birds from a local breeder instead. If the breed you desire is not available locally, be prepared to accept the risk of shipping eggs and lower hatch rates.

    Most sellers will send you fresh, fertile hatching eggs and want you to have a great hatch. Poor hatch rates can be caused by rough handling, incubation methods, weather conditions along the travel route, and many other things completely out of the seller's control. Inexperienced buyers often blame the seller for sending infertile eggs, which is rarely the case. Read the listing carefully for information regarding the seller's replacement/refund policy on shipped eggs...most sellers are unable to give such guarantees as so much is out of their control once the package is sent.


    INSURANCE
    The USPS will insure egg shipments, but generally will only pay for obviously broken eggs in a shipment. They will not cover eggs that fail to hatch or shipments that arrive late. It is important to note that Priority Mail shipping guides are only an estimate and 2 or 3 day Priority is not a guarantee. The only time USPS will refund shipping cost is on Express Mail shipments, which are often at least twice the price of Priority Mail. For very valuable eggs we have found Express Mail pricing to be worth paying. It is important to open the package in the presence of a postal employee if there is obvious damage to the outside box or evidence of leaking. It is always a good idea to take photos of the box and packing style as well as any obviously broken eggs, as well as candling each egg and taking photos of those with cracks that are not easily visible otherwise. This will help your seller get you reimbursed if the need arises to file an insurance claim.


    PAYMENT
    Please be prepared to pay for your eggs immediately after auction ending. This will allow the seller to ship your eggs as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence with shipped eggs, and some sellers will ship eggs the same day for buyers who send payment directly after the listing ends.


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    FEEDBACK
    Please leave feedback when you receive your eggs as to the method of packing and timeliness of shipping. Remember that your seller has sent you a time-sensitive product with considerable effort to package and ship very fragile items. Often a special trip has been made to the post office, and many sellers live in remote areas and go to great lengths to get your eggs on the way...driving many miles in some cases on your behalf. Feedback should never be left on the hatch rate of your shipped eggs.


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    AFTER THE HATCH
    Inexperienced buyers often hatch out eggs to get a start in a certain breed. Please understand that only 5 or 10 chicks out of 100 from quality purebred stock will be good enough to consider breeding forward, and perhaps only one or two of 100 will develop into superior breeding birds. It is therefore unreasonable to expect to get a breeding pair or trio from a dozen chicks. Please keep this in mind when purchasing hatching eggs, and know that breeders should choose only the best birds to breed.


    INCUBATION/HATCHING
    There are many factors that will influence hatch rate and quality of chicks from shipped eggs. Buyers and sellers working together on shipping methods and timing is important, as well as knowing your incubator and best methods for shipped eggs. We have found a few things that will increase your hatch rate on undamaged eggs.

    When unwrapping the eggs, it is best to hold the egg large end up and steady while unwinding the bubble wrap. In other words, move the wrapping instead of spinning the egg while holding the wrapper. We have found higher hatch rates on shipped eggs by letting them rest air cell up in a carton for 24 hours before beginning incubation. It is also very helpful to incubate shipped eggs in the same upright position WITHOUT TURNING for the first 48 hours in the incubator. Turn the eggs for days 3-18 as recommended, then place upright in cartons for the actual hatching process. This prevents any early hatching chicks from continually shifting the position of unhatched chicks and makes it easier for them to find their way out of the shells.


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    Healthy flocks produce healthy eggs
    SUMMARY
    There are many factors that will influence your results incubating shipped eggs. Sellers want you to have a successful experience with hatching your eggs. We hope the guidelines here will assist you in hatching healthy chicks and growing them into productive flock members or enjoyable pets. Have Fun!

     

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