Taking eggs to the Philippines - am I nuts?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ozexpat, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    I am a total noob in this world of eggs!

    About me:

    I am an Aussie and live between Orange County CA and Negros Occidental in the Philippines. My wife and I are in the process of adopting 2 awesome kids in the Philippines – a process that will go on for another 3 years before we can all live back in USA. Mrs Ozexpat and the kids live on our 2.5 acre coconut farm right on the beach. We have pigs, goats a pair of turkeys, some ducks and several chickens. We also have one loan guinea fowl that was given to us. My brother in law had scores of them, gave all but 4 away just before we moved there. Three then just disappeared.

    The ducks are in auto mode and produce an abundance of offspring. The turkey is a hopeless mother and cant keep any of the one or two chicks she actually hatches alive past a few weeks. The chickens (currently about 9) are “native” and go broody instantly. In two years we have yet to eat an egg. Our “attrition” rate is high because any chickens that visit a neighbor get eaten by them. Add that to dogs that get in and we are lucky to maintain our flock at all. Free range has its downfalls in our neighborhood.

    Along with my 15 month old son, I was at the house last week and was enjoying a sunrise coffee overlooking the ocean as well as the morning parade of mother hens with their 2 or 3 chicks each go past the front of the house. Lorenzo greeted the Tom turkey and laughed. It was a wonderful sight. The hen turkey was brooding and sitting on a couple of eggs. I know she will fail again. Its time to remove some of the “Mother Nature” out of my quest for fresh eggs and increasing our flock.

    I read that TSA will let eggs on a plane. I will deal with Philippines department of Customs if they find my eggs in my carry on. I decided to buy an incubator to hatch chickens. I would move onto guinea fowls to “make” some friends for our lone hen. Once she has buddies to help her corner the rodents that enjoy our coconuts, the Dr Frankensein in me would move onto turkeys. Maybe even one day try a batch of peafowl to increase our menagerie. “It can’t be that hard can it?” I think naively. Throw a few eggs in the bator, wait the prescribed number of days and viola! I jump on Amazon, read review and order a styro-bator. Then I start my research. It looks like there is a little more to this as I discover you need to turn the eggs. I order an egg turner. Then a hydrometer. Then a second hydrometer. Then a scale.

    Now its still a little more complicated. As I said I live between the USA and Asia. I cannot be a full time mother hen. Mrs Ozexpat is a hands on mother but reserves that skill for our homo sapien adoptees. I have a gardener that lives on site and looks after the animals. I will have to impart all my knowledge of converting a fertilized egg into a fluffy living peep to him. Our gardener is a bright guy. He takes direction well. I just need to get over the language barrier and I know we will have eggs, chickens and all sorts of birds doing the 3 times per day parade around the house.

    This coming weekend I will get some cheap local California eggs and put them in the bator for my first science experiment. I will have three attempts before transferring the laboratory to Asia. I want to use local eggs so I remove the failures associated with shipped eggs. I don’t really care about breeds – as long as the eggs I transfer to the bator in the Philippines are those of chickens that lay eggs for the sake of laying them, not local chickens who’s genetic makeup tells them to go broody as soon as they no longer need to raise their previous chicks. I will make a proper chicken coop in the Phils along with a brooder unit so that I maximize the conversion to egg making machines.

    My biggest enemy in the Philippines will be humidity so the plan will be to start in there in the dry season – March to June. Dry season humidity drops to about 50%. This will coincide with the conclusion of the three attempts here.

    Call me crazy but I have read many a post here and I feel that I am not the only crazy one. I have had many crazy ideas that have transferred into successes. I am a born optimist.

    If any of you out there have experience in dealing with high humidity and no access to wonderful first world luxuries like air-conditioning and dehumidification machines, I would love to hear your comments.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    All countries are very cautious about importing and exporting animals - especially poultry and their eggs. The process is often arduous and expensive but can be done (except for certain country pairs)
    You should start your research here.
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/animal_philippines.shtml

    You'll have to find someone who's eggs you will be buying to undergo the months long state and federal veterinarian inspection process for international export.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  3. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Thanks for your input. I was thinking my post would fade to obscurity.

    There are several producers in California that will do the paperwork on an export for around $70. I have done my research on that end.

    My biggest concerns are dealing with humidity and getting good quality eggs as its a long way to go with bad eggs in my carry on. I am hoping I would get some input from people who incubate eggs in states with high humidity and no dehumidification units.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I have high humidity most of the time and it can be a problem but the heat in the incubator will dissipate some of that. Consider that broodys are hatching eggs in that ambient humidity so I wouldn't be overly concerned. If you have a breeder that does the paperwork they are also in most likelihood also good breeders and you shouldn't have a problem with bad eggs. Just make sure the eggs don't get jostled or x-rayed on the way. Keep them as cool as possible and turn them a few times a day.
    It can sometimes get hot in airports and on planes. I would rig up a packing container with separate waterproof compartments. You can then ask the steward for ice to put in a compartment in the bag.
    Cell division begins around 80 degrees F, You want to prevent that until you get them in the bator.
    You want to keep them well below 70 degrees. The longer they'll be stored the lower the temp should be, down to about 50.
    High humidity during storage is a good thing so they don't lose too much moisture.

    As long as you can get it done, I think it is a great idea. They might be harder to find but I would go for some heat hardy birds like cubalayas, anconas, catalanas, andalusians, leghorns. Those are the most heat tolerant we have in the US. None of them go broody except the cubalaya but they are the best for hot humid conditions.
     
  5. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    I really appreciate your advice.

    I travel accross the Pacific 6 or 7 times a year and have seen real fluctuations in temperature on the plane. I have a connecting flight in Manila so I will make sure the eggs will stay cool during the transit period.

    I can get white leghorns from the California producer so I guess my first batch will be leghorns. When reading all the dramas here over bator humidity and drowning chicks I started to second guess myself. I can only try. Its a grand scheme but why not.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Try to find the most reliable breeder you can as opposed to hatchery quality.
    Most breeders should select for robust viable stock first. Strong genes, in my experience can trump incubator troubles.
    I'm planning to move to Costa Rica in a couple years and I hope to bring lots of eggs from breeds not available there so I've been researching it too.
    I'm planning to have a couple cabinet incubators running on either 12 VDC or with backup generators upon import because power can be unreliable and that first hatch has to go very well.
    Let me know how things work out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  7. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Power can be a huge issue. My original plan was to have my brother in law supervise or even do the incubating as he is has his bachelors in Ag. and is excellent at paying attention to detail. The problem for me is that he lives in a city that has very frequent power interruptions. My home is in a remote area but has very few power interruptions and often only for less than 20 minutes when they happen (go figure). Our temps are lows of 78 and highs of 88 most of the year so short term power losses should not be too critical in a styrobator.

    My solution is a 12V to 110V converter on a car battery. The hova bator and fan will only use about 60w at max. A 400W converter should cope for the times I am off the grid.
     
  8. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    I took a drive to Lake Elsinore today and bought a carton of 18 fertile eggs from a lady with a mixed bunch of hens and a RIR rooster. As these are my scientific "proof of concept" hatch, I am dont really mind the breed. I have homes for any successful incubations.
    They were all laid this morning.Air sacs look textbook. I will let them settle and put them in the bator tomorrow. temp in bator 99.1 humidity is only 27% dry. Ambient temp 71 humidity 55% I will fill one pot with water and see the effect before placing eggs 1-18 in.
     
  9. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    10 minutes past midnight on 11/27. temp in incubator has been stable at 99.3 - 99.8. humidity at 52% with one pot of water in hova bator and both red plugs out. EGGS ARE IN!!

    I will let water dry up and humidity drop to 30s before adding water again. Temp in bator dropped to 90 following 18 eggs at 70 degrees. its slowly warming as expected. I have a Meade thermo/hydrometer with remote sensor in bator ensure i check every time I wake to pee[​IMG]. I have the I will be rolling over and checking it often. H-21 and counting down.
     
  10. midwest

    midwest Out Of The Brooder

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    Can you get a carry on on a plane WITHOUT it being X-rayed? You can't here.
     

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