The Great Egg Shipping Experiment!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Wisher1000, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I have been a serious chicken geek for five years. I have designed and built coops, bought and brooded day-olds, treated illnesses, fought preditors, and hatched chicks under a broody and in an incubator. There are still things that I haven't done, some I want to do, some I don't.

    One thing I wanted to try was shipped eggs, but I could see the potential for losing money or eggs or both if you don't know what you were doing. I seized an opportunity to experiment and will share my experiences here.

    Ron was interested in the Marans/EE eggs and I began collecting those a week prior to the ship date. I told him I would try to ship in a few days, but there were not quite enough Marans eggs to suit me, so I collected through the weekend until I had enough (18). Some of the eggs, including the best colored one, had been collected a few days prior to my decision to grant them hatching egg status. That means that they were older and had not been turned systematically, but they were also not left to sit undistrubed. My eggs sit in three baskets (two are for collecting eggs from the nest boxes one is for storage) on my counter for a few days and are often moved from one container to another as one empty basket is taken to the coop and boys select the ones they want to fry. The temp in our home runs to the low side, I'd estimate 60*- 64*. I wish (there I go again) that I had marked the eggs with the date they were laid so that that could be factored into the hatch rate. Next time.

    SCG wanted a variety and that made it easy for me. I segregated all the eggs laid on Sunday and Monday (23) and used the 'prop and swap' method to turn them while waiting to be packaged to ship. I selected the eggs that were larger than a pullet's egg but smaller than the ones my "old ladies" lay. I ended up with 15 to send to Maine. I included one nice Marans egg in her bunch (sorry Ron) just because they make such handsome roos and if it is a hen, which she will likely keep as a layer, it will either be pure BCM and lay nice dark eggs, or it will be an Olive Egger! (IF it hatches.)

    It just occured to me that I am quite optimistic on the hatchability of all of them!

    Generally speaking, I feed 16% layer pellets (free choice,) provide crushed oyster shell (free choice) and my flock free ranges as far as they care to go from 6:30am to whenever they decide to put themselves up at dusk (spoiled rotten chickens.) There are currently two roosters for 28 hens so I will be interested in the fertility rate on the eggs. If the roosters' deterimation is an accurate indicator, they should all be fertile. [​IMG]

    After some research, I packed and shipped some BCM/EE crossed eggs to a Ronott1 in California and an assortment (BO, EE, SLW, and BCM) to a Superchemicalgirl in Maine. I used this method http://www.skylinepoultry.com/Packing___shipping_eggs.html (mostly) and I incorporated some touches of my own.

    I did some things right and some things wrong.

    Right - I rolled each egg in bubble wrap and marked the direction of the small end.
    - I used shredded paper (waste from work) as filler and packed it fairly tight.
    - I double boxed

    Wrong - I shipped the least expensive and slowest, method. Next time I will ship the one that guarantees a two day (or is it three day?) delivery.
    - I failed to coordinate my shipment with the weather, they went through some scary-cold temps on their trip.

    I will be updating this thread and hope that the others involved in my experiment will weigh in as well. Stay Tuned!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
    2 people like this.
  2. Peacocks05

    Peacocks05 New Egg

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    I'll be back
     
  3. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I'm the Maine recipient. I've received a bunch of shipped eggs in the past, and I have to say the method that Wisher used was one of the best I've seen. My eggs were nestled in a box, with a ton of shredded paper, and inside another box, with a bunch of shredded paper. We have had some insane temperatures around here recently (it's currently negative 10) and the eggs my chickens lay are freezing (cracking and splitting). So I was worried about getting eggs mailed. I'm of the opinion that cold is much, much better than hot for hatching eggs to be exposed to, but sub-zero is a bit of a stretch even for this Mainer. I think the shredded paper and double box helped insulate the eggs from the freezing temperatures.

    [​IMG]


    What I also liked was the box was clearly marked (and highlighted) to hold at post office and call. And they actually did. I bought other eggs with this hatch and my post office (on the same day, mind you) both delivered a box of eggs marked embryos to my mailbox (it was below freezing) and held a box at the post office, but forgot to call me to notify me.

    [​IMG]

    The eggs arrived in perfect condition:

    [​IMG]

    I could fit all but 3 into my incubator (not bad for an incubator that is supposed to hold 24 eggs), they are marked with a slash because this is a staggered hatch:

    [​IMG]

    The other 3 went into the coop under one of my hens who is not broody, but is a cold wimp and spends her days and tries to spend her nights (I usually move her to a roost) hunkered down in a nest box. So this is an experiment for me, too, to see if a non-broody hen is a good incubator stand in when necessary.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You girls GO! Clever, considerate, thoughtful, literate, and helpful!
     
  5. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i had hatched chicks from a non broody hen 8/10 .....but make sure that the chicks would be collected immediately or she will kill them and cover the nest box so she will sit on them and

    GOOD LUCK[​IMG]
     
  6. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

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    The California Report!

    The eggs from Wisher 1000 were packed just like the ones sent to Maine. My Post Office did not hold them but it was 50 degrees here yesterday.

    All of the are in great shape! I candled them and they all had good air cells in the correct place.

    This is the outer box.
    [​IMG]

    This is the inner box

    [​IMG]

    These are the eggs unwrapped!

    [​IMG]

    And these are the eggs set in the incubator!

    [​IMG]

    They are resting up right incubating and I will turn on the turner at day 4 since the air cells were in good shape. Humidity is set at 40%, so a semi dry hatch.

    Good so far!
     
  7. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I am really excited to see how these hatches go! I can't wait to see pics of candling! SCG, did you check the air cells? If so, how were they?
     
  8. pinky67

    pinky67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I am interested to see how this goes! I am on day 7 of hatching shipped silkie eggs. PA to CA. Took 4 days to reach me and she included a heat pack that was still warm upon arrival. A ll eggs were intact...most air cells had issues. Have been incubating big end up for seven days no turning. 9 of the 13 are developing (tossed one due to a crack, air bubbles and no development), a few have saddle air cells. going to start turning tonight...not sure if I will leave them upright and turn side to side or lay them flat and roll over. I guess I'll decide after I candle them tonight...[​IMG]
     
  9. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member

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    The studies I have read say to leave them big end up until day 18 and them put them on their side for lockdown.

    Good Hatching!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  10. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I did not. It's not something I do because I haven't been able to correlate it with benefit. I incubate anything (even if it's cracked if it's salvageable), and candle.

    Interestingly, 100% of my Olandsk Dwarf hatching eggs from PA (or was it NY?) had some kind of veining on Wednesday. 100% of my polish did not (from NY, or was it PA?). It's a good thing I'm not a fan of polish. At this stage in the game I can only see well through light colored shells.

    I also crack open all the eggs that don't make it to a hatched chick - so I'll report on those as well when it comes time to do that.

    My "broody" hen is still sitting on her clutch in her favorite nest box. I think she knows she's being used but is just relieved I'm finally letting her sleep in the nest box so she's acting good.
     

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