Tips for a good hatch rate for shipped eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickletteSarge, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. chickletteSarge

    chickletteSarge Songster

    May 12, 2012
    houston, tx
    i recently had 2dz eggs shipped to me, one from here in TX and another from NY. out of the 2dz only 5 hatched! i know i need to work on my incubation methods bt i want to know what everyone that normally has eggs shipped to them... this was my first batch of shipped eggs and i would lie to continue buying eggs but i dont want to buy good heritage breed eggs that run 30-50 a dz and only have 2 or 3 hatch out of them!
    please share your secrets!!!

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'll post to give my 2 cents and also to bookmark this. Have some more shipped eggs coming to me also and any tips are always a good thing.

    First and foremost, shipped eggs are a gamble with the handling of postal system. I've had perfectly packaged shipped eggs from same source twice and one had a few cracked eggs leaking yolk. We are talking perfectly packaged, you can only imagine a free fall of over 5 ft being able to crack eggs that are individually bubble wrapped in a box stuffed full of peanuts. And I've had perfectly packaged eggs from different source but same direction travel (up East coast) and still only 25% hatch rate. My thought is trying eggs from the West this time will have better luck.

    So my luck is bad but still have some advice. When unpacking the eggs store them in an egg carton fat side up and let stand for 24 hours. You can candle after that and check the air cells, if they are not in right place (detached) then you should not turn the eggs for a few days but can start incubating if you like keeping the eggs upright, fat side up.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Here is my only recommendation.

    Master your incubator first. Hatch known good, fertile, fresh local eggs first. Really know the near "perfect" combination of heat and humidity, turning, incubator location, and all the rest. There are already 50 variables even if scientists from the CDC handed you the perfect eggs to incubate.

    I've gotten low 40 percent hatch rates from eggs right from my own nest from known fertile eggs!! For pity sake. Once I got my own techniques down and hatch rates exceed 75%, then I'm ready to tackle the trickier shipped eggs. Experienced hatchers who can run 80% hatch rates often match that with shipped eggs. If the planets line up.

    If they don't? Then and only then do they maybe know that their shipper sent old eggs, less than fertile or less than vibrant eggs, or maybe that the post office played soccer with the shipping, or they froze in an unheated truck, or that they cooked in a hot transfer station.

    Point is that the variables we're talking about here are VAST. Sometimes, we have to narrow things down to even come up with a good guess at pointing fingers at the issues.
  4. chickletteSarge

    chickletteSarge Songster

    May 12, 2012
    houston, tx
    thanks i didnt let my eggs settle before i set them so i will do that next time!
    i did hatch 80-85% of my own eggs my girls gave us...
    im runnin 2 LGs one with a turner and the other without...
    i have heard that the LGs suck worse than well they just suck... lol i havent had any complaints! but i would like to have a good hatch with shipped eggs! lol i know there isnt a fool proof way to get a good hatch with them due to the handling the postal service puts them thru...
  5. Bill 101

    Bill 101 Chirping

    Feb 1, 2013
    There are no secrets . IMHO, there are no eggs worth more than $20/doz. Most of them are only worth $12 MAX. Forget about those that advertise "Rare", most aren't. Heritage are nothing more than birds that have been raised in the U.S. , some for 100 years or more. What has made them more expensive has been the buyer. They are willing to pay & the suppliers are taking advantage of that fact BUT, the fact is, the buyer is taking ALL the risk, the supplier gets off scott free with the disclaimer. There is no proof the supplier ships fertile eggs. That's not to say that there aren't suppliers that ry. They might be able to hatch their own eggs very well, but shipping does bad things to eggs. The further they are shipped the less chance they have.

    In addition to this most people incubating eggs don't really know how. They assume it's easy, it's not They buy an incubator or build one that is even worse, & assume they can hatch. There is a lot more to it than sticking eggs into an incubator. If you can't maintain a constant heat within a very narrow range, if you can't maintain constant humidity within the a range that's acceptable for the are in which you live & you don't supply the proper amount of venting & turn regularly, eggs simply won't/can't hatch. The other thing necessary is calibrating your thermometers. The average thermometer is not very accurate, it doesn't have to be. Most advertise an accuracy of +/- 2 degrees, but if you look at those in most stores you will see different temperatures on all or most of them. They simply aren't made for the accuracy necessary to hatch eggs. Even those that come in incubators are not very accurate, some are just junk.. There are VERY accurate thermometers specially made for accuracy, most aren't cheap. I had one on a large incubator that was a Micro-processor, man was it accurate. When it went out (burnt board) I checked into buying a replacement. It was $500. I have others, The 6" ones that come from Lyon Incubator are excellent. The ones from Kessler Instrument are also excellent. Both are accurate to 1/2 degree. I also use the thermometers as wet bulbs for humidity readings.
    I have ALWAYS use the recommendations for setting & maintaining my incubators that came with my incubator, I have never had a problem, but they aren't cheap either. They are all forced air, solid state electronic heat control, automatic turning units. The venting on them can't be changed. They are per-drilled holes in the dome of the units. I have taped off some when I wanted to up the humidity a couple of points, but normally don't mess with them

    To make a long story short, the only thing I can recommend for the best hatches is ---- ACCURACY

    For all of you that ship eggs, if you want to criticize, you go right ahead. [​IMG]
  6. Noncentzter

    Noncentzter Songster

    Nov 17, 2009
    Southern Oregon Coast
  7. Wow, Bill, tough words about those that may have some very unique birds,
    & thank goodness that they do sell & ship hatching eggs for those of us
    that dont live nearby so that we may get an opportunity to improve our flocks!

    Sarge, Fred and Egghead have made some very good points..... & I have been
    following Fred's posts, btw.

    Here is what happened to me recently.
    My first purchase of hatching eggs this season didnt go so well.
    I had a couple dozen of my own eggs sitting on the counter for my control group.
    My counter eggs were just sitting there about 2-3 days - collected around the time of my purchase.
    The ordered eggs were being shipped from Illinois, and I expected them in about 4 days.
    Those 4 days came and went, & then another week later I had to go out of
    town for a death in the family, so the old counter eggs went into the bator, on Feb 2nd.
    Still no eggs in the mail. My DH calls me on the 6th saying the eggs had come in.
    I knew that they were probably no good, since I figured they were scrambled and
    frozen, which they were. But into the bator they went but none developed. This package
    was well marked & I will always ask for no tell-tale signs going forward.
    My old counter eggs hatched 19 chicks, with a dickey, internal turner & absolutely no water added the entire time. I have gone to dry hatching, even in our bone dry climate.
    Some may even call me crazy for going dry.

    I didnt even want a new shipment, even tho this BYC seller offered
    because she felt so badly. I am not sure when I will want to purchase
    more eggs. But my wish list : some black shulbert phoenix eggs from Boggy Bottom,
    (I had a good hatch from his eggs late last spring), some SQ sumatras,
    and a few more hackle eggs from fly fisher. Also been drooling over some of those Duckworth
    line of barred rocks.
    I also had a very bad hatch (no chicks) from 3 separate shipments later in
    the year. The best time of year is coming up, for the eggs
    in the spring time are more robust, & more
    expensive since alot of people know this.

    I was reading this article
    from By Robert Blosl, I believe another BYC'er, who recomends
    travelling to pick up eggs or, order some young 4 week old birds & have them
    shipped overnight. Guess I need to start lurking and following Robert's post too.

    And I gave up on LGs. If you are getting good hatches from them,
    YOU are VERY lucky. I dont trust them with shipped eggs.

    Hopefully others will chime in on this too
    Good luck Sarge, & see ya around!

  8. chickletteSarge

    chickletteSarge Songster

    May 12, 2012
    houston, tx
    honestly im thinkin i will wait to have another shipment of eggs till i finally get a broody hen! i have about 5-6 "broody" breeds that i can have set a cluch of shipped eggs... i am doing some driving to pick up some eggs and chicks this month and i hope that works better than shipping as i will pack the eggs in a pelican case!
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT

    My last shipped were set with my own eggs in incubator.and I achieved over 80% with my eggs, that was the same incubation my shipped eggs got less than 25%.
  10. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    The only way to get really good quality birds where I live is to get hatching eggs - and yes, I think there are plenty of eggs out there worth more than $12. Guess everyone has an opinion, though.

    You might want to read through Sally Sunshine's hatching guide, it has lots of very helpful information for all hatchers new and old,including Shipped Eggs instructions. Good luck and don't get discouraged, shipped eggs are always a gamble, but I have hatched out some truly special birds that way.

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