viability of shipped eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by williamsl77, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just curious... being new to hatching... If you buy shipped eggs, what is the expectation for how old the eggs are when shipped (for viability purposes). I've bought several batches, all from different people, doing staggered hatch. Only one shipment came completely labeled with dates (all within 2-3 days prior to shipping). The others, while not labeled, mostly said that the eggs were all laid within 2-3 days before being shipped. I had one shipment of 9 eggs where only two of the eggs had dates on them and that particular date was a full 7 days prior to being shipped (so 9 days old by the time I got them). Of the 5 batches of eggs I ordered, here is the summary:

    Shipment #1, 0/9 developed (some eggs 7 days old when shipped, many aircells intact)
    Shipment #2, 3/8 developing and are going into lockdown soon (all eggs labeled within 2-3 days of being shipped, many aircells intact)
    Shipment #3, 4/46 developing (these looked like they were drop kicked at the post office, box totally beat up, aircells mostly detached or downright scrambled, none labeled for date)
    Shipment #4, 11/18 developing good batch (none labeled for date, most aircells intact)
    Shipment #5 9/18 developing (none labeled for date, many intact aircells, some detached)
    Group #6 not shipped, local friend's eggs 7/8 developing (laid last 2-3 days before being set)

    Anyway... I'm just curious what the expectations are... I wasn't complaining, but the person checked in from Shipment #1 (which was nice) and I explained that they might have been too old. I'm guessing by her response that she doesn't agree. She said she's had an egg hatch out that was 3 weeks old before being incubated. (I wonder if it was shipped, too.....) I wasn't asking for any sort of refund or anything. Just telling her what happened. Who knows? Maybe I fried them or candled them too much or something. They were the first eggs I put in and my rate does seem to have mostly gone up with each batch. I did have some temp fluctations with the first batch that I didn't have with other batches. Shipments #1 and 2 went into the incubator together and 3/8 are going into lockdown on Christmas day from Shipment #2. So I didn't fry them all.

    I have read plenty of threads here that say viability generally goes down 7-10 days after being laid. Many auctions state that eggs will be shipped within 2-3 days of being laid. I really didn't know to look for that when I started picking my eggs out. This was just an observation with the eggs as I received them and watched what happened. Is this a reasonable observation? I'm not saying that for sure those eggs being old is why none developed. I only know that two of them were old. But I feel like it's reasonable to assume that some of the other eggs were not laid 2-3 days before shipping, either. Shipments #1 and #2 had a lot of good aircells, while Shipment #3 really looked like the PO did A LOT of damage. Shipment #5 was lost by the PO for 3 days and it still had a pretty descent number of eggs developing on Day 10. AND maybe it was just plain 'ol bad luck. But being older probably didn't help.

    Anyway... I'm not asking for anything to be refunded. I know shipped eggs are a gamble. I would not buy eggs from this person again, mostly because of this person's defensiveness and less-than-helpfulness, especially compared to the other really great interactions I've had with everyone else I've bought eggs from. Even Shipment #5, which when I thought it was really, really lost, said she would be willing to "work something out" if there wasn't a good hatch because of being lost for a few days, which wasn't even her fault. Of course, 50% of those eggs are developing, so it's great.

    So... vent and end vent.
     
  2. Dingo

    Dingo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most auctions I've seen collect the day of shipping or the day prior to shipping. Generally a 40% hatch rate of shipped eggs is considered a success, but less is possible depending on how they're handled. Handling upon arrival can influence hatch rate as well. But I would be happy with most of those numbers.
     
  3. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Dingo, for your thoughts. That is what I thought, too.

    And I AM happy with most of these results.

    I guess all I'm really saying about Shipment #1 is that being older probably didn't help those eggs. I also did not let those eggs sit for the full 24 hours before I put them in the incubator. I only let shipment 1 and 2 sit for about 18 hours before putting them in. Since I am learning, I am documenting everything so I can try to see if there is anything that makes a difference. After receiving the disasterous shipment #3, that's where I started to figure out how to help shipped eggs a little more.

    Anyway.... I'm over it. Not going to worry too much. There are way too many other great people to get eggs from.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  4. quailmale

    quailmale Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do mostly Quail eggs and the closer to home when shipped the better, less time for the PO to kick them around. I have had up to an 85% hatch and down to 45%, the 45 was from Tennessee and I'm in Fla. the 85 was only 200 miles away. And now that the PO is X-raying everything it don't help none. So you got temps-distance-xray-handling it's a wonder any live. Also when I recieve them I do not put them into the bator for 24 hours I'm told this lets them settle and assume room temp.
     
  5. franklinstreetwest

    franklinstreetwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's a real crap shoot for me so far... there really are a lot of variables to take into consideration! What if a rooster doesn't perform the same with his flock? What if a hen is having some dietary issue that leaves the eggs weaker, and they don't develope. I've gotten some eggs that look like they are so calcium deprived they could have come from the supermarket!! They rarely develope and even rarer do they hatch. Maybe they went from a heat wave 1000 miles away that started incubation...by the time they got to me, the viability of the embryos was trashed...

    I'm in Michigan...

    Weirder yet, I got eggs from texas once, took four days to ship... of 18, fourteen of them were viable and didn't "quit". They were shipped in my EARLY spring, when weather is still a big risk! Lord knows what the truck that shipped them drove through???

    Recently, I bought eggs that were shipped no more than 400 miles from me in Indiana. It should've been practicly an overnight ship after the auction...7 days later I inquired about the eggs...2 days after that I received the eggs AFTER a holiday (the seller forgot about sadly that was a seller from here). Of 24 eggs, NONE of one breed developed, 6 total hatched. I cracked the eggs, and most of them had signs of embryos, but for some reason were not healthy enough to continue development.

    The very last egg purchase I made was a local one... The guy had a pair of polish that he said was still laying. The hen laid 4 eggs, I told him I would buy whatever she laid until the date that I made it to pick them up. It turned out there were only the initial 4, and they must have sat on the kitchen counter for at least two weeks before I made it. All four made it past the first two weeks of development. One, my broody hen broke. The other three she abandonned and I rescued after sitting til they were bone chilled. Those three are in the bator right now, two of which are peeping and pipping! Happy day!!


    Moral of the story.... shipped eggs can really suck!!! I don't think that my bad luck with shipped eggs is the fault of the sellers....even the one that I just had the horrible luck with! The conditions that they are subjected to by shipping is terrible. I have noticed that if I buy eggs when both my climate and the place they are coming from are having mild weather, and the place isn't more than half the country away....I get a good hatch rate generally. Even that isn't a rule....
     
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have little experience but.... hey its an internet forum.


    I won an auction for 12 mixed EE/BCM eggs recieved 16 eggs. They were kinda dirty so I decided to clean before incubation. One of the shell was weak and I broke it when cleaning it.

    3 did not develope (2 seemed infertile, 1 was definately fertile).

    so 12 went into lockdown. I currently have 10 healthy hatched chicks.

    If I only ended up with the 5 to 6 out of 12 bought I'd be happy. I also made lots of mistakes myself and I am using a Little giant which isn't considered a great incubator either.

    I'll update you tomorrow on the 'final' hatch. 10 for a paid 12 is not bad at all even 10 for 15 isn't bad I blame myself for the breakage not the shipper. I chose to wash the eggs and I pushed firmly when cleaning.

    Edited to update numbers
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  7. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, good luck kizanne with your hatch!!

    As far as the hatch rate goes, I'm not saying those not developing were the seller's fault. I'm simply saying if they are past 7 days old when I get them AND they've been shipped, I don't feel like they have as much of a chance to beat the odds. And I'm only saying that because that's what I've been reading here. It could have been several factors of what I did, too. As a buyer, I guess I feel that if I had known I wouldn't get getting fresher eggs, I might not have been willing to buy eggs that old, especially when that doesn't seem like the standard thing to do.... whether or not they were bonus eggs. And I didn't know that mattered when I bought the eggs anyway, so I am really just chaulking it up part of the learning curve.

    And just because... I totally forgot about one of my shipments... It went in with shipment #3 and has a rate of 5/7 developing. So honestly, I feel pretty good about most of these starts. And now just to see how the hatch itself goes. If it goes well, I could have up to 38 chicks!! (I'm staying AWAY from auctions for now!! Haha!)

    I do appreciate everyone who weighed in. I want to be fair and peaceful about it. It is what it is, is all.
     
  8. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No I think sellers should ship fresh eggs, and I think most do.
     
  9. Barbedwirecat

    Barbedwirecat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see most people including myself getting about 40%-50% hatch rate. I try not to order from people who have eggs over 4 days old when shipped. I did recently hatch some from my personal flock that were about 8 days old (4 were 8 days, and then 7, 6, etc) and had 11/11 hatch. The way they are handled during shipping and if they are allowed to rest after shipping has a bit to do with hatch rate. I allow 12 hours rest, then pop them in the incubator.

    I order twice as many eggs as I expect to hatch. [​IMG]
     
  10. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, as chicken math goes... I had only intended on Shipments 1-3. When the big shipment #3 arrived so beat up and I didn't think ANY would be viable (only 4 out of 46 grew anything), that was when I ordered sets #4 and 5. I wasn't planning on group 6. Those were a lucky bonus from someone local. I don't even want to add up how many eggs I started with and am now hoping for all my healthy ones to hatch as close to 100% as possible, which would mean 38 chicks. Whew! I am definitely addicted and I'm really just starting. I'm going to have to find homes for some of these chicks, but I already have interested friends. And of course, I am already planning another new coop. Or two.

    Oh, here's to loving chickens. Soooo hoping they hatch ok.
     

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