What is a reasonable fertility rate to expect with purchased hatching eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AriLovesChickens, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. AriLovesChickens

    AriLovesChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In other words: if you buy a dozen eggs from a seller, do you expect them to all be fertilized? Or is it common to have up to, say, 1/3 be unfertilized?

    I have 20 eggs in the bator now, and it's day 11. There are eight eggs that I can't identify as having been fertile. A few are crystal clear; the others have mottled or dark shells that I just can't see anything specific. Then there are a few others that have the blood ring, which I guess means they were fertile but didn't develop, right? I expected that to happen, but I didn't expect to have so many questionable ones by now. Should I say anything to the seller, or does this sound common for shipped eggs?
     
  2. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

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    Well.... you can not tell if they are fertile by candling......

    Shipped eggs is about a 50% grow rate on average due to:
    Detached Air cells
    Shaken enough to break the Yoke (scrabbled)
    Cold
    Heat
    Bad voodoo by the USPS carrier :D

    I have had 100% hatches.... and I've had 1 lone chick out of 50+ eggs
    The only time I have issues is when the shipper does not pack the eggs properly.
    For some breeds, the shipping is very hard on the eggs, such as Serama's and other bantams (for me at least) this creates a low hatch rate.

    If you have clears at day 11 I would pull them and Eggtopsy (crack open) them if you want.
    Look for the detached air cell before cracking, if the air cell moves any where in the egg then that is why it did not grow.
    Sometimes a detached air cell egg will grow but it is rare and any disturbance kills the embryo.
    You will be able to tell the scrabbles right away when you crack the egg.

    Fertility this time of year can be a little off as roosters go "sterile" when it is too cold..... they might be doing the deed but nobody is swimming the channels. Least not till the weather warms up again.

    :D
    Hope this helps
     
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  3. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

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    Blood rings mean something was growing but things were broken somewhere.
    Usually bacteria has entered the egg somehow or it could be from very rough handling during shipping as well.
     
  4. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read auction feedback where people really bash sellers for infertile eggs when there really isn't any way to confirm true infertility unless eggs are broken before incubation. A lot of things can happen which prevent the egg from developing. That is why good sellers send plenty of extras, incubate their own eggs, and break open eggs on a regular basis to confirm fertility so at least a buyer has a chance of a good hatch despite shipping stress.
     
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Common for shipped eggs. A lack of development may have nothing to do with the fertility. To know if an egg is fertile you have to break it open and look for the "bulls eye" mark on the yolk. It will either be a white irregular shaped dot (tiny!)(not fertile) or a (tiny!) bulls eye circle on the surface of the yellow, indicating that it's fertile.

    Shipping is really hard on eggs. They can be exposed to heat/cold, xrays, jiggling and bumping, rough handling, ect. None of that is the seller's fault. The seller's responsibility is to ensure fertility (they should have their own hatch percentages posted if available) and that the eggs get to you without being broken open or cracked by the use of good packaging. What happens after the post office takes it is what makes it risky.

    Add in any issues with the incubation on top of the shipping process, and sometimes nothing at all will hatch. I'm tickled pink if I get 50% rates. I look for the breed I want with the largest batch available, to increase my odds of more babies. Buying 6 eggs... I'll be lucky to get 2-3 babies from it. 12 eggs, I can hope for 4-6 babies.

    I went into it naive. From my own birds, every egg I set hatched. Happy, healthy free range birds. Babies everywhere! Got out of birds, started researching more and learning about all the breeds. Saw that you could have eggs shipped right to your house! Neat! Boy was I in for a rude awakening when I was able to get back into poultry, and started buying hatching eggs to build my flock.

    100% hatch rate? Yeah, right. Try 3 babies for every dozen, that's my rate. Not like I'm new to incubating either. I still do it though, but I really research the seller if I can. I won't buy only 4 or 6 eggs either, I want as many as possible in that box to increase my odds.

    Right now I have 6 of 10 eggs in lockdown... but I had issues with incubation this time. But 6 of 10 shipped eggs in lockdown? Fantastic!

    After all the hatching eggs I've bought, I've gotten real picky on sellers.

    There's so many variables that affect hatching that it's unfair to leave seller feed back on hatch results. That makes it real easy for people to weasel in with subpar eggs, all they need to do is get them to you whole. They don't have to hatch. That's why I look for happy buyers, then track down the seller. Someone that's done all they can through proper care of the breeder birds to give those eggs the best possible chance.

    The best rate I ever had was on quail eggs. I bought 75 and had 65 hatch. I was SO happy!
     
  6. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm picky about how eggs are packed, too. I hate it when I open the box and see an egg carton in there. I have better hatch rates from shipped eggs when they arrive individually bubble wrapped. Everyone has their preference on that issue.
     
  7. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I, too, was one of those people who had 100% hatch rates from my own eggs, but only 30% +- from shipped eggs.

    I found that a lot depends on WHERE you live.

    For instance, I live in a VERY rural area and with all the post offices closing my "priority" shipments take 7-8 days to arrive.

    You can only imagine how many times my shipment gets tossed around and shoved onto storage racks to wait for the next available truck.

    It would take me 10 hours to drive to pick up my eggs but it takes the post office 8 days to deliver them.

    So I pay a lot of money for shipped eggs and low hatch rates, but once I get the birds and quantities that I want,
    I won't have to bother with getting shipped eggs anymore.
    At least that's the story I tell myself! [​IMG]
     
  8. AriLovesChickens

    AriLovesChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think these eggs were packed well. They were individually bubble wrapped inside egg cartons (so not huge eggs, and the bubble wrap wasn't super thick). I bought 20 and got two extra.

    I'll definitely be opening ones that don't hatch, and I'll attempt to figure out which weren't fertilized. I've heard about roosters losing fertility, but I figured people who are selling eggs this time of year know if their roosters are effected. :p
     
  9. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

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    one thing I when I hatch shipped eggs is that I put 2-4 local fertile eggs (mine) in the incubator too as "control" eggs..
    This means if they hatch but shipped ones do not then it was the shipping, If mine do not hatch nor the shipped ones then its the incubator I have to deal with....

    It just helps figure out the problem if there was a problem.
     
  10. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ship hatching eggs and I buy hatching eggs. I want to know how other breeders eggs respond to shipping which helps me with replying to my customers. I have very low hatch rates on eggs I have purchased. Usually 1 to 2 out of 18 eggs hatches. But even one makes me happy.

    I have been getting similar feed back on eggs I am selling to people. I always set eggs from every batch I send out. That way I know how fertility is in my breeding pens. I double bubble wrap each egg and set them in the shipping box pointy end down with two layers of bubble wrap around the edges of the box. I find there is less damage to the air cells if the eggs are shipped pointy end down.

    I never write fragile on them. That is just asking for them to be roughly handled. The eggs with the most damage have been shipped to me marked fragile on them. You have to remember postal people really don't care about your package for the most part. My mail lady is a total exception. I live down a dirt rd, a little way away from the mail box. She technically just needs to leave me a note that my package will be at the post office for me, but she will always drive to my house and put it on my porch, same care she gives everyone on her route. The substitue drive that takes over the route when her baby is sick or its her day off is another matter. Sometimes he wont even leave a note, just put packages back in the bin to go out the next day. Lazy sucker. We put a mailbox out that is big enough for most priority boxs, to make everyones life easier.


    Lanae
     

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