What's your success rate using shipped hatching eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lceh, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    Central Virginia
    My DD wants to hatch some SQ bantam Ameraucana eggs this coming spring, so I'm getting ready to get on a waiting list for hatching eggs from a breeder in the midwest. We've never hatched eggs before. We would like to ultimately end up with at least 6 chicks, although more is of course better! Is there a standard success rate on hatching shipped eggs? I was assuming maybe a 50% hatch rate. I'd hate to drop $50 on a dozen eggs and shipping and end up with no chicks due to "scrambled" eggs or other shipping hardships. We're hoping to put them under a broody silkie, although I know someone who will incubate them for us if she doesn't go broody at the right time.... Thanks for any advice!
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    It's like Las Vegas....Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. There are things you can do to help ensure the best possible hatch from shipped eggs---find out how the shipper is packing them, make special requests for packing if you wish (some folks ask to have the box lined with aluminum foil to prevent x-ray damage), etc. Ask them to mark the box "CALL ON ARRIVAL...your phone #" so the P.O. will call you to pick them up instead of having them ride around in the mail carrier's truck. When they arrive, photograph the box, photograph them in their packing, then candle each one looking for hairline or star cracks. You can photograph the candling of any "bad" eggs to show your shipper. You are also looking to see if the air cell is at the big end. IF IT IS NOT, or if it is divided, you need to make sure to let the eggs stand in a carton with the small end down, hoping the cell will move to the top or reintegrate itself. Sometimes it will. Every 4 hours or so, you want to move the book you are using to prop up one end of the carton to the other end....it helps keep any that might attach to the shell from doing that. Oh, you are also looking to see if any of the eggs have super large air cells, which means that they are OLD. This standing is called "letting the eggs rest", and if they are FRESH eggs, they should be able to stand for a day or two before you put them in the incubator.

    Once you start them in the incubator, you're on your own

    These things won't guarantee a great hatch, but they will help you know what to expect, and you can photograph those that candle badly and ask the shipper to replace them, especially if there was damage to the box or if they weren't packed carefully.

    Best hatching luck to you!
  3. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    my best was 50% hatch. i have read on here from 0 to 80% hatched. its really just a gamble with shipped eggs. that also makes for some very high dollar chicks...........
  4. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    I think it depends a lot on location and packing techniques. I have had excellent (80%) hatches on eggs from MA, 0% on eggs from NY & PA, and 50% on eggs from MI & OH. I think certain post offices (like NY, Chicago, PA) are intentionally rough on boxes marked "fragile". Now I don't buy eggs from those locations. Not the sellers' faults, it is the post offices. JMO. [​IMG]
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    It's always a gamble. My worst was 0 out of 18 and my best was 11 out of 13.
  6. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    My worst was 2 of 48 nearly 300 dollars with shipping. OUCH The best was 10 of 12. Its gambling dont count your chickens before they hatch
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've done two hatches in my hovabator. Both times I got a 30% hatch.

    Better than nothing I suppose!
  8. neferset

    neferset Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I've had 0%. I've had 30%. I've had 100%. It's one of those things.
  9. kooltex

    kooltex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    NE Tx
    Ive had 0% once, but I usually have about 50% hatch rate most the time. Like everyone has said, its a gamble.
  10. Bravo

    Bravo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    Can you see if you can purchase the eggs locally (or semi-locally)? I have had great success hatching eggs this way. We have family friends that have several breeds of chickens and my eggs from them have had a wonderful hatch rate. The first time I set 5 eggs and 5 hatched, the last time was in October when I set 22 eggs and 21 hatched. The best part was they were all free!

    Sometimes it might be worth a couple hour drive for a better success rate.

    Best of luck!

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