When buying eggs online...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hd_darcy, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. hd_darcy

    hd_darcy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    How many do you purchase? I would really only like 3 chicks... However, I know I need to purchase much more than that. I recently just failed at hatching 14 eggs. Only one made it [​IMG] I'm going to give it one more try before selling my bator! I don't like this much disappointment [​IMG] Anyway, how many would be wise to order?? TIA!
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Order enough that you get plenty to keep. I might start with a dozen. Half will be roos, & you may loose a few.
  3. mothersin2ition

    mothersin2ition Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Othello, WA
    I just ordered a dozen last week, and Im now down to 4. At this rate, I'll be surprised if any hatch [​IMG]
    Id say order a dozen at least.
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Think of it this way- most people over order on shipped eggs. Why? Because so many things go wrong.

    Consider the breeder/Seller- you don't know the condition they keep the chickens unless you are able to go to their farm and look and even then you can't be sure. They may be feeding them something that makes the shells tough or porous. They may not actually have good fertility. They may be holding onto the eggs for longer than they say they are, which means you may be getting them older than is best for hatching. I'm not saying all or even any of these are true, but they are considerations that MAY be true.

    Consider the act of shipping- your eggs depend on proper packaging to protect them from shipping. It will take at least 2 days to get to you (adding to how-ever long the seller had them on hand). In this two days they will be put through a sorter, tumbled, tossed, jostled, shaken, and otherwise abused. They may be subjected to x-ray. They may be subjected to heat or cold- and the heat may start them on incubation early. And if your seller decides putting 'hatching eggs' on the outside of the package, there's a bonus risk of the idiots of the world shaking the box to hear the chicks peep because they think hatching means the eggs are hatching in the box.

    Consider incubation- Now your shipped eggs have arrived. You have no way of knowing if they started incubation so you should probably put them straight into the incubator while the weather is hot, without turning them for 24 hours. From this point on, their fate is in YOUR hands to do everything right. But nothing ever goes 'everything right'. You have to watch for temps to vary, humidity to vary... those air cells may be loose from shipping. You have to turn them right. Lockdown right. And the chicks have to actually have the strength to get out of their eggs.

    Consider after hatch- At this point, you're probably down to the average hatch for shipped eggs: 30-60% of your original eggs- if you are lucky. Now you get to see who survives the first week from the hatched babies. You may lose some to not being smart enough to eat, or drowning in the water dish or eating shavings or whatever other way chicks find to die. And sometimes, they just do what is called 'failure to thrive' and they die for no explicable reason. And if they all make it, if you're looking for hens only, then you're weeding out the boys for whatever is left.

    So I'd say yes, at least a dozen and if you end up with more, offer them up to friends or on BYC's buy, sell, trade area.
  5. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    I got my first order of shipped hatching eggs hoping for about 6 chicks. I ordered a dozen, figuring a 50% hatch rate (seems to be the norm from the postings on BYC). The lovely breeder sent me 18, in case some were damaged in transit or didn't make it. Out of 18, I only got 3 chicks and #3 passed within about 14 hours. Go figure! I'm trying again with some new eggies this week!

    If you aren't set on hatching your own, I know that My Pet Chicken.com sells VERY small orders of day old chicks. They use some type of special packaging that allows the chicks to stay warm. The minimum is based upon your location, but they can send as little as 3. I have never bought from them, so don't take this as a plug, just a suggestion if you know that you can only have a certain number more. I believe they can also send certain breed sexed, which might be nice if you know you only want one or the other. Good luck!

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