Shipped eggs are treated a little differently from non-shipped eggs. Here is what works for us.
*Washing eggs - people have different opinions on this. I always wash eggs before hatching, but you do have a chance of disturbing the natural coating on the egg (bloom). If you choose to wash eggs, you can use 1 capful of listerine or egg wash in a gallon of water. Make sure the water is not too hot, but is warmer than the eggs. I let them sit in the water for 4-5 minutes, then take them out. I dab off any dirt off (no rubbing) with a wet paper towel and place them on dry paper towels - do not rub the eggs dry! Let them air dry on their sides or if shipped, in a clean open egg carton.
Candle to check for cracks and loose air sacs. Air sacs can be tossed around quite a bit with shipping. Incubate all eggs, regardless of air sac quality, as long as there are no cracks. I try to label the side with the air sac, but some eggs can be difficult to determine without candling, so make sure the eggs are not sitting with the air sac at the bottom. * I try to number the end with the egg sac, but that is not guaranteed - please check that egg is set in incubator with the air sac up.
Let eggs sit quietly for 0-24 hours at room temperature. I prefer to unpack, wash, and put directly into the incubator with no turning (see step 3).
Put eggs into incubator for 2 days with no turning (follow incubator directions for temperature and humidity. We typically incubate at 100 degrees and 40-45% humidity)
Start turning eggs on day 3 - we highly suggest using an automatic egg turner.
Candle eggs at day 8 to check for embryos (handle shipped eggs as little as possible for the first week to allow the embryos the best chance to develop).
Lock down on day 16 in an upright position (we cut down egg cartons so the sides are very low and lock them down so they can easily hatch (see first photo below). Try not to handle eggs after putting them in this position - babies are getting into hatch position, and jostling can cause issues with this.
On day 19, increase humidity to 60-65%. Do NOT open the incubator with pipped eggs - babies can get shrink wrapped in the membrane. If you MUST open the incubator, use a spray bottle (aimed away from any pips) to increase humidity as you open the incubator. Babies will be fine for up to 72 hours in the incubator.
Sometimes shipped babies can need a bit of help - watch for pips that do not progress after 24 hours and zips that do not progress after 12 hours. Make sure you have researched helping chicks before you attempt assistance, as assisting can kill chicks if done incorrectly.
Expect that not all eggs that make it to lockdown will hatch. Shipping can cause many issues in development.
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