hatching shipped eggs.

Shipped Eggs

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 briefly, 1-3 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 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, if you have an upright turner.

1. You can let eggs sit quietly for 0-24 hours at room temperature. I don’t usually let them sit - I just put them directly into the incubator after washing.
2. Put eggs into the incubator for 2 days with no turning if possible (follow incubator directions for temperature and humidity. We typically incubate at 99.8-100 degrees and 40-45% humidity). WE DO NOT ADVISE DRY HATCHING. If your incubator has other eggs or another reason why you cannot keep them from turning, it will probably be fine. We’ve tried both ways and prefer a rest in the incubator, but we’ve not seen a huge difference if you start turning on day one.
3. Start turning eggs on day 3 - we highly suggest using an automatic egg turner. Upright is best for shipped eggs, but if your incubator requires that the eggs lay on their sides, that will be fine also.
4. 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).
5. 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.
6. On day 19, increase humidity to 65-70%. 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 after hatching.
7. 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.
8. Expect that not all eggs that make it to lockdown will hatch. Shipping can cause many issues in development.

Shipped Egg Guarantees

Shipped eggs are guaranteed to come from our most fertile pen(s)
and to arrive unbroken. Development and hatching rates are NOT
guaranteed, since we cannot control how the post office handles
and stores the eggs during transit. Nor can we control how eggs
are stored and incubated after arrival. We only ship eggs from pens
with excellent (over 90%) fertility from parents raised on fermented
food, kelp, vitamins, probiotics, fresh veggies, and supervised free
range time. 

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