Packaging and Shipping Hatch Eggs
Q: How do you package the hatching eggs?
A: This works for me, because even though I am shipping eggs with a high fertility rate, shipping through the USPS can be extremely rough on the eggs. Here are my means of how I package my eggs for shipping. I ship hatching eggs Priority with the United States Postal System.
1. Materials needed. One dozen fertile eggs, egg carton, Bubble wrap, newspaper or packing peanuts, tape, and a medium or large Priority USPS shipping box.
2. All four sides and top of box are boldly marked, making it clear which end is up and what precious items are inside.
3. Each egg is individually wrapped in bubble wrap and placed pointed end down in the carton.
4. I close the top of the carton as much as possible them securely and firmly tape it down. sometimes I wrap the carton with a layer or two of large bubble wrap that is taped into place.
5. Now comes time to put the egg carton into a bigger shipping box. Tip -the bigger the shipping box the better. I place crumbled newspaper or packaging peanuts in the bottom of the box before placing the egg carton in. I Fill around the carton (sides and top) with lots more newspaper or peanuts. You may find I use lots of packaging material to help ensure a safe and padded journey.
6. My final steps are closing the tightly packed boxed and taping it shut so I can address it and mail it to the prospective buyer. Again, marking the top of the box with stamps such as, Fragile, Rush, This End Up, and a sticker indicating that there are embryos inside.
I always ship with Delivery Confirmation! Enter label/receipt number & track your orders online easily. To check the delivery status of your order, enter the label/receipt number in the space provided below. Please make certain you enter all numbers and letters exactly as appear on your label, receipt or email.
General Q&A and Tips
Q: What is the ideal Temperature for the incubator?
A: It is recommended that temperature should be 100'F for forced-air incubators and 102'F for still-air incubators. Personally, I run my incubators at 100.5 and pleased with the results. The more familiar you are with your incubator the better, as each is different.
TIP: Watch the temperature midway through incubation as the growing chicks' body heat inside the egg can raise the temperature of the incubator slightly
Q: What should I do to prepare for the eggs arrival?
A: At least two days in advance of your expected egg delivery plug in your incubator and bring it up to 99.5 degrees. Make sure temperature and humidity readings are stable for at least 24 hours before placing the eggs in the incubator.
Q: Is there anything I can use to keep the humidity level up?
A: Buy the O-Cello Sponges are your local grocery or discount store. If you have an incubator with reservoirs in the bottom such, as the Little Giant incubator, cut the sponges so pieces fit into the space and add water. You can also just simply put a sponge in the bottom of the incubator and it will help hold water. Use the O-Cello Sponges because they are made of antibacterial material.
Q: How do can I add water for humidity without opening the incubator often.
A: Buy aquarium tubing and a Bulb Sucker (or Aspirator) at your local discount store. You will find the Bulb Sucker in the infant area. Determine how long your tube needs to be, cut and attach it to the tip of the Sucker Bulb. You can keep filtered or distilled water in a gallon jug and submerge the tube into the water and squeeze the Sucker Bulb until it's filled. From the top of your incubator open one of the air holes and insert the tubing to where you want to add moisture and squeeze the Sucker Bulb to dispense the water.
Q: I don't have an automatic egg turner. Is there anything I can use to keep my eggs in an upright position in the incubator?
A: If you don't have a turner that holds the eggs upright, and for hatching, put the eggs in egg cartons, tearing a small hole in the bottom of each cup for air flow.
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Q: How long does it take to produce fertile eggs?
A: If the rooster in a flock dies, or is removed, the hens will continue to produce fertile eggs for up to 4 weeks, depending on bird species. The period of time that fertile eggs can be produced without additional matings can carry on to several weeks. If a rooster is separated from the hens and replaced by another, it may require 3 weeks before it can be guaranteed that all eggs will produce chicks sired by the new rooster. The number of chicks sired by the new rooster will increase during this period, but some chicks sired by the old rooster could hatch. Birds like waterfowl and game birds have longer periods during which fertile eggs can be produced without matings.
Q: What should I do when the eggs arrive?
A: Open the box carefully as soon as you can. After opening the box allow it to set for one hour to acclimate to room temperature. Open the carton and slowly remove the eggs and unwrap them placing them back into the carton, small end down, and allow them to sit out of direct sunlight at room temperature for 24 hours.
TIP: After the eggs have set at room temperature for 24 hours candle them before putting them into the incubator. Fresh eggs will have a small air cell and eggs incubated 5 to 7 days a larger air cell. Also check for blood rings.
Q: Will eggs with damaged air cells develop?
A: I have personally never been able to get a chick out of an egg with a damaged (unattached) air cell but here is my suggestions. Set them in the upright position in your incubator for 7 days without turning them. What this will do and it doesn't hurt the hatchability of the eggs is it allows the embryo to start growing and get some strength. If the air cells were shattered in shipping this makes them stay to the top of the egg in their normal position. It won't fix the problem but it will give your eggs a better chance of hatching.
TIP: If you don't have a turner that holds the eggs upright, and for hatching, put the eggs in egg cartons, tearing a small hole in the bottom of each cup for air flow.
Q: Can I incubate an egg with a small crack in it?
A: Yes. If there is a slight crack, but the egg has not leaked, get some cheap nail polish and mend the crack. Keep the band of polish narrow, but put on two coats. The real cheap stuff is runny and will seep into the crack and seal it. Quite a few of these eggs do hatch. The 12 to 24 hours time to settle is really important, as it allows the embryo to heal from slight damage and go on to make a normal chick that goes to term.
Q: Should I clean the eggs before putting them in the incubator?
A: I clean hatching eggs with lukewarm water applied to a sponge to gently remove debris. It is not recommended to heavily clean eggs prior to incubating because it can damage the viability of the embryo, as you could remove the egg's natural protective coating.
Q: Are the eggs fresh when you package and ship them?
A: I do not send out eggs more than three days old. Although it is said eggs can be successfully stored for up to 10 days prior to incubation.
Q: How do you store hatching eggs prior to packaging and shipment?
A: Eggs are collected many times through out the day. If need be any debris is lightly removed from the shell. Eggs are are then stored , large end up, in a cool, humid area. I prefer to use a room downstairs. Ideal temperature is 55'F with 75% humidity. Eggs are also turned twice a day by rocking them slightly from one said to the other. Eggs are bubble wrapped only minutes before packing them into the box for shipping.
Q: What color of chicks can I expect to get from your Blue, Black, & Splash pen of Silkies?
A: Keep in mind this is the average of what you will get from color crossing.blue x blue = 1/2 blue 1/4 splash 1/4 black
blue x splash = 1/2 blue 1/2 splash
splash x splash = 100% splash
blue x black = 1/2 blue 1/2 black
splash x black = all blue