Fertile Hatching Eggs Tips and FAQ
FERTILE HATCHING EGGS FAQ
What are fertile hatching eggs?
Fertile hatching eggs are eggs that have been collected and handled in a way to allow the eggs to hatch when using an incubator. This requires a more specialized process including keeping them at optimum temperatures, turning them multiple times a day and not washing the eggs to preserve their quality and capability for hatching.
How do I purchase fertile hatching eggs?
We have an online store through our website that you may purchase the eggs through. You can set up an account to get updates on the status of your order and when they are expected to ship.
Is there a wait list for hatching eggs?
There usually is a wait list and some breeds may be only offered certain times of year. This is because we only keep a small flock of chickens for each breed that we offer. Depending on the time of year and amount of interest the wait list ranges between a few weeks to a few months.
Do you guarantee your fertile hatching eggs to hatch?
Like most chicken breeding farms, we can not guarantee our fertile eggs will hatch in your incubator.
How do you package your eggs for shipping? Will the eggs arrive intact?
Each egg is individually wrapped in bubble wrap and then packed tightly with the additional eggs of your order inside a small box. We use a double box system to package our eggs. This means that the small box is then placed inside a larger box and is secured for no movement using packing material. We have found this to be the most successful way to ship eggs.
How much does it cost to ship the hatching eggs to me?
Shipping depends on the area of the country that we are shipping your eggs. Shipping ranges from $15-$25 depending on your location.
Do you ship hatching eggs to my state or country?
We ship eggs to the continental 48 United States. Some states have additional requirements for importing eggs into the state which could affect the price of shipping or length of wait time for your eggs. Once your order is placed, if you are in a state requiring additonal requirements for chicken egg import we will contact you.
What is the shipping process and how long will it take my shipped eggs to arrive?
Our eggs are shipped USPS priority mail. When your order ships you will be provided a tracking number.
What should I do with my eggs once they arrive?
When you bring your egg package home we recommend that you follow these steps:
Tips for Incubating Our Chicken Eggs
Wondering what to do once you bring your eggs home from the post office? Before unpacking your eggs, we recommend reading the FAQ section above which explains how to unpack your eggs.
There are many methods for incubating eggs. The tips listed below are our own tips based on what has worked for us when incubating at our farm. You may need to make some adjustments depending on the type of incubator you are using at the climate that you live in.
Temperature of Incubator.
The first steps in incubating eggs start before your eggs arrive. Make sure your incubator has been turned on and is running with stable temperatures for several days before your eggs arrive. The incubator temp should however around 99.5*F. Make sure you have several accurate thermometers to check the temperature in your incubator that can be viewed without opening the incubator.
We use the dry incubation/ hatch method. This means that the humidity is much lower than standard recommendations or instructions. We have had very good success with this method especially with dark marans eggs which are notoriously difficult to incubate. Make sure to have the humidity also regulated for several days before putting eggs in the incubator.
20-30% for the first 18 days
60-70% for the last 3 days
To track that your eggs are being kept at ideal humidity, they should be candled at day 7, 14 and 18 to insure the air cell is the appropriate size. As the embryo grows inside the egg, the air cell should be come larger allowing the chick enough air to breath as it begins the hatching process. A rough diagram below illustrates how large the air cell should be at respective days of candling during incubation.
If the air cell is larger than the illustration at the respective day- your humidity is too low, increase it slightly ( 5-10%) until the next time you candle. If the air cells is smaller than the illustration on the respective day- your humidity is too high- decrease the humidity slightly (5-10%) until the next time you candle.
Egg Position/ Turning.
Most have automatic egg turners these days which is fine to use. If you are hand turning, make sure to turn at least 3 times a day and only an odd number of turns per day. It is best turn hatch shipped eggs with the large end up position in an automatic turner.
On day 18 begins "lock down". This is the time to turn off your automatic egg turner (and place eggs laying flat to hatch on the floor of the incubator). You'll also want to adjust the humidity upwards to the 60-70% range to insure the hatching chicks do not get stuck to their embryo lining while hatching.
You will be tempted to open the incubator to help hatching chicks or remove chicks right after they have hatched. DO NOT. It is ideal if you can use some tubing and syringe to add additional water to the incubator so you don't even have to open the lid for this purpose. Right before chicks hatch they absorb their yolk sac which feeds them and hydrates them for 3 days after they have saved. They don't need to eat or drink during this time and can stay in the incubator.
You may be worried about recently hatched chicks knocking the unhatched eggs around if left in the incubator but this actually helps mimic how chicks hatch naturally under the mother hen. The chirping of recently hatched chicks and knocking into the unhatched eggs helps stimulant the unhatched chicks to keep working to get out of their shells.
Generally eggs will all hatch within 1-2 days of each other. After 2 days have passed and no more chicks have hatched or once all of your eggs have hatched- you may open your incubator, remove the fully dried/ fluffed up chicks and move them to their pre setup brooder.
**These instructions are in no way meant to be all inclusive or the only way to hatch chicks, they are simply the method that we have had success with at our farm.