Fertile Hatching Eggs Tips and FAQ

Hatching Eggs FAQ

Have  questions about ordering hatching eggs or our process?  Check out our FAQ section here >

Fertile Egg Hatching and Incubation Tips

Read about how we incubate eggs and some tips for handling/ unpacking your fertile eggs by clicking here >

 

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. Because we keep a small flock of chickens there is usually a waiting list for fertile eggs. When you place your order you will be notified of the expected wait time or alternatively you may email us to inquire about waitlist expectancies for certain breeds.




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. There are several factors outside of our control that determine whether an egg hatches: 1. Incubator Conditions- In order for an egg to hatch, it has to be kept at a very specific range of temperatures, humidity, and turned the appropriate times of day. These factors are out of our control as they are controlled by you with your own incubator. 2. Shipping and Handling- Shipped eggs go through a tremendous amount of stress due to rough handling and temperature fluctations that often affect the egg's ability to hatch at all EVEN if kept in perfect conditions in the incubator. Hatch rates are widely variable but with most shipped eggs you are lucky to get a 50% hatch rate. We DO guarantee that your eggs are fertile and are the breed that you ordered. We also guarantee that they come from healthy parents that are cared for with humane practices.




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. We label the boxes clearly with fragile to encourage gentle handling. Even with the best packaging methods, there is still a chance for rough handling by the post office that is out of our control which is why we can't guarantee your eggs will arrive intact. We do include a few "freebies" or extra eggs in addition to the quantity that you ordered to make up for some eggs that may have arrived broken or intact eggs that do not hatch due to rough handling.




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. We are not able to ship eggs out of the United States.




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. After we ship your egg order it usually will take 2-3 days for them to arrive to your post office. When the eggs arrive at your post office, you will be contact by phone to let you know the eggs are ready for pick up. They will call the phone number you provide during check out so insure this number is correct. The post office will not deliver the eggs to your home address, you will need to pick the eggs up from your local post office.




What should I do with my eggs once they arrive?


When you bring your egg package home we recommend that you follow these steps: 1. Wash your hands first to insure there are no oils on your skin that can be transferred to the eggs. 2. Carefully remove the eggs and inspect each one. Ideally, candling the eggs to insure no hairline cracks are present and that the air cells have not become detached. More info on candling eggs and detached air cells here. Discard any eggs that have cracks or are broken from shipping. 3. Place the intact eggs in a clean, dry egg carton with the large end of the egg pointing up. 4. Keep the eggs in a cool place ( 55-65*F) for at least 24 hours before placing them in the incubator to allow the interior contents of the egg to settle from shipping. 5. Place your eggs with large end up in your incubator and begin incubating as usual.





 

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. 

Humidity.

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.

ideal humidity:

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. 

Hatching Process.

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.  

CONTACT US

Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542

  • Facebook - Black Circle

Copyright 2019          Penland Family Farms

  • Instagram - Black Circle