Although we don't ship hatching eggs at present, this is how we package them for shipping
when we do. We are always interested in seeing how others package their eggs for
shipping too, so if you've got a good method you'd like to share, send us an email!
Shipping Hatching Eggs
|STEP 1: Because when we ship eggs, we always ship
them via USPS Priority Mail, we use their free
packing materials (you shouldn't ever use them unless
you're shipping with Priority though.) From the USPS
website you can order free labels in two sizes, long
and individual. We use one of each for each egg.
Of course, you can always use packing tape.
|STEP 2: Then we take some paper towels that
we cut into squares, about six by six inches.
|STEP 3: Next, you need some bubble wrap. We
usually use the small bubbles for eggs.
|STEP 4: Then fill a Priority Mail box (also available for
free from the USPS website or your local Post Office)
about 1/3 the way full with styrofoam peanuts.
|STEP 5: Cut a strip of bubble wrap about
six inches wide (if you get the pre-perfed
kind, it's half a sheet), lay the paper towel
square on it, and put the egg in the middle.
|STEP 6: Roll the egg up in the paper towel
and bubble wrap into a tube. Take a small
label and seal the middle.
|STEP 7: Use a long label to seal the ends of
the tube, firmly but not too tightly, you
want to leave the bubbles able to cushion
|STEP 8: Place the wrapped eggs in the box
on top of the peanuts, and fill to the top
with more peanuts. You don't want the
eggs to be able to shift around in the box.
Tape, and mail!
It's important to remember to educate your buyer about how to handle shipped eggs. I always encourage buyers
to unpack the eggs, and then let them "rest" for at least 12 hours prior to setting in a cool place. This allows the
air cells to position themselves properly. About an hour or two before setting, I suggest bringing the eggs up to
the room the incubator is in, which allows the temperature to normalize before setting.
Depending on where you live, shipped eggs may be subjected to very rough treatment along the way. Opinions
differ as to whether you should put "Fragile" on the box or not. I don't do that, as I feel as if it's an invitation to
rough handling by disgruntled postal workers.
I do always insure eggs, as I feel that the insured label I put on gives them a bit of protection. But bear in mind,
most processing is done by machines, not humans, and you should pack as if the box will take a 20 foot drop,
as it might!
Buyers should have reasonable expectations of hatchability. Just because an egg is fertile when it leaves the
farm, doesn't mean it will hatch. Rough handling can break the air cells and otherwise damage viable embryos,
and result in a lower than idea hatch. I usually ship between 16 and 18 eggs in a box, and if the customer gets 12
chicks, I consider that very good. Sometimes it's not that high, and I honestly feel it's not the fault of the
shipper, but due to handling problems. Here on the farm we typically have very high hatchability percentages,
usually 95% or higher. But a shipped egg is subjected to all sorts of stress, and one can't expect that sort of
hatch rate from shipped eggs.
Over the years I've bought many shipped eggs (some very expensive!) I figure, if I were buying started chicks,
I'd be paying $6 per chick or more, and would have to buy at least 15 to 25. So hatching eggs are a bargain, and
if I get even 8 out of a shipment of 15, I feel it's a very good deal indeed (shipping alone on started birds or
chicks can run as much as $45 to $60!) But as in all things, your mileage may vary. Best of luck to you all on