Posted Eggs

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Posted Eggs

Postby Hen-Gen » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:37 am

Last year I bought a lot of posted eggs. Lavender Araucana - one hatched. Speckled Susex - none out of eighteen eggs. Tolbunt Polish - three hatched from twelve eggs but all three dead within 24 hours. At least got two Jersey Giants from twelve eggs.
I know it's not me, the incubators or the electric hens because my own eggs hatch at 97% and all thrived. It's a pain. I'll try Speckled Sussex again this year. I'm keen to get the blue gene into them so I can have red, white and blue hens. Rule Brittania!
So what are other peoples experiences? Does Special Delivery work better? Do you think there's any truth to this thing about resting the eggs when they arrive, pointy end down for 24 hours?
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby chrismahon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:52 am

We only hatched from bought eggs once Hen-Gen and never again. 6 supposedly Buff Orpington eggs gave us one deformed chick and a crossbreed. We were advised by the seller to rest the eggs for 24 hours pointed end down, but I think there is a lot more to it than that. Rough transit and bad packaging coupled with poor hygiene (dirty eggs), bad breeding stock, fertility and bad diet all play their part. Do you use an egg sanitizer solution?

Can you buy in some breeding stock instead?
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby MrsBiscuit » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:06 pm

I have never bought eggs by post, but my sense from reading is that it is a real lottery, as Chris says there are so many factors. I guess you need to trust the breeder first, but then I think you are at the mercy of the postal service. I wonder if asking a visitor to bring eggs would be safer? Not ideal I know, but maybe worth a batch buy if you can coordinate it. I think rough handling and extremes of temp are both likEly to be a major factor, and 24 hour storage pointy end down won't mitigate it sufficiently.
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby dinosaw » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:22 pm

It is a lottery. Personally I've had pretty good results, I've had 100% fertility and hatch rate before, though on one occasion it was as low as 20%. That time the breeder warned me of this as they had been testing fertility and gave me double the eggs to compensate. I've probably averaged out at about 70% hatch rate over five batches. I've always let them rest at room temperature for a day before incubating. Being up in the wilds of wanny as you are is bound to have an impact, my eggs have always been posted on Monday and received on Tuesday or Wednesday latest, if the breeder has taken a 3-4 days to harvest enough eggs then that would mean they were a maximum of a week old when incubation started. As you know the longer they sit, the worse results you can expect, so I would say it is certainly worth giving special delivery a go, if only to see if you notice an improvement. I would also say that if you are buying 18 eggs, then unless the breeder has a lot of birds, the chances the eggs are older is high, conversely if they do have a lot of birds then the chances that fertility will drop if only using one cock also goes up. I've only ever bought a maximum of 12 eggs at a time and more usually 6. I bought off eBay and checked the feedback to see what people were saying about fertility.

Edit. Just to add that when I say a maximum of 12 and normally 6, I mean per breed rather than total. I do like to fill up the incubator with the full 20!.
Last edited by dinosaw on Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby Marigold » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:29 pm

I expect it makes a day's difference if you buy from a breeder who lives as near as possible to you in Scotland. If you chose somebody down South the post would have that much further to go.
If your main aim is genetic diversity, when you were planning a trip to the mainland, would it be economic in the long run to collect some breeding stock from somewhere on the way home?
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby Hen-Gen » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:36 pm

All good points thank you. Can't get what I need here in Shetland though there are some surprises tucked away in remote crofts.
As an oldie the council give two free return trips to Scotland each year but I can't drive a car for medical reasons so unless I could find an egg seller in Aberdeen then it's a non starter. Using visitors to bring up either eggs or cockerels in their cars is certainly one I have used before but it really needs someone (in the case of cockerels) who has a Ute. Certainly anyone could bring eggs. Visitors tend to come in the summer so might have to explore that option again.
My husband did the trip in January both ways but it seemed a bit early for hatching. So if anyone is planning to holiday up here then let me know. That TV detective drama called Shetland should attract more tourists. Well, let's be honest, it makes it look like a bleak hell hole.
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby belleisa » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:55 pm

I have mostly always had posted eggs, and usually get a good hatch from them.
I usually get 4 out of 6 to hatch but for me that is fine.
And using both broody and incubated methids to hatch.
I am hoping to receive two lots of eggs next week, just waiting for proven fertility.
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Re: Posted Eggs

Postby valeriebutterley » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:28 am

Hello hen-gen,
I am a very old hand with posted eggs, I usually try and get 100% sellers, not always easy, and I have just had hatch 6 out of six mixed bantam eggs.
What the sellers say about both their birds and their eggs shows how interested and keen they are I think and that helps, also photos and the quality of their hens, and their surroundings helps.
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