Shipping hatching eggs is very easy. Follow the steps below for an easy to follow method. Last year we hatched out three batches of chicks and ducks from our flocks, so I know we have a fairly good fertility rate. I don’t intend to get into the hatching egg business for a few reasons. One, I don’t separate my breeds of chickens so the offspring are mutts. Second, I have enough to do already! But for the person just looking to hatch out some egg layers for their family or chickens for the table, I am happy to help. The same day that I shipped the eggs I was contacted by a local man looking for hatching eggs to use in his incubator. He and his great granddaughter are planning a chicken project together! I thought that was amazing so of course I provided eggs to him, too. I hope to get lots of feedback from both people about the hatch rate and rooster rate!
I sought some instruction on how to ship the eggs through the mail. Of course I started with a Google search. One site in particular recommended not using bubble wrap. Since I am not a big fan of plastic, I liked this approach. Unfortunately I cannot find the link now to share with you, but the pictures below are pretty much exactly what they showed in their video. There are many sources out there if you type in “shipping hatching eggs” in the search bar.
When Shipping Hatching Eggs, Choose the Best Eggs from the Nest
Step 1. Collect only the best looking eggs for use as hatching eggs. Do not use eggs with mud or feces on them. Check the shells for irregularities and try to only use egg shaped eggs! NEVER WASH EGGS FOR HATCHING!
Step 2. Gather your supplies. I used a medium flat rate box for the inner box in my shipping package. A second box, slightly larger, will be needed to place the smaller box in for shipping.
I also used packing tape, paper napkins, (cheap, thin type), egg cartons cut in half, and newspaper for cushioning.
Step 3. Cut the egg carton into two pieces, each piece having 6 egg spaces. Pick up a napkin and then place the egg into the napkin. Place the napkin and egg into the egg space in the carton with the wide end of the egg up. Seat the egg all the way into the space, without being too rough and breaking the egg.
Step 4. After the half carton is filled, I wrapped it in plain paper and secured it with the packing tape.
Fill the shipping box about half full of crumpled newspaper. Place the egg cartons into the box, nestling them into the cushioning. I was able to fit three half cartons into the medium sized priority mailing box.
Add more crumpled newspaper to cushion and fill the empty space but do not make it packed so tightly that the eggs are broken from overfilling the box. Don’t forget to add some newspaper to the top before sealing the box.
Step 5. (not pictured). Place your box inside another slightly larger cardboard box with newspaper crumpled inside for more cushioning. Seal the exterior box. Attach the shipping address label. On the outside of the box write “hatching eggs, please do not x-ray” . I wrote this on all sides.
Shipping Hatching Eggs through the USPS
At the post office the box was weighed and Fragile was stamped on the box.
I chose to use the priority shipping rate from the USPS. There was no particular reason for using USPS except that the post office is nearby. Use a fast shipping time for optimal hatch rate. When shipping hatching eggs, keep in mind that the more an egg ages the less likely it is to hatch successfully. For best results, gather the eggs from the nests and have them shipped within a couple of days. I have had some success with eggs held longer, but the fresher the better.
The eggs arrived in perfect shape! No damage, no cracks, all perfectly wrapped like when they left my house. I am very glad this method worked.