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Tips on Hatching Shipped Eggs

This information was shared with me many moons ago. I have found it to be very useful. I hope it helps everyone else as well.


All eggs in nature are incubated flat. You'll never see a hen set them on the small end and turn them. By laying them flat and rolling them 180 degrees each time, you’re making everything inside the egg shift completely. This complete shift is called “Making the Embryo Exercise”. This will give you a stronger chick when it comes time to hatch.

The only time I'll incubate eggs in the upright position is when I get eggs shipped in. Then I incubate them in the upright position for 7 to 8 days without turning them at all and then turn them for the remainder of the 18 day period. This stabilizes the air cell and gives the embryo a better chance to start growing and get strong. You should let them rest at least 12 hours prior to incubation when you use this system. When shipped eggs that have air cell damage, it's best to have them incubate in the upright position the entire time of incubation just tipping back and forth after the first 7 to 8 days. I've taken eggs that have the air cells damaged so bad that they'll shift all the way down the side of the egg and I've gotten a good percentage of them to hatch doing it this way. This is my idea from getting hatching eggs shipped in over the years and then nothing hatching because of air cell damage. I just studied the eggs and opened tons of them that didn't hatch and came to the conclusion that to get them to hatch you first had to get the embryo growing building up strength. That was always the biggest battle. That's what blood rings are in shipped eggs. The embryo starts and then dies because it can't attach itself properly in the egg. Run your incubator with the air vents wide open. This will keep the air healthier in the incubator and keep the humidity lower. Only go by the size of the air cell in the egg to gauge the humidity in your incubator. Some eggs dry down easier than others. Marans eggs will dry down slower than Leghorn eggs. This has something to do with the egg shell but if you go by standard operating directions and run your incubators according to the incubator directions you'll have poor hatches. You have to shoot for getting the air cell size to grow up to 1/3 of the egg by the time the chicks are supposed to hatch. The smaller the air cell the wetter the chicks will be. Small air cells will lead to a lot of chicks pipping and then drowning in the eggs.

As far as the humidity goes like I said, just watch the air cells. They're what will determine if the eggs are incubating right. Sticky chicks are caused by way to much moisture in the egg. What you have to think about is all the white of the egg has to be gone when that chick is ready to pip out. Then what happens ,if it is still there, is as soon as air gets into the egg when they pip through, the white of the egg acts like glue and as they're pipping it's drying and eventually it plugs the air hole and their nostrils up and they smother.