BY: Julia Barnes
Sharing my birds with others is one of my favorite parts of the poultry hobby. I’ve found that selling and shipping fertile eggs to people across the country is one of the best ways to promote my breeds, spread a rare breed, and simply build up my business. It’s a surprise to most people, but you can ship hatching eggs through the mail just like any other package! There are, however, many risks to shipping hatching eggs such as temperature change, humidity change, pressure change, and of course how the Post Office handles the package. Once eggs leave my hands I have no control of how the USPS treats them, but through thorough packaging I can do my best to get them to their destination in one piece. This post is going to go over the packing method for hatching eggs that I’ve found to be most successful.
- Bubble Wrap
- Shredded Paper
- Packing Tape
The first thing I do is collect eggs. I then candle all prospective eggs to look for minuscule cracks or internal imperfections, like blood or meat spots for example. I don’t ship eggs any older than a few days old so the hatchability isn’t compromised. I don’t wash the eggs (that would remove the protective bloom coating the egg), but I scrape off any bits of dirt or manure that may be present. This particular customer ordered 6 Welsh Harlequin duck eggs and 6 Saxony duck eggs, so I mark each egg according to the breed.
Next, I cut the bubble wrap into 12”x 6” strips. Then I snugly wrap each egg in a strip and tape it closed so the strip doesn’t unravel or the egg doesn’t slip out. Once all the eggs are wrapped, I put a thick layer of shredded paper down in the box. I then arrange 6 of the eggs in the box side by side. I make sure they aren’t touching the side of the box, but aren’t too close to the other eggs. The next layer of shredded paper goes in next and I make sure that there is paper filling in the spaces between the eggs and the sides of the box.
I then put the second layer of eggs in the shredded paper in the same fashion as the first. After the last eggs are in, I fill up the rest of the box with more shredded paper making sure there is no empty space. Making sure to fill the box to the brim and pack it down so there is no room for the eggs to move around at all, is key. Finally I tape up the package, write the address on the top and it’s good to go! I hope this post helps anyone who is trying their hand at shipping eggs. The first time shipping is definitely stressful, but don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it!