How do I know eggs are fertile?
We have a great fertility record. Our cockerel to hen ratio is very good and the birds are wormed regularly. They are healthy, well cared for and we feed them on specialist natural breeder pellets to help improve the eggs which ensures that the chicks are strong and healthy.
Please do not assume that the eggs were not fertile if you get a disappointing hatch. We regularly and randomly inspect the eggs for fertility by breaking open an egg for a visual inspection. We then have a lovely fried egg for breakfast. We also regularly check the viability of our eggs by hatching from our own breeding groups. This confirms the fertility of each of our stud Cockerels.
Should I wash my eggs?
Upon collection/delivery, our eggs will be unwashed – we feel this is highly important to maintain viability. There are many arguments for and against the washing of eggs. We have had success with both methods but you have to know what you are doing when washing.
We know of a local commercial game hatchery that washes and disinfects all their eggs before incubating and has very high hatching rates. They however know what they are doing and wash temperature is critical to this process. They also have incredibly sanitary environments so removing some or all of the egg bloom means that there is no effect on the egg, as it does not need the protection to fight the entry of bacteria. We tend to think that Mother Nature has got it right and will not wash the egg. If an egg is really dirty we will just not hatch from it.
Why are the eggs from a specialist breeder a bit more expensive?
We believe you generally get what you pay for in life. We put a lot of work into ensuring our breeding birds are from the best available lines and in peak condition. We only select the very best eggs for hatching. The extra care and attention is, we feel, worth the extra cost.
How old are the eggs when shipped?
They are very fresh. They were laid either the day we ship or a day or 2 before. If you order a lot, some will be a little older while we collect them for you. We do usually have eggs available for each breed but in rare cases it can take up to 2 weeks for delivery. If you would like to check the availability of our hatching eggs before ordering please contact us. If we cannot fulfil your order we will of course give you a full refund. Once we have received your order we will contact you within 48 hours to confirm the details and date you can expect your eggs.
While collecting to fulfil an order the eggs are stored in our basement, which maintains a cool temperature all year round. They are also turned on a daily basis to maintain viability.
What happens when I receive my eggs?
Once you have received your hatching eggs it is recommended that you let the eggs rest for 24 hours, in a cool room once they have arrived. Bring them up to room temperature before incubation or placing under your broody hen.
When does Day 1 of incubation start?
Your countdown for days of incubation starts when you put your eggs in your incubator or under a broody hen. It does not start when the hen lays the egg.
How long are incubation times?
If they go past their 21 day due date, do not panic as some chicks can come often come out a day or two late.
Why should I try to collect eggs from the farm if possible?
When it comes to hatching eggs, collecting them directly from us is always preferable if you can as it not only enables you to see the birds but it also means that you can keep an eye on the eggs from the point of collection to the point they are put in the incubator or under a broody hen. It might seem common sense but when you collect the eggs we make sure they are packed securely and are safe from rattling around on the journey home. Excessive shaking can addle the eggs or cause the air sac to become displaced. Also don’t leave them in a place where they might be subject to direct sunlight such as the front seat, or excessive heat such as a glove box or car boot as this can result in the eggs warming up and the incubation process starting or worse still, cooking the contents. In fact to be on the safe side it’s probably best they are place in a cool box if the journey is going to be a long one.