It's critically important that the eggs you put into the incubator are as healthy as they can be.
They should come from healthy hens, be stored at optimum temperatures, be transported as smoothly as possible and left for a number of hours before being set in the incubator.
It's not always possible to collect eggs from a supplier locally - you may need to have them sent by post.
How should they be treated when they arrive?
Or perhaps you want to start a small business supplying other people, in which case you'll inevitably need to send some of your own eggs by post.
In that case, you'll need to know exactly what the best conditions are to transport hatching eggs from one place to another - within or even outside your own country.
And how long can eggs last between collection and incubation, anyway?
In this article I answer six commonly asked questions about transporting hatching eggs, from optimum storage to the problems you may face if you order some to be delivered by mail. I also suggest potential solutions to those issues.
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Obviously, the fresher the eggs, the more chance of a successful hatch. The longer you keep them, the more their fertility declines.
Most experts agree that eggs are best set in the incubator within a week of being laid. I have successfully hatched eggs up to three weeks after they've been laid, so it's obviously not ideal but it is possible - provided they're kept in the right conditions.
For more detailed information about storing fertile eggs, take a look at this article.
For detailed information about transporting eggs by plane, see this page.
So you've safely taken charge of your soon-to-be-baby chicks. You've made sure the eggs have no cracks, and allowed them to rest after their journey.
So now what?
This series of articles will guide you through the process of caring for your eggs, from the point of delivery right up to the point of incubation.
Following the guide will make sure they have the best possible chance of hatching into healthy chicks.