It's critically important that the eggs you put into the incubator are as healthy as they can be.
They should come from a healthy flock, 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, the problems you may face if you buy some to be sent through the post and the potential solutions to those issues.
Obviously, the fresher the eggs, the more chance of a successful hatch. The longer you keep them, the more their fertility declines.
But eggs can still be viable up to three weeks after they've been laid, provided they're kept in the right conditions. Here's how:
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. Excellent!
But - now what?
This series of articles will guide you through the process of caring for your eggs to make sure they have the best possible chance of hatching into healthy chicks.