Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Selling hatching eggs  (Read 16886 times)

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Selling hatching eggs
« on: January 13, 2014, 09:47:11 pm »
So I'm hoping to sell a few hatching eggs this year and looking to pick the brains of those of you who've been there, done that (or bought for that matter):

1) Where do I buy the polystyrene boxes to post them in? Including duck eggs?
2) I was planning to sell via eBay - is that the best option?
3) If via eBay, do I set the price or should I just fix a price with Buy it Now?
4) What postal service have you used? Is Royal Mail the best option and if so, just first class or .....?

Anything else to consider? I'll be selling four different types of eggs if that's relevant - buff Orpington chickens, gold laced Orps, Cayuga ducks and Silver Appleyard ducks.

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 08:15:52 am »
For the last few years I've sold hatching eggs via ebay. It's a good way to sell them but there are some pitfalls which I'll come to in a minute.
I used to buy my egg boxes off ebay there are loads of sellers.
I always set a buy it now price rather than an auction. Ocasionally eggs will fetch a higher price but once the season gets into full swing there are so many sellers you can end up giving them away.
I always used 1st class post and never had any problems.
I've decided not to sell on ebay this year for various reasons. Partly because it's very time consuming packing eggs and getting them posted. Buyers expect it done NOW this minute. I also became frustrated with the unrealistic expectations that some buyers have. For example one complained that only 8 out of 12 had hatched. Another left negative feedback without even contacting me, I would have sorted out any problems if they had. I shouldn't be too down on it the majority are great, pay promptly and are happy with what they get but the few idiots are the ones that stick in my mind.
The other reason I've stopped is ebay and paypal's charges. They have become really excessive I think. Capped by ebay starting to charge commision on the postage and packaging fee that you charge your buyers. I think this is just taking the p155 so I'm not having any of it.
I 'll continue to sell eggs via forums and locally but ebay's not for me anymore.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 09:19:42 am »
 I used to sell hatching eggs and just put a ad in the local paper and found there was more than enough demand locally. That was 15 years ago, and I still get the odd person ringing me up to see if I have any. (I usually have a few.)
 My sister has bought several lots off ebay, from different sources and hardly any of them have hatched, or even started to hatch. This could be because the eggs were not fresh enough, not been stored or produced properly, or various other reasons. But the fact that they were from different people, so you would expect a good hatch from at least one source, led me to believe that perhaps the postal service is not a good way of transporting fertile eggs.
 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 09:48:46 am »
We sold hatching eggs on a 'collection only' basis at 2 each. If someone is serious about hatching their chosen breed and not just playing at it they will travel. We had someone expressed real interest in Leghorn Bantams, or so we thought. When they discovered we were 30 miles away and then that half the hatch would be cockerels they changed their mind!!!

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 09:49:55 am »
led me to believe that perhaps the postal service is not a good way of transporting fertile eggs.

Its definitely not.

I appreciate sometimes there is no other way but I would only advise people to use it as the VERY last resort.

I spent many years working in commercial breeding and hatcheries and great care is taken with the eggs to prevent any sudden movements which could damage them, even the lorries for transporting the eggs are fitted with specialised suspension and temperature/humidity controlled trailer units.

Eggs can certainly be securely wrapped for posting to stop the shells breaking but there is nothing that can stop them suffering shock damage internally.

it doesn't take much of a jolt for the chalazae which hold the yolk in place to become detached and stop the egg developing.



Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 10:12:33 am »
Great diagram!  :thumbsup:

That helps the understanding of why the post isnt great but then surely travelling any distance - even collected by car has a fair old risk to it.

I assume the post office handles the packages with some level of care ( sometimes) because there are eggs that hatch and survive the postal service.

If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit.

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 10:17:07 am »
I've sold eggs in the past to 'forum  mates' at the same price that I'd get for eating eggs at the gate plus carriage.

I have some friends out there with very good chickens thanks to my efforts. I love doing it and I don't begrudge them benefitting from my efforts one bit. To me, its just a hobby and all part of forum life.

That's not to say that I haven't considered selling on E-bay but I never have and never will. You're always going to get complaints whether real or made up and in just the same way, there are always going to be cheats and incompetents amongst the genuine people. Selling eggs on E-bay IMO, is far too much hassle.

Edited to say that I'd also have to be pretty desperate to buy from E-bay too.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 10:18:57 am by Bodger »

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 10:34:19 am »
Great diagram!  :thumbsup:

That helps the understanding of why the post isnt great but then surely travelling any distance - even collected by car has a fair old risk to it.

I assume the post office handles the packages with some level of care ( sometimes) because there are eggs that hatch and survive the postal service.

Someone collecting by car is usually going to be gentle with them, they'd be placed in the car and unless they go for a bit of impromptu rally driving or hit some serious potholes then the eggs aren't going to get too severe a treatment, they certainly won't be getting turned over etc.

The post on the other hand is a whole new ballgame, have you ever seen them take your parcel in the PO and DROP it into the collection sack?

Then every time it gets moved, checked, scanned, transferred etc the eggs get turned/flipped/jolted etc

The chalazae that suspend the yolk in place are basically just like two rubber bands, they suspend the yolk in place.

It is possible to twist them so tightly by turning the egg repeatedly in the one direction that they break, just like over tightening the rubber band in one of these model planes.

Thats the reason when turning eggs during incubation, its better to mark them on either side and turn them back and forward the same way between the marks, it stops the chalazae tightening up and breaking.

Certainly it does work, I regularly see people reporting 100% fertility/hatch rates from posted eggs so it can be done but overall there must be a decrease in the hatch rates to varying degrees in posted eggs


lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 10:39:11 am »
I wouldnt buy postal eggs again if I couldnt help it. Hatch rate went from 20% via postal eggs to 98% using non-postal. unfortunately now, ebay is really geared in the favour of the buyer so personally think selling eggs on eBay wouldn't be worth the hassle.

fwiw the best packaged eggs I had (the best hatch) was from eggs wrapped in kitchen towel, put in an egg box that was also padded with cotton wool, which was then put in a cardboard box with more packing-didnt have much luck with the polystyrene packaging. I got 9 chicks from 16 that time.

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 10:49:39 am »
Before 9/11, every year I used to send hatching eggs to my mate in NYS America. I always sent them at Easter time, always marked them as Easter eggs, they always got through and he always got a 50% or more hatch rate. So while travelling long distances must have an effect on the eggs, it certainly isn't the be all and end all. There are other factors at work too. Its also down to how you look after your breeding stock, how you store and then pack the eggs and what the would be hatcher does at the other end. There are many many imponderables when it comes to buying and selling hatching eggs.

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 11:02:20 am »
Thats certainly true but nothing will have a greater effect on the hatch rates than being bumped about in transit or the effects of temperature and humidity etc.

Hatchings eggs should be stored point down and a decrease in hatch rates will be seen in eggs which aren't, even though they are stored in otherwise perfect conditions.

Once they are posted there is no control over what way up they are, so that alone can make a difference.

I have actually considered buying some through the post myself so I would have certainly tried it had I not managed to source some nearer home.

But yes, as you say there are many factors, I see sellers blaming buyers for poor hatching practices and buyers blaming sellers for infertile eggs etc but I suspect the majority of the problems they have are caused by the actual transporting of the eggs themselves.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 11:25:12 am »
I don't see a problem I have stock in the north of England and durum .egg boxes pact in a box .Just had some from durum I look at it if I'm after a cock bird and I get 3 that's fine I push for 12 if you're eggs are sent 50 to 100 miles all will be OK .post curia post  is better for over 12 eggs  next day should be the one 6 pound and 12pound post  about 10 pound .I had 53 breeds with 5 hens and 2 cocks  the better the stock the more you will get .My best was chocolate or pingtons 12 made 27 pound .If you had large silk is i would say 12 to 15 pound.when I was winning the shows I would put a tray in the Mart 50 pound  plus  .There are 6 breeds that will sell like hot cakes .Silver lace wyndotts 2 pound each silkis large blue black white 2 pound Marians dark egg only 1.50 each copper blue Scots dumpy and good roads and the best sex Link legbars and copper tops if the stock is good you could make 25 pound a day sale days 100 no problem 2 cocks in a group of 5 geese I paid 35 for pilgrims west of England 40 so 1 big pen of silkies 15 hens and 2 cocks 12 eggs 20 pound a pop gum tree face book etc .I have the national and federation winners pend up together 1 egg from them would be 10 each 60 for 6 good luck.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 01:32:03 pm by Victorian Farmer »

NicandChic

  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 11:27:26 am »
I bought some on Friday via ebay, not expecting much due to time of year and as mentioned above, but they were very well wrapped, outer layer of 'fragile tape' this way up etc, all eggs packaged the right way up. I've just left them in a cool dark room to settle. It's our very first time so I'm not expecting great success if I get 2 out of 12 I will be a happy new chick mum. I went for eggs that were at 'buy it now' due to watching and setting a minimum bid on a few eggs they went for ridiculous sums (had the buyers gone direct to the sellers website they could of bought twice the amount for less - ebay - 6 eggs 32!! Website 12 eggs 20) anyway!
I'm quite excited to give it a go! Postage for the 12 eggs we bought was 4.50 next day delivery via Royal Mail.
Good luck on your venture  :)

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 11:27:52 am »
I've bought from ebay many times. You get what you get. We've had 100% on a batch of silkies and utter failure on others. Luck of the draw. I suspect you are not only contending with the post but also the care the seller has taken to make sure they are fertile, or even the right breed. We've had all kinds of mungrels but also some very nice birds so it's a matter of getting to know who are the good sellers. We bought some legbar eggs last year that were tiny and not one hatched. One was fertile but it wasn't strong enough to get out. Pullet eggs I guess.

If buying postal eggs I would always expect about 50% success, that seems to be what we get on average. I will be selling some on ebay this year but then I run an eBay business anyway with over 100k feedback (not poultry related) so am well used to dealing with those 'special' customers. My advice would be to set up a dedicated egg selling ID, don't use your main one as feedback may get trashed. Also consider selling something small like leg rings or whatever just to keep the feedback ticking and the averages up.

As for packing, the few we have sent in the post go in a standard egg box with some 'eco flo' which is like poly chips but softer in there to stop them rattling. Then into a double walled A4 box filled with more eco flo. You could swap the eco flow for scrunched up or shredded paper maybe? Never had any complaints. I don't personally like those poly box things, I think they would transmit far more shock than my method.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Selling hatching eggs
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 11:38:37 am »
As sterio said boxes I don't like the polastirene box ether.

 

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