We get that question pretty frequently. There are many breeders who refuse to sell hatching eggs altogether because of the high risks involved. The truth is, there is no short answer. We would love to be able to sell hatching eggs locally because it truly takes a lot less time and effort then either of the other options:
- shipping eggs, which requires about 30+ minutes per doz to package each egg individually then as a dozen, then into a box, then label the box, then drive it to the post office, come home and email out the tracking number and shipping cost
-selling chicks for pick up or shipping, which requires us to collect eggs, find space for them in the incubator, candle them at 10 days to remove the duds, not to mention estimate how many eggs we need to incubate to get the number of chicks you want, plus the cost to run and maintain the incubator, as well as disinfect it
Unfortunately, the past has taught us that many people expect the same number of chicks as the number of eggs they buy. For example - they buy a dozen eggs, they want a dozen chicks. We have had cases in the past where 5 chicks from 6 eggs, 20 chicks from 24 eggs, were not acceptable to our customers, which of course caused a lot of stress on our part due to the fact that we clearly state the risks of hatching egg purchases on our website and order form. We do our very best to provide the best customer care possible, but sometimes it's no easy task to keep people happy!
Because unfortunately, even when hatched at home with the best of incubators, all our experience, zero travel time, eggs still don't always hatch. When you buy hatching eggs, you are not paying for chicks, you are paying for eggs that are - to the best of our knowledge - fertile. We collect eggs frequently, we test hatch at home often to make sure that fertility is high, and we keep our nestboxes and pens as clean as possible so the eggs are clean. But, mother nature is what it is and not every single egg will hatch.
We do appreciate that it costs a lot of money to ship chicks, which is why we still make hatching eggs available by shipping. Not all of our breeds are available by shipping, sometimes because they are so rare and we only have a smaller number of birds. This means we would rather give each egg the best possible chance to hatch, by hatching it at home and taking limited number of chick orders for that breed. An example is - our chocolate cuckoo orpingtons. Another example of such is when we have advertised our mauve orpingtons, because they are in the same pen as our chocolate cochin project pullets and we would hate to send you the wrong eggs!
I hope that this post will help you to understand why we avoid selling hatching eggs locally. We are willing to do so if customers are willing to accept that we can not guarantee your success with hatching out chicks. We are ALWAYS happy to take a custom chick order if the eggs are available to do so, and are also happy to give you our tricks for successful incubation, but every incubator is different and no two hatches are the same.