#1 – Obtain Eggs from you Own Flock
Primarily, there are three ways to obtain hatching eggs – namely, a nest box (an obvious source), brick-and-mortar locations or farms within your own community, and online. Naturally, if you obtain your eggs from your own flock of roosters and hens, you can guarantee fertility. If you have birds of the same breed, then you can produce purebred offspring, meaning that the birds will be bred to standard, or per the rules established by the American Poultry Association, or APA. If you are a serious breeder then, you’ll want to follow the guidelines established by the APA. Choose birds for breeding purposes that exhibit the right color of plumage, leg color, and proper tail feather alignment.
#2 – Obtain Hatching Eggs from Local Sources
You can also find hatching eggs through sources locally, such as an area feed store or from a breeder in your community. Because eggs have increased hatchability when they are stored at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, refrigerated eggs are not the best eggs to use for hatching.
A Local Source for Beginners
However, if you haven’t hatched chicken eggs before, then buying fertile eggs from the local grocery is not necessarily out of the question, especially since the eggs can be purchased at an affordable price. At least, buying these starter hatching eggs can give you the practice you need to hatch eggs in the future. Although buying fertile eggs at a grocery is usually not recommended, it certainly can’t hurt to use the eggs if you’ve never hatched eggs before.
#3 – Buy Eggs Online
You can also locate hatching eggs on sites such as HatchingEggs.net, eBay or Craigslist. However, if you choose these resources, make sure the eggs come from a flock that has been NPIP-certified. NPIP stands for the National Poultry Improvement Plan – a proven endorsement that shows a bird is disease-free. If a bird is NPIP-certified then, the seller will have the paperwork and reference number necessary to demonstrate to buyers that the hatching eggs are derived from healthy birds. So, make sure that you purchase hatching eggs that come from NPIP-recommended birds so you’ll avoid any health issues in this regard.
Buying Eggs from Breeders Online
If you are looking for hatching eggs from a certain breed, then it’s best to phone or email a breed club to find what breeders ship eggs. You can also contact hatcheries that provide hatching eggs from a number of breeds, which can save you from contacting different breeders for different eggs.
One Point to Keep in Mind about Hatching Eggs
If you choose to have your hatching eggs shipped to you, then keep in mind that, by doing so, hatchability decreases to 50%. That’s 30% less than the percentage of hatchability for eggs bought from local farms or feed stores or obtained from nest boxes So, before you excitedly start setting eggs in trays, understand that the results may fall short of what you are anticipating. Needless to say, hatching eggs is simply not an undertaking for those who can become easily discouraged.