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ChickEGG PACKAGINGChick

SHIPPING HATCHING EGGS

Our motto is "Pack eggs for a customer the way we would want them packed if they were were being shipped to us.

In shipping hatching eggs, the primary concerns are these:

1. No movement of the egg in the carton.
2. No movement of the egg carton inside the shipping box.
3. Adequate padding inside the egg carton, and adequate padding surrounding the cartons on all sides of the box to prevent any movement.

We start with a 5 gallon bucket full of pine shavings, a stack of egg cartons, rolls of 12" and 24" wide bubble wrap in 1/4" and 1/2" bubble sizes, several packaging tape dispensers, and a variety of different size boxes. 

SHIPPING BOXES

We use USPS Priority Mail shipping boxes available free from the US Postal Service online at:
http://supplies.usps.gov. The larger box (#7) is  12"x12"x8".  This box will hold a maximum of 2 dozen chicken sized eggs in cartons, or 6 dozen quail eggs.  We also use smaller (#4) 6"x6"x6" box which will hold a maximum of 2 dozen quail eggs.

How we pack quail eggs:

Quail egg packaging is done using Chukar/Pheasant egg flats wrapped in bubble wrap. 

Click Here to see our current Quail Egg Packaging

or 

Click Here to see our past Quail Egg Packaging
 

Step 1:

Some people ship hatching eggs individually rolled in bubble wrap, but we use egg cartons because we feel it provides much better protection. We usually use paper mache egg cartons but styrofoam cartons are being used for these pictures.  Either type works well, but the paper mache are a bit stronger.  We place two handfuls of shavings in an empty carton and using a finger, make a "nest" for each egg.  With larger eggs, of course, we must use fewer shavings to leave room for the eggs. With large Barred Rock or Rhode Island Red eggs, we may put very few shavings under the egg, but rely on the shavings in step 3 below to immobilize and protect the eggs.

Egg Carton with Pine Shavings
Step 2:

We then nestle each egg in it's 'nest' in the carton making sure there are enough shavings to keep the egg stable and protected on all sides.  We rotate the egg left and right until it's snugly settled in the shavings.

By the way, each egg is marked with a breed code and date laid. (see "BREEDS" page for breed codes)


eggs nestled in pine shavings
Step 3:

Once the eggs are secure in their padded 'seats', we pile on another couple of handfuls of shavings making sure all the eggs are covered, even the ones in the ends on the carton.  We use enough shavings to insure that when the cover of the carton is closed, the carton will be well filled with shavings, holding the eggs securely in place.  In the case of large eggs, the carton may not close enough to 'snap' shut, in either case we close it as far as possible and tape it securely.

An added benefit of using the shavings is that if an egg does get broken, the shavings keep the released egg white and yolk contained and protect other eggs in the carton from becoming soiled.

cover the eggs with more pine shavings
Step 4:

We then seal the carton all the way around with wide packaging tape to be sure it doesn't come open, and wrap it with two or three layers of large bubble (1/2" thick) bubble wrap.  We use a wide enough piece of bubble wrap to leave about 3-4 inches of wrap on each end of the carton.  We then wrap the ends closed to protect the ends of the carton and tape them.  In this manner the eggs are not only protected from jarring, but the bubble wrap tends to retain the ambient conditions surrounding the eggs and may help prevent the eggs from freezing if not exposed for too long a period. 

carton rolled in bubble wrap
Step 5:

We first pad the bottom of an OVERSIZED shipping box (usually 12"x15"x10") with about 2 inches of either bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts, a foam rubber pad or other suitable padding material.  The egg carton, in it's bubble wrap 'cocoon', is then placed in the center of the carton and additional bubble wrap or other 'filler' is packed tightly around the carton on all sides.  Additional layers of bubble wrap or other filler is then placed on top of the carton, so that there can be no movement of the carton when the box is sealed.

 

egg cartons in shipping box
Step 6:

The box is then closed and shaken lightly to insure there is no movement of the carton within the box.  It is taped securely on all open edges with 2" wide packaging tape.  The shipping label is affixed to the top and covered completely with clear tape to protect it from being smudged or torn off during shipping.  EACH SIDE of the box is then marked with a large red FRAGILE - HATCHING EGGS label.  A copy of our NPIP certification is included in each shipment, either inside with the egg cartons or in a "Packing List Enclosed" envelope on the outside of the box.

We've recently designed graphic 2" x 4" warning labels that we print on our color inkjet printer.  They have a cute baby chick graphic and the BOLD RED text: "UNBORN BABIES" - "AVOID HEAT, COLD, SHAKING".  The P.O. personnel took notice of it immediately, and this will surely help to keep the package safer in transit.

package ready fro shipping
Step 7:

We pack most hatching eggs on Sunday evenings
and ship them via United States Postal Service Priority Mail on Mondays.  Here, 20 shipments of eggs wait on the hall floor for Justine to take them to the Kempner, Texas Post Office in the morning.  This is a heavy load as we usually have 10-15 shipments go out on a Monday, then two or three more on Tuesday and Wednesday.

We never ship hatching eggs on Thursday, Friday or Saturday because of the risk of them being left in a hot or cold truck or mail handling facility over the weekend.  We usually ship craft eggs all week long because hatchability is not an issue.

We always follow up with our customers letting them know by email when their eggs ship and when they should expect them.  We also ask that they inform us of when and how they arrive.  We VERY seldom have an egg broken.

20 Egg shipments ready for the Post Office
Shipping label
Here are two of the shipping labels we recently designed and use on our egg shipments.
Shipping Label
They seem to attract the attention of Post Office personnel and may help to get the eggs to their destination safely.

Click HERE to see our Quail Egg Packaging
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| NPIP Certificate | Tour the Farm | Personal Photos | Affiliations | Auctions | Poultry FAQ | Poultry Glossary | Poultry Book Store |
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This page last updated 30 May 2004 - Copyright © 2000-2004  Pete Theer - All Rights Reserved