How to send eggs safely through the post

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I use a mixture of cubes and polyboxes myself. However, whatever method is adopted, it is not enough just to make sure that the shells are intact. Inside there is a yolk with a tiny fertile embryo on it. There is also an air sac at the top end of the egg. The air sac grows with each passing day and because of the shape of the egg the membrane between the egg contents and the air space gets bigger, so more vulnerable to breakage. When newly laid there is almost no air space at all.

Firstly, you need to have healthy and well-nourished birds for good shell contents. Then the egg needs to be really fresh so the air sac is small and the breakage of the membrane in the post is less likely.  In order to preserve the viability of the egg I believe it is necessary to ensure that when the egg is shaken about in the post, the whole shock is not transferred to the inside of it. This means that in my view, eggs should not be packed too tightly. A balance between packing firmly enough to prevent breakage, but loosely enough to allow slight movement, needs to be struck.
The best hatch rate I have had from posted eggs was 11/12. They travelled in a polybox which was inside a cardboard box and the space between the inner box and the outer box was filled with crumpled newspaper and straw. So you can see that the polybox was itself allowed to move slightly. I also had eggs in a polybox with no extra packing so the eggs could move a little. Got 10/12 (although mostly boys, sadly).

I have also received very carefully but tightly packed eggs which failed to hatch and turned out to have broken yolks.

If all else fails and one of the eggs breaks, it can ruin the others even if they are intact, just be contaminating the others and getting into the pores of the eggshell. I like to ensure that each egg is wrapped individually so that if the worst happens and an egg breaks, all the others still have a chance.

Another important factor which people don't seem to think about, is which way up they are when they travel. While you cannot be 100% certain about this, their best chance of travelling unscathed is to be narrow (pointy) end down, wide end upward. Well, that's my opinion anyway.I know that some people now send them on their sides and I have no experience of this, but whenever I have received eggs which travelled upside down, I have not had a single embryo develop or candle fertile at 7 days.  The best way to try to ensure they travel the right way up is to keep track of which way up you have the box when you stick on the label. If using a polybox, I mark the top of the box with a big T before sealing it up with tape because at that point you can get confused about where you started. Then I make sure I put the label over that T. It is more likely they will get put into the postbag with the label side up, after all. So far my packing methods have resulted in good fertility and hatch rates, so I recommend this.
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