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By Shelley Davis
First off I will say that this is the way I ship eggs. This is MY OPINION, not the all-inclusive, 'my way or the highway' version of shipping. Many people have their own method for shipping, some work better than others. This is the the method I have found that is the least cost-prohibitive and the most successful.



I will list my method step-by-step, so anyone not familiar with sending or receiving hatching eggs can learn. Please, if you use a different method of shipping/packing, CREATE YOUR OWN DOC. Thank you :)



Key tips to remember:

Make sure your eggs cannot contact anything hard, like another egg or the sides of the box. This lowers the chances of cracks or breaks
Make sure your eggs cannot move inside the box or carton. This lowers the chances of cracks, breaks, and damaged air cells
Make sure your box is big enough to allow for sufficient padding. At least 1" on all sides
Don't use flat rate!


Step one: choosing your box.

I ship eggs quite often, though not quite as much as I used to. Therefore, I order Priority Mail boxes directly from the USPS website. The boxes I've used are the #4, the #7, and the Regional Rate 'A' and 'B' boxes. The ones most often used are the #4 and the RR 'A'. The boxes are free, you can order as few as 10 or as many as you need (in 10- or 25-ct. increments).
If you do not order Priority Mail boxes and don't have any 'old ones' laying around from egg shipments you've received, simply go to your local grocery or department store and find an appropriate-sized box. They just discard them, and are usually happy to share. Just remember, the bigger the box, the more filler you'll need, so keep that in mind
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, USE A PRIORITY MAIL FLAT-RATE BOX! For one, they are not as big as other boxes offered by the USPS (large flat-rate box is 12"x12"x5" where the #7 is 12"x12"x8") and they almost always cost more to send than shipping at the 'regular' priority rate.


Step two: wrapping your eggs

I use egg cartons, plain and simple. When I first started receiving eggs for hatching through the US mail, I would cringe every time I opened a box and saw an egg carton. That's because, out of all methods I had experienced, eggs shipped in cartons almost always had damage. Over the years, I have come to realize why. It seems that most people think that egg cartons are enough protection for eggs. In some cases, this may be true. But remember that an egg carton purchased holding a dozen 'Large' eggs probably won't seat your bantam eggs so well. Also, eggs from egg producers are generally uniform in size, making the cartons 'one size fits one' as far as the egg size goes. So your interpretation of a 'large' egg might not be the same as a 'large' egg that the carton was designed for. So just remember, even if you use an egg carton, the eggs need PADDING.
For 6+ eggs, I use 1/2 of an 18-count egg carton. Usually, I send 7-9 eggs on a 6+ order. I wrap each of the eggs in some kind of paper--toilet, newspaper, paper towel, etc--and put one egg per cup in the carton. Wrapping each egg individually helps keep them from moving; movement is BAD in shipped eggs!
Fold the bottom (pointy end) of the paper over the side of the egg; this will help the keep the egg from rocking in the cup. Leave the top of the paper 'open' and standing up.
Once each egg is wrapped so that it doesn't move inside the cup, I close the carton and check to make sure that the 'top' of the paper is high enough so it gets smushed down by the carton top. This keeps the egg in the cup, limiting the upward movement of the egg in case the box gets turned upside down. I usually turn the carton over and look to see if the eggs can move. If they can, add a bit more crumpled paper on top of the eggs inside the carton. Use crumpled paper so it takes up more space (i.e.--uses less paper).
After you have securely packed your eggs in the carton, use a strong tape to secure the carton.


Step three: Packing your box

to ensure the safety of your eggs, you want to make sure they have sufficient padding. Again, this it to keep them from moving inside the box, but also to cushion them from impact
fill the bottom of the box with shredded or crumpled paper (I do not recommend using 'packing peanuts' or the large 'bubbles', they can't be packed very tight and allow too much movement).
After you fill the bottom of the box with paper, place your carton inside. Place more paper around all 4 sides of the carton, making sure not to pack too tight. Tight packing is much the same as the eggs touching the sides--doesn't give much padding.
After padding around your carton, fill the remainder of the box with paper. Again, don't pack too tightly, you want some room for 'cushion'.
Seal up the box with tape, apply your label (or write the name and address of the receiver on the box), apply postage, and send them on their way :)
 
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