Placing Your Order
We highly recommend creating an account with us when ordering hatching eggs. This allows you to login anytime to view the status of your order or any notes placed on your order, such as when you are next on the waiting list, when your order has shipped and tracking information on your package.
As orders for hatching eggs are placed, eggs are gathered separately each day and carefully stored to keep the air cell in it’s proper position. When the order is complete, the eggs will be packaged and shipped to your local post office. When the eggs arrive at the post office, you will be notified via the phone number you provide during your checkout/registration process with us. The package will be held at the post office until you pick them up. It will NOT be delivered to your front door.
This process of gathering specific eggs that are ideal for hatching (such as: clean eggs, no large pores or calcium deposits, no double-yolkers, nice air cell, and of course the best coloring) can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks before your eggs are shipped. Please be patient. We will be sure to communicate fully during this process.
Because we are a small farm breeder and NOT a large scale hatchery, our supply can be limited at times. Our breeding birds are not kept confined in cages and are allowed to free range on their own fresh pasture whenever they please, just like our other flocks. We believe that just because we are using their eggs for hatching, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still live the lavish and peaceful life of a farm chicken. Treating our breeding flock(s) this way creates happy hens and healthy offspring and increases the hatching rate of our fertile eggs. The downside of this freedom, however, is that even with our careful precautions and best efforts, these birds are still susceptible to prey attacks and we do lose a few of our breeding hens per year. During a time of low supply or large amounts of orders we are filling, we will have waiting lists available to allow you to still purchase hatching eggs if you are willing to wait in line for these exceptionally healthy eggs.
CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY: Please note that orders placed on a waiting list cannot be refunded after one week of purchase. If you need to cancel your order that is on a waiting list, for any reason, please do so within one week of placing your order. Orders cancelled within the one week time period will receive a full refund. Orders cancelled beyond one week will not be refunded because your order/name has taken up a spot that another customer could have had, and we may already be gathering eggs for your order by that time. If the eggs we have started saving for your order cannot immediately be sent to another customer instead, the eggs have to be tossed as they will become too old. Therefore, we cannot issue refunds after this period of time. We appreciate your understanding on this. By placing an order for Hatching Eggs, you automatically agree to this refund policy.
We take great care to ensure the eggs are as safe as possible during their journey from our farm to your home. Each egg is wrapped individually in a double layer of bubble wrap. The wrapped eggs are grouped together in a flower or honeycomb pattern to create a stronger structure for shipping and then “pressure packed” inside a small box. The small boxes are then placed into a larger shipping box and padded to avoid any movement. Our egg boxes are filled and padded with wood shavings because we have found this is the best material for keeping the eggs as safe as possible during shipping. The wood shavings can be reused in your chicken coops or chick brooders if you’d like.
With all of the preventative precautions we take for careful handling of our shipping boxes, once the package leaves our care and is handed over to the postal carrier, we have no control over how the box is actually handled. We make sure to label the outside of the box as best we can to keep the box upright and handled carefully during shipping. Still, there are bound to be eggs that arrive cracked, broken or crushed despite our best efforts because that is just the nature of mailing fragile items. Please do report these instances to us and send pictures if you can, so that we can investigate what may have happened and further improve our shipping methods.
Note: we do not offer refunds for eggs that arrive damaged and can offer no guarantee that all eggs will arrive intact after they leave our hands. We do try to include a few “extra” eggs in each order if we have any available to increase your hatching odds and to make up for any that may arrive cracked or broken.
Unpacking Your Eggs
- Make sure to wash your hands before handling the eggs as you don’t want any oils from your skin clogging the tiny pores on the egg shells
- Carefully unwrap each egg and set them into an egg carton FAT SIDE OF EGG UP. The larger end of the egg is where the air cell is located and if it moved or detached during shipping, letting the egg settle and rest can help get it back to its proper position before incubating. Do NOT lay an egg with a detached air cell on it’s side. Keep egg upright and slightly tilted
- You’ll notice our marking(s) on each egg “TLB” for Three Little Blackbirds and an abbreviation of the breed. Before preparing the eggs for shipping, we candle each egg to check for a healthy air cell and mark the breed on the side where the air cell is located. We recommend you candle each egg again, before you incubate or place under a broody hen, to check the air cell is still located where we marked and hasn’t shifted during shipping
- Inspect each egg carefully for any hairline fractures that may have occurred during shipping – if found, discard any of these eggs
- Leave the eggs in a cool environment (65-70 degrees is ideal) to settle for 24 hours after unpacking them
Our Available Breeds
Our current offerings for hatching eggs are as follows…
Olive Eggers are a mixed breed created by crossing a blue egg layer with a dark brown egg layer for the first generation. Consecutive generations of this cross are Olive Egger hens that are back crossed to a dark brown layer and sometimes a blue or green egg layer to improve the color of the offspring eggs. Our Olive Egger hens are anywhere from F4 (4th generation) to F10 (10th generation) and are a mixed flock of our Olive Eggers bred here at TLB. The Olive Egger chicks usually hatch yellowish-white, some with small black spots or can also be all black and closely resemble a Black Copper Marans chick. They can have single combs, pea combs and modified pea combs.
Eggs can be a light olive to a very deep olive, deep brownish green or very dark golden brown.
Roosters of this mixed breed are usually all white or white with black color leakage, but can also be black and copper and closely resemble a Black Copper Marans rooster. Easier to tell the Black OEs apart from a BCM rooster if they have a pea comb, but if the black OE rooster has a single comb it will be very hard to distinguish between the two breeds if you are hatching both together. We recommend separating the eggs during hatch (the jailed method) and immediately banding the legs of newly hatched chicks until you can tell the two breeds apart.
Hens of this mixed breed can be all black with copper hackle feathers (be careful as these hens can look very similar to a French Black Copper Marans hen, if they have a pea comb they will lay green eggs) white, white with black leakage. Hens should have a pea comb but can sometimes have a single comb and will therefore lay brown eggs instead of olive (these unique mustard brown eggs are still a beautiful addition to a diversely colored egg basket). Feathered feet.
Easter Eggers are a mixed breed and are defined by any chicken that lays a colored egg anywhere from blue, mint green, light blueish green and sometimes even pink.
Roosters of this mixed breed are quite large and are some of the most beautiful and unusually colored/patterned birds. They should have a pea comb, cheek muffs and beards.
Hens of this mixed breed can be many different colors but are usually all black, gray, or white with colored (copper, gray, black) leakage. Hens should have a pea comb, cheek muffs and beards.
FRENCH BLACK COPPER MARANS
This breed originated in France and is named after the historic port town of Marans.
The TLB FBCM flock is a purebred line of birds with no hatchery bloodlines. Our flock is a combination of bloodlines from Bev Davis, Little Peddlers Marans and Frasier Creek Farm in Oregon. FBCM chicks hatch black with white bellies and mixed black and white faces, lightly feathered shanks and toes.
Our roosters are from a specific batch of FBCM eggs that we hatched last year where the hens of that same breeding laid eggs that were consistently a 7-8 on the Marans Scale. Even though some of our new hens from 2016 are laying eggs slightly lighter (a 4-6), the roosters genes for egg color make the next generation of the hens eggs even darker and richer in color than the hatching eggs you will receive.
We are constantly working to further improve our FBCM flock. We breed for temperament and overall health as number 1 priority, egg color as number 2 priority, and breed SOP (Standard of Perfection) as number 3 priority. Breeding for dark egg color alone can result in birds that lack appropriate temperament or display disqualifying physical features. We strive to breed to the French standard AND consistently desirable egg color.
Eggs can be solid dark chocolate brown, dark reddish brown or any of the above with speckles. A pullet’s eggs when she first comes into lay will be the darkest and will gradually lighten in color until her first molt, after which they will become dark again. We don’t use a hens eggs for hatching until she has laid dark eggs consistently for around 4 weeks for this very reason.
If you’ve seen some pictures on social media of our very dark chocolate eggs, please keep in mind that these our from our new generation of young pullets (from the 2016 breeding described above). These are NOT the hatching eggs you will receive as we do not sell hatching eggs from pullets that have just begun laying. The eggs you will receive for hatching are from our carefully selected established layers of high quality FBCM eggs. These hens have proven to be the strongest and healthiest of the flock that lay the darkest eggs consistently over time (this is important). The offspring you hatch should lay eggs that are 1 – 2 shades darker than the eggs from which they were hatched (when they first begin to lay) and can be quite large. Since the dark chocolate brown color is essentially like “paint” that is applied to the egg as it’s being laid, egg color will gradually lighten as the hen lays more eggs. After a period of rest, such as a seasonal molt, egg color should darken up again.
Roosters of this breed are large and colorful with feathered feet, bright red single comb and large wattles. Can have a few white feathers in wings or on feet but will usually shed these during the first molt. Bright orange/red/yellow hackle feathers and long iridescent sickle feathers. Gentle yet protective demeanor.
Hens of this breed can be all black, black with copper hackle feathers (ideal), or black with a few white feathers in the wings (not show-quality). Single comb and feathered feet. We have found that the hens that lack the qualities for showing are the ones that lay the darkest eggs.
These bantams or “miniature chickens” are small but adorable. They are cross breeds of our bantam Cochins, frizzles, and silkies. Most of them will have feathered feet and crested heads. Some can have the barred gene and some can have the frizzled gene. These chickens are perfect for small coops or small backyards, great for children as well. Hens have a tendency to go broody and want to hatch baby chicks. If you’re looking for a wonderful mother hen to raise baby chickens, these are your birds!
Eggs are bantam sized (small to extra small) and can be white, pink, beige or sometimes very light greenish blue
Roosters of these crosses are quite fun. From fluffy frizzled boys to silkie sweethearts, they are always super adorable.
Hens of these crosses can be many different colors and can also be black and white barred. Can have crested heads and feathered feet. Can be frizzles (feathers appeared curled the wrong way) or sizzles (silkied frizzles).