So I'm attempting to restart a flock of chickens. I ordered some Black Australorp hatching eggs on ebay. The person that I ordered them from had a great rating and great feedback but the transaction didn't go so well. After I paid the seller told me that he was going to give me a refund because an animal attacked his chickens and killed some so he didn't have any eggs. I offered my sympathies and contacted another seller to get eggs. Then I received a message from ebay that eggs from the first seller were on the way. When I wrote to him to ask what was going on he said that there had been some miscommunication with his wife and that he had sent the eggs.
Despite the scrawled warnings on the box there just wasn't enough space in the box to properly pack them. They didn't have enough cushioning on the top and bottom to keep them from breaking.
By the time I got home and saw the box it was were covered in yolk and ants.
Eight out of 30 were smashed and 3 more were cracked.
They were covered in gunk and shredded paper.
The eggs were also very inconsistent in appearance. They were different colors, shapes and sizes, not what I would expect from a mature flock of the same breed.
Candling the eggs revealed more cracks.
I'd never been in this situation before so I wasn't sure what to do. I ended up posting a question on BackyardChickens.com asking for advice. Given the weird story of the animal attack, the poor packing and inconsistent appearance, most of the commenters said I should ask for a refund. Some of them went as far as to echo my suspicion that the seller had just gathered whatever eggs he had on hand and packed them so poorly they were guaranteed to break during shipping. Then I wouldn't be able to hatch them an find out that they were cochins instead of Australorps.
I did ask for a refund and the seller turned rather unpleasant. He accused me of trying to get free eggs from him. He refunded the price of the eggs but not the shipping. When I wrote back to him saying that I wanted the cost of shipping refunded too because of the poor packing his response was basically that I was dreaming, that he had never given a refund before and there was no way he was refunding the shipping cost. He suggested that maybe I should file a claim with ebay but that they wouldn't require him to refund shipping either and that if I "stooped" to leaving him negative feedback he could delete it because he has a purple star.
I took his advice and filed a claim with ebay and he refunded the cost of shipping almost immediately. Some bullies cave when you push back.
The second batch of eggs was packed better. They came in a bigger box with packing above and below the cartons of eggs.
Even so, a couple of these were cracked as well.
There's no way to control the kind of treatment a package gets from the post office but good packing goes a long way to giving the eggs a better chance.
I have 20 Black Australorp eggs in the incubator right now. They have a couple more weeks to go and a couple more days before I'll be able to tell if they're developing by candling them.
In the meantime, I also received a delivery of three 16 week old Australorp pullets from Dare 2 Dream Farms up in Lompoc. They've sold chickens to a few people in my chicken group.
The pullets are still a little freaked out, but once I get the chicken coop repaired they'll have the whole thing to themselves.