Eggs through the Mail

Back in late June I bought 18 eggs through the mail. I wanted a dozen black Langshan eggs. The Langshan is a cool breed of chickens. Tall and elegant with an enormous tail and a sweeping U shaped profile. The description from the American Standard of Perfection.

“The Black Langshan originated in China, where it has been bred over a long period of years. Its prepotent reproductive qualities indicate it to be a pure race of domesticated poultry. Black Langshans were imported from China into England by the late Major Croad, so there is a Class of “Croad Langshans” in the English Standard. They became a Standard variety[APA standard] in this country in 1883.

Langshans are dual purpose fowls of the Asiatic Class, being smaller than the Brahma and Cochin and more active. The male develops a large, well-spread tail with feathers of great length, the sickles often attaining a length of sixteen or seventeen inches. The closely-fitting saddle feathers, fully-hackled neck and upright carriage give the effect of a short back. The surface plumage throughout is close and smooth. The body in both sexes should be evenly balanced on firm, straight legs, with very little backward bend at the hocks. The height of the Langshan should be gained by depth of body and erectness of carriage, and not from what may be described as stiltiness of legs. Close-standing hocks and narrowness of body are highly objectionable.

This is a general purpose fowl for production of meat and eggs. The skin color is white and the eggs shells are very dark brown.”

You can see why I wanted some. Due to some mishaps the lady I bought them from sent me a half dozen bonus eggs from a breed of chicken called a Sulmtaler. A new breed to America originally from Austria.

This was my first time ordering eggs online. I had always been scared. I had heard stories about how the post service breaks all the eggs or at the very least shakes them up so that they don’t hatch. The thought of paying large sums of money for special, exotic eggs and then having none hatch worried me. I finally broke down. I really wanted some Langshan and this seemed like the best way to get some.

I decided to use my Lyon incubator to hatch the eggs. It was my first time using this incubator. Not a great idea to experiment with using a new incubator with fancy, shipped eggs.

I am not sure what the problem was. Maybe the egg turner didn’t work, maybe the humidity or temperature was off or maybe it was the fact that the eggs were shipped. Whatever the cause I only hatched four chicks. One Sulmtaler and three Langshan.

On day 21….Not chicks! And then slowly a Sulmtaler broke free. Arnold (like the the governor) .

Arnold Sulmlater

Arnold Sulmtaler

I was so bummed only 1 chick had hatched….But I waited and on day 22. I looked and a chick had already peeped and hatched. He did it so quickly I named him Bolt (like the sprinter).


Bolt, hatched extremely quickly

Bolt, hatched extremely quickly

The next two took their time but eventually managed to hatch. langshan_chick_confucius

Confucius, named after the wise Chinese philosopher.

and lastly…langshan_chick_mulan

Mulan. Named after one of the greatest movies of all time.


Besides having a low hatch rate (3/18) 17%,  and hatching late. My chicks had something else odd about them…They are missing part of their toes!

img_4301 img_4298 img_4303

It doesn’t seem to bother them. They are all growing up tall and strong.


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