(1) Buy boxes from the grocer at Is. a dozen and pack in meadow hay. Procure a suitable size box, fill with hay, press down tightly, then makes holes with two fingers and thumb of the right hand, and place the eggs in position with the left hand. Dozens can be packed in this way in a very short time. Divisional boxes, paper wrapping, cork, bran, sawdust, all fade away as soon as this simple, expenseless, handy, and expeditious plan is adopted. Never buy boxes from the manufacturer of boxes for sittings; they are too careful of the wood and quality. (J. Francis-Brown)
(2) The box may be a plain, nicely-finished one, 14 3/4 in. by 5 1/4 in. by 3 1/4 in., with the top, bottom, and sides rabbeted, so that each part receives support for its entire length making the box, as a whole, very strong and rigid. This is a capital form of box, and it is only to be regretted that such a one is not in the market at a reasonable price for general use.
(3) I send thousands of eggs to London with a strip of corrugated paper about 2 in. wide wrapped round each egg (corrugations inwards, of course), and a layer of hay top and bottom and between each layer of eggs, in wicker baskets (circular by preference). There is scarcely ever a single egg broken, and it is the simplest, safest, and most rapid packing of the many modes I have tried and seen. The wrappers are retained in place simply by juxtaposition; eggs large ends downwards. The paper is that commonly used for wrapping medicine bottles for post. (Francis Bacon.)
(4) The eggs may be packed in a rectangular hamper, 15 in. by 7 in. by 5 in., each egg wrapped first in fiue shavings and then in a piece of coarse paper wrapping, which is folded on the breadth, and not the lengthways, of the eggs. The bottom and sides of the hamper are lined with fine wood-shavings, and the eggs placed end to end in a double row on the packing, with another layer of the shavings oh the top of all. The eggs cannot conic to any harm; but the cost of the hamper plus the cost of the postage puts this form of package out of the question for moderately cheap eggs sent by post. The postage alone would be 7 1/2d., and this with 6d. for the hamper is a large slice out of 3s. 6d. or 5s.
(5) My new-laid eggs sent to London are packed in clean, soft straw in boxes 9 in. deep, four layers to the box; the boxes contain 300, 400, and 500 each (120 to the 100); as much straw should be placed on the top of the box as will make the lid quite tight when tied down; this prevents the contents from moving in transit. The breakage in this way does not exceed 1 per cent. New-laid eggs sent to the south coast towns are packed in Tully's patent boxes, cardboard divisions, thick felt between. I never have a complaint of breakage in these boxes. Pheasants', turkeys', goose, and fancy fowls' eggs, are always packed in baskets, each egg wrapped in soft hay separately. These are sent to nearly all parts of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Belgium, and I never hear of an egg being broken. Sawdust, bran, etc, are very unsafe packing, as the contents move about, besides excluding all air, which, when packed in boxes, is very injurious to eggs intended for incubation. I always send eggs for hatching by rail, as if there is any breakage possible, the Parcel Post will do it. (6. Russell.)
(6) The box may be of the ordinary 12-division type, but a layer of corrugated paper is placed top and bottom, and a small roll of the same material in each division to hold and protect the eggs. The principle appears to be right and very simple.
(7) My experience is that those eggs travel best that are first wrapped in paper, then packed tightly in sawdust, in divided wooden boxes.
Oat-chatf and bran I dislike; hay is good, but I think quite unnecessary. In large towns all these have to be purchased, whereas sawdust, as a rule, costs nothing, and is, in my opinion, better than anything else into the bargain. I generally place a few half-sheets of newspaper on the top of the sawdust to prevent any working out during the journey. The lids of the boxes should of course never be nailed down; they should be either screwed or tied securely with strong string.
There is generally a slight difficulty in unpacking the eggs, as the sawdust, when fine and well pressed, sets firmly round each egg. This is overcome by putting a thick layer of sawdust on a table, then turning the box upside down, sliding the lid off, and drawing out the divisions, and with them the eggs en masse.
Suggested precautions: -
(a) Always rest eggs 24 hours after a journey.
(6) Always print or write legibly "Eggs for Sitting " on each box.
(c) Always make a string or wire handle to each box.
(d) Never nail an egg-box. (R. de Courcy Peele.)
(8) At all times I have used (in preference to hay or any other packing material) flax dust, which is more elastic than anything else I can obtain, at the same time being wonderfully light-weighing. This dust may be bought in quantity where the flax (Dew Ripe) is grown; but I believe it is chiefly confined to the south-west counties of England.
(9) The box is a light wooden one, divided into 12 compartments for eggs. The partitions come full out to the sides of the box, giving great strength. The eggs are very tightly packed in hay in each division, with a layer of hay top and bottom, and on the top of that a layer of chaff. So protected with an elastic cushion like hay, it must be exceedingly rare for an egg to be broken.
(10) I invariably use soft bands ot hay, and pack in ordinary wood boxes - which I can procure at grocers' or "sweet" shops for 1s. a dozen - of as little weight as possible. I add a thin pad of hay at top and bottom.
(11) If people would pack their eggs as pheasant dealers do, there would be no talk of broken eggs or bad hatching by shaking. I send away a good many fancy ducks' eggs - eggs that are as fragile as thrushes' - yet I never hear of any being broken. Use light baskets, not boxes; roll each egg in a hay-band, first wrapping it in plenty of paper; pack the eggs small end down, pressing them close together; line the basket with hay, also place hay at the bottom; press hay well in between eggs, a 2 in. layer of it on top of them, then next lot of eggs - if necessary - and so on to the top; place several folds of paper be-ween the hay and lid, taking care if the lid is arched to fill the arch with hay; label the basket " Eggs for Sitting/' and send by rail. "My baskets are always returned by parcel post, at a cost of 3d. (A. Bayldon.)