When it comes to online shopping, it often boils down to a bit of luck and research to find what you want. When it comes to online shopping for hatching eggs, it can be a scary place. The interwebs are rife with people dealing in eggs, who aren't exactly selling what they claim to be (consistently, eBay seems to be the worst place for egg buying validity) and tales of woe from people who invested in rather expensive, rare eggs and wound up with traditional barnyard mixtures. Please don't take this as a diatribe about how awful the egg selling industry is, but man, a few bad apples really does spoil the bushel for the rest of us, don't they?
Luckily, I discovered BackyardChickens, the online joint for chicken information and chicken seller-buyer meet-ups. After my relatively local handshake deal for my coveted Swedish Flower Hen eggs evaporated, I was lucky enough to find Saskia of Blue House Farm who, thus far, seems absolutely wonderful. Every email I've sent has been promptly answered, she emailed straight away with the shipping information (the eggsies are coming! the eggsies are coming!), and her reviews are excellent. A quick browse of the website reveals that those who sell on the site are highly scrutinized by purchasers AND the website gurus, and consumer confidence is quite high.
While shipping eggs in the mail is fraught with concerns (xrays and shipping drops and cold temps, oh my!), it really helps when you can't find a local connection to at least find a reputable online source. If you're in the market for hatching eggs, I highly recommend visiting BackYardChickens and doing a quick search. There's so many great breeds of chickens out there, and this seems to be THE spot to get connected with a seller.
(Incidentally, I get no kick-backs from this site, the seller I purchased from, or any affiliates. I'm just one happy consumer right now. With luck, my eggs will arrive in good order and then incubation can begin--huzzah!)