incubation quail eggs

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dye29
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incubation quail eggs

Post by dye29 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:32 pm

hi all ive been asked to incubate some quail eggs for friends and might keep a few , i have a brinsea mini advance with quail disc but not sure on settings i.e. temp , turning in sec how often to turn , how often to rest ect dont worry guys i know its cold but they are staying in the house for at least 8 weeks then if weather still cold going into garage .
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Marigold
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Re: incubation quail eggs

Post by Marigold » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:22 pm

I got good hatches with a mini advance and quail ring, that little incubator is ideal for quail. But I would strongly advise you to wait a few weeks to hatch, though - the incubation period is only 16 days for quail so you'd be responsible for chicks round about Christmas. They take a lot of looking after in the cold, even indoors. They do a lot of very smelly poo and make a lot of feather dust, not really what you want in the house for several weeks. I hatched my first lot in late February and even then it took a lot of time and care adjusting the heat lamp up and down over their box because the house got a lot colder overnight. My second hatch, in April, was a lot easier to manage and they went out into cages in the well-lit summer house at about 4 weeks old, and then into a rabbit run on grass soon after. Baby quail chicks are about the size of bumblebees so lose heat fast and need a really steady temperature, and like chicken chicks, they also benefit from proper sunlight when they become 4-6 weeks old, which you can't give them until at least April out of doors. Also at this time of year, the parent birds are not so likely to be in full breeding condition with high fertility levels, so quite a few eggs in your hatch may infertile, or the chicks won't be as strong as they would be from healthier and more vigorous parent birds in Spring.
Quails come into lay so fast, at 6-10 weeks old, if they're hatched at the right time of year, (between March and August) that it seems to me to be a bit silly to try to do it for several weeks yet, if you want an easy hatch of healthy young birds. As you're finding out with the ones you've already got, they are unlikely to lay unless there's enough natural sunlight and warmth. Chicks hatched in December probably won't lay any sooner than ones hatched several weeks later, when all the wild birds are beginning to find mates and nesting. They're not like chickens, they don't come into lay at a predetermined age, they are much more influenced by the seasons and the possibility of conditions being OK for reproduction, even though they don't usually make a nest or sit on their eggs. It really is best to stick with their natural rhythms, I think.
My advice would be, for what it's worth, to take time to get used to the ones you have, get them laying, and then see how you feel about hatching. If your friends want you to hatch for them, they'll just have to wait - or hatch their own! In any case you might not have any spares from your own first hatch, since more than half of them will turn out to be males, in my experience.
dye29
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Re: incubation quail eggs

Post by dye29 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:11 pm

yes your prob right marigold might let xmas get out of the way then have a go when temp rises by then hopefully mine start laying
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Marigold
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Re: incubation quail eggs

Post by Marigold » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:05 pm

I do understand how much you want to try this, Steven, but It really would be best to wait until the Spring. I'm sure lots of other experienced poultry keepers on here would tell you the same, whether it was chickens or quails or any other kind of bird.
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MrsNuts
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Re: incubation quail eggs

Post by MrsNuts » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:13 am

It is spring here in New Zealand, I live almost right up the top of the North Island, about 5 hours drive time away.
I am having my first attempt at incubating some eggs (inside).
I have purchased a mini egg incubator, and have googled information on raising quail from eggs.
I have the temp set on 37.5 degrees and am trying to keep the humidity on 60, but this keeps changing (raising & falling).
Should I keep a small dish of water in the incubator, or spray the eggs with water?
Also there are around 30 eggs in my aviaries, do I take them all and place them in the incubator or do I remove all them and start from scratch, removing the eggs from the birds daily?
I have previously had baby quail hatch in the aviary, but the survival rate was extremely low, hence wanting to incubate.
Sorry for all the questions, but I really want this to work :)
Any tips would be greatly appreciated...
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Marigold
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Re: incubation quail eggs

Post by Marigold » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:47 am

hi Mrs Nuts, good to hear from you.
You need to try to reduce the humidity, down to at least 40% max, as quail eggs can easily drown if it's any higher. A friend of mine who raises very large numbers of quail for sale never adds any water to the incubator until they start to pip at Day 15-16. Quail shells are thin and highly porous, and too high humidity is the main cause of failure. Whatever you do, don't spray with water!
What make of incubator are you using, does it turn the eggs, does it have a quail egg ring for tiny eggs, and how many eggs does it take? Best chance of success is from freshest eggs, so if you're only collecting small numbers you could perhaps collect any old ones from the aviary floor, then start a store of ones you know have been laid most recently, and within 10 days max. Store them in an egg box you can rock from side to side twice a day (use a half brick to support one side.)
If the incubator has a shiny plastic base, cut out a base liner from old cotton fabric, or a disposable j-cloth, ready to use when turning stops on Day 16. At that point, line the base so the chicks have a grippy surface for their tiny legs and don't get spraddled leg when they try to walk.
If you occasionally get naturally hatched babies, you could try rearing them in a brooder. It's actually quite rare for coturnix quail to nest and sit on eggs, this seems to have been bred out of them in captivity like hybrid chickens, so they must like the conditions you're giving them in the aviary.
As incubation time is quite short for coturnix, you'll need to get the brooder sorted well beforehand, - a ceramic dull emitter is better than a heating light, as it gives out only heat, not light, so they can stay warm overnight but also get a normal night and day, with darkness to rest in. They eat chick crumb, which must be well in date, and need a very shallow drinker as they can drown in a normal one. The best sort are the ones for cage birds that clip on the sides of the brooder and have a little lip of water inside the box. These prevent the chicks from pooing in the water and splashing it around - a possible cause of coccidiosis in warm, damp conditions.
Good luck, and do keep on telling us how you're getting on.
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