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Incubation Egg Weight Loss

Poll Results: What is the target weight loss for coturnix quail eggs?

 
  • 100% (1)
    11-12%
  • 0% (0)
    13-15%
  • 0% (0)
    16%
1 Total Vote  
post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Good Morning.

 

I set 72 coturnix quail eggs last Sat Feb 6 at 6pm.  I've got a homemade incubator and didn't clue in that it would be good to remove the whole tray to weigh until after I'd had them in for a day or so.  The tray I use is bolted in so that I can turn it without opening the incubator. 

 

What I did do, though, was weigh 19 of the eggs individually (I did this a day before realizing that it would be easier just to remove the tray and weigh them all at the same time, which shows that I've developed the ability to see my future mistakes and account for them before they happen.  Is that the definition of Idiot Savant?) and placed them in a zigzag from closest to the water to furthest away.  I've got a fan running constantly, so it shouldn't matter, but that's just one of my hang-ups.

 

I weighed them all (all 19) last night to get my 7 day weight loss numbers to see if I'm on track for adequate moisture loss at lockdown.  Here's what I've got so far:

 

     

Weight (grams)

   

Egg

 

Initial

       
   

06/02/2016

11/02/2016

Weight Loss %

13/02/2016

Weight Loss %

1

 

15.57

15.15

2.70%

14.95

3.98%

2

 

11.59

   

10.91

5.87%

3

 

11.05

   

10.52

4.80%

4

 

12.02

   

11.33

5.74%

5

 

12.5

   

11.76

5.92%

6

 

12.34

   

11.63

5.75%

7

 

12.4

   

11.67

5.89%

8

 

14.23

   

13.45

5.48%

9

 

11.53

   

10.85

5.90%

10

 

11.36

10.89

4.14%

10.68

5.99%

11

 

11.5

   

10.84

5.74%

12

 

14.79

   

14.19

4.06%

13

 

14.95

14.55

2.68%

14.36

3.95%

14

 

12.36

   

9.57

22.57%

15

 

15.03

   

14.45

3.86%

16

 

13.46

   

12.73

5.42%

17

 

11.58

11.14

3.80%

10.91

5.79%

18

 

10.15

   

9.59

5.52%

Baby

 

9.27

9.01

2.80%

8.86

4.42%

             
         

Avg. Loss

5.23%

 

Ignore #14; I bobbled it and dropped it slightly (lol) but couldn't find a crack, so I set it.  When I went through my numbers and saw the 22.6% weight loss, I figured I'd weighed the wrong one.  Nope, I re-weighed it, I saw a little amber bead, so out it came.  It was fertilized, but aborted pretty early.

 

So, I've got an average weight loss of 5.2%, with a high of 6% and a low of 3.9%.  I know that the breeder was collecting eggs for me for about a week, so I figure some variation is to be expected given some moisture loss in storage.  So, ignoring that (science is much easier when you just ignore anomalies that don't fit your theory, which explains why I'm an engineer not a scientician)  it looks like I'm on track for an 11-12% weight loss for most of these and an 8-9% loss for the rest at 14 days.  Perhaps significantly, the eggs with the lowest weight loss correspond with the largest eggs, which is probably to be expected as the surface:volume ratio decreases as the egg size increases.  I suppose I could use calculus to determine if the ratio of air sac growth is constant in every egg, but it's early and I've only got one tea in me.  That, and the fact that calculus and I aren't exactly on great terms of late.  The only anomaly (there's always a bloody anomaly) is the smallest egg, but it's practically round and, as we were taught in school, a sphere has the lowest surface:volume ratio possible, so that fits the theory.  This is a perfect example of why you should always question scientific studies, as we're all human, we all want to be right (especially when getting peer reviews from very smart people) and it's so easy to delete a few numbers.  Sorry to science up your Sunday morning.

 

I've read that the weight loss should be anywhere from 11-12% to 13-15% and even 16%.  This is where I start to worry.  If it's the former, I'm pretty much on target, though the low-liers are a little low.  If my target should be 13-15%, I'll need to keep the  humidity lower this week than the last.

 

So, finally, here are my questions:

 

1.  What should I aim for for total weight loss, 11-12%, 13-15%, or 16%?

 

2.  How much weight loss will occur after lockdown when the RH gets bumped up to 60-70%?

 

3.  When, exactly, should lockdown occur?  I've read at day 13, 14 and 15.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

edited for speeling


Edited by Em Ty - 2/14/16 at 6:57am
post #2 of 4
I use a hovabator genesis and I don't worry about weight loss. Too many eggs to weigh and not enough time. So I can't help you with that. But, I candle and lock down the night of day 13. Some come early and some linger. Last hatch was 95 out of a 100.

Sent from my C811 4G using Tapatalk
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I guess 95 out of 100 is acceptable ;)

 

Thanks for the response.

post #4 of 4

I have analyzed me weight numbers for a while. I have found my best hatch rates come with a target loss of 13%. I think the controversy comes because of all the factors. For example, amount of oxygen in the bator plays an important role, especially in the last phase. I do my lockdown on day 14.

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