Hi everyone! I am hatching quail for my first time. I have hatched chickens before, but this is my first attempt at quail. I put 48 Coturnix quail eggs (these were shipped eggs, the packaging was EXCELLENT) in my incubator at 12:00am on April 15th. I have a styrofoam incubator in which I have installed an egg turner and a fan. I put small cups of water into the incubator to control humidity instead of using the water troughs, as I feel it's much easier to control this way.
ANYHOW... Since I last hatched chicken eggs I learned of the dry incubation method. My last chicken hatch was about 25%, but my humidity was super high and I suspect this was at least part of the culprit. I live at 8,000 feet elevation in the high cold mountains, and the relative humidity is typically about 25%. This current hatch I've been keeping the incubator at around 40% and my temp right about 99.5. I'm still relatively new to the hatching game, so I haven't gone so far as calibrating my thermometer and hygrometer, but I bought a pretty decent digital one and with the minor temperature fluctuations I just try to keep things averaged at about 99.5
I candled a few days ago, and pulled 7 clear eggs. As far as the rest of them go, I am pretty darn sure I see development, but the shells are just so tough to see through that it can be hard to tell. I'm pretty confident that there were only 7 clears, but I can't really make out any further difference at this point. If I have any quitters, I'm hoping they don't rot and blow up in my incubator. I've never had this happen before, but it scares me when I read about it happening to others. Does anybody have any hints or tricks for candling quail eggs?
I'm going into lockdown on day 16, which will be this Saturday. At that point I will take the eggs out of the turner and bump my humidity up to about 65%. I'm going to put a towel or something in the bottom of the bator, as I've read baby quail feet can get stuck in the wire mesh that comes with it. Do baby quail peep? Will I hear them in the eggs like you do with the chickens?
Anyway, I just wanted to get this thread going and see if anybody didn't have any advice or encouragement for me I'm hoping to re-establish a flock lost to a fox, and then hopefully hatch some more eggs! I love watching them hatch, and I'm really hoping to get some of these out of the shells!!!