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First time ever collecting eggs for hatching- have questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Some background...I have a group of Coturnix quail. This past weekend I separated the group to pick my breeders and let the remaining males grow out for butchering. So I have 7 females and 2 males in one section. I know that isn't the ideal ratio but I only had 7 females and I really want to keep both males for their different coloring. (I am keeping a close eye out for signs of fighting or stress. So far so good.) They are all about 8 1/2 weeks old. The females have been laying since just before they turned 6 weeks old.

 

On to my questions...I would like to start collecting eggs for hatching. I have witnessed mating but when I crack open eggs I don't see any bulls-eyes. Does this mean they aren't fertile? Do I have to wait until the boys are older and know better what they are doing?

 

I know that I should pick eggs that aren't super dirty and have no cracks. I also know I shouldn't wash the eggs. Is wiping them off with a dry paper towel okay? 

post #2 of 4

You're on the right track.  Wipe the eggs off. Some people wash them, some don't and it doesn't seem to change the hatch rate on quail.

Do try and candle them looking for cracks.

Even though the males are mating, they may not be old enough yet to inseminate the female.  I wait until the males are 10 weeks before trying to incubate those eggs.

 

Good luck with it.

post #3 of 4

Usually should wait until the breeders are 3 months old. Yours are still teenagers, a bit too early. Good luck!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the information. I'll wait a few weeks then.
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