25-30% Hatch-rate... how can I improve?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by thespeedyz, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. thespeedyz

    thespeedyz Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Zambia, Africa!
    I'm breeding quails in a home made incubator, and can't seem to get my hatch rate above 30%

    Noticed the following:
    ---It used to be 50% when I had just a few eggs, but increasing no. of eggs, dropped hatch-rate from 50% to 25%

    I have done the following to improve:
    ---Increased ventilation
    ---Kept humidity & temperature at optimal levels
    ---Consistently turned eggs a number of times daily (manually)
    ---Kept incubator disinfected

    !!! But I just can't seem to get it above 30% !!!!

    I suspect it's:
    ---oxygen levels

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Blue Farm

    Blue Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2012
    Nebraska
    are you candling your eggs to make sure there fertile, another thing just turn eggs 2 are 3 times daily is enough. and what is your humidity and temp running , are what do you consider optimal.
     
  3. thespeedyz

    thespeedyz Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Zambia, Africa!
    Thanks,
    Candeling: I stopped candeling because more than 95% were fertile every time, thought I was wasting time by having them out of the incubator for candeling.
    Turning: I'm doing this before meals... 3 times a day :)
    Temp/Humidity: Temp constantly 37.5*C - Humidity, 50-60% - any higher and they seem to drown. Any lower and they dry out.
     
  4. Blue Farm

    Blue Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2012
    Nebraska
    i have heard that some folks actually, move locations of the eggs when they turn them so they get even distrabution of the heat , etc.what is your bator constructed from. is there a fan for air are is it a still air design.
     
  5. thespeedyz

    thespeedyz Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Zambia, Africa!
    I made the incubator out of an old refrigerator.
    I used an "IncuKit" which has a heating element, thermometer and fan.

    Because hot air rises, I put in a tray at the bottom each time, then move them up as new trays are put in.

    The trays are 124 eggs, I usually put in 2 trays, then a spacer, then another 2 trays, so that's 496 eggs, about every 6 days another batch is taken out and a new one comes in.

    When I started adding chicken egg trays (30 per tray) it went down (I believe due to the increased demand for oxygen, too much carbon dioxide, so I increased ventilation but hatch rates are still quite poor. Today I decided to leave the chicken eggs to hatch naturally with the hens, so here's hoping the quials will hatch better without the chicken eggs... does this sound sound right to you?
     
  6. thespeedyz

    thespeedyz Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Zambia, Africa!
    just saw some interesting research stressing the importance of 1) not storing over 6 days & 2) not letting humidity get into the 70's
     
  7. namastemama

    namastemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know, maybe it's your incubator? I use a Brinsea and always get an excellent hatch. Last hatch 9 out of 12 shipped eggs hatched with a power outage included!
     
  8. Quyen Le

    Quyen Le Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2012
    If you have 95% fertility every time, then focus on your heating element, fan system, distance between heat source and sensor. Where do you put your thermometer and hygrometer? try 35-40% humidity on the first 14 days then 55-60% during lock down. I got 85%+ this way.
     
  9. Blue Farm

    Blue Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2012
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    I cant answer the question, will the quail eggs hatch better , with the chicken eggs removed. That is a good thought indeed, but not sure, i just have been setting chicken eggs and so not sure on that. But the oxygen thing is a excellent question, do you have a way to pull air from the bottom and the top so it goes thru the whole incubator. just a thought not sure if it would help.
     
  10. chiqita

    chiqita Overrun With Chickens

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    San Jose, Ca
    Are they your eggs? Do some eggtopseys.

    When are they quitting? This will give you a good idea what could be wrong. If you have a whole bunch of clears, and you are sure your eggs are fertile, how are you storing these quail eggs? Are they loosing too much weight to even start? Are they more then 4-5 days old?

    Are you feeding your quail high enough protein food, and enough calcium? If the shells are thin they hatch is not as good. If they protein is low, the chicks are not as strong and may not start or make it. Are your roos taking the winter off? I have one cage the roos have stopped everything and just hang out, the winter has made them un amorous.

    Quail eggs are usually easy to hatch if they do start, but fragile so they can be harmed by a number of things before they start to hatch. If none of that is happening with your quail, see if you have a friend who can put a few in their bator to test. If they a re getting better then you id make sure your calibration is correct.
     

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