Are the first eggs of the season usually fertile or not?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by quailie, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. quailie

    quailie New Egg

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    Apr 11, 2012
    A bit of a newbie question here
    I just started getting the first eggs of the year from my quail a few days ago. Are the first eggs of the season typically fertile or are they usually only fertile later in the breeding season? And if the early-season eggs arent usually fertile, about how long into the season is it before they start laying fertile eggs?

    I have an equal number of males and females together but havent seen any of them actually mating yet, though I haven't been watching too carefully. All the males are 2 years old and half the females are 2 years old and the other half are 1 year old. The 2 year olds have all been together for a year and a half and the 1 year old females have been in with them for 6 months now. Ive got some folks in my area who are interested in buying eggs from me for hatching but I dont want to sell them infertile eggs if thats what these are. So are these eggs likely fertile yet or not?
     
  2. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    honestly i'd just crack one open and look for the "bullseye" on the yolk. Thats the best indicator.

    i usually wait 2 weeks after males are present to determine fertility. But if they have been together the whole time, there is a good chance that they are fertile, once again i'd check for the bullseye.
     
  3. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    [​IMG] notice the while mark on the yolk. that means its fertile(i believe this might be a chicken egg)
     
  4. Pumpkan

    Pumpkan Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Naples,FL
    OK so what if your males are young and just starting mating two-three weeks + weeks ago my hens just starting laying eggs last week! They are mating one in particular but I tried candling some eggs I left in the nest today and I couldn't see anything so I don't know if they are fertile! I did drop one on accident and looked and I couldn't really see anything although I wasn't looking for a bulls-eye! At what point in the incubation process will you see anything if you candle an egg I know your not supposed to take it out for any reason but I was thinking about taking one out and seeing if anything is happening I would;t want to keep an incubator full of UN fertile eggs!
     
  5. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Are they broody and setting the eggs? Or are you incubating them?
     
  6. Pumpkan

    Pumpkan Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Naples,FL
    I have 8 eggs in my incubator that I did not candle I have about 15 eggs in the nests that I candled and couldn't see anything and I have one egg in a separate nest that a female is looking like she will be broody with but I am not sure yet what she is going to do!
     
  7. JHorn91180

    JHorn91180 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    Northeast KY

    Ok now im confused. Have any of the quail actually gone broody and r takeing care of the eggs or r u just leaving them in the nest and peeking at the eggs everytime u walk by the cages waiting on them to hatch when they arnt actually being incubated by anything? U didnt really answer that question about your 15 eggs u left in nest. Just sd u thought one bird was thinking bout it. So just kinda wondering if u understand the natural methods most mother birds use with body temp to incubate the eggs. Also exactly what breed(s) of quail r they?
    We need a little more info in order to help u with an answer.
     
  8. Pumpkan

    Pumpkan Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Naples,FL
    Ok I have now 6 eggs in my incubator ! I have about 14-15 in the nests my females and males will go in the nest and check on the eggs and sit on them for a few minuts and then that's it do they are showing interest but not brooding!!! They are button quail !
     
  9. JHorn91180

    JHorn91180 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    Northeast KY
    OK now I can help u a bit more. It is very rare for a button quail hen to go broody but not unheard of. This instinct has pretty well been bred out of them in captivity. Most of the time if one actually does go broody its just for a day or so and then stops. Its been several years since I have had them but am thinking they have to be incubated for right around 16 days or so to fully develop and hatch. I tried letting the button quail do this the natural method as well with no success. The females that did go broody would only set on them for a few days, sometimes being joined by the male of the night, and then it was like they forgot what they were doing and would move on with life and begin laying again shortly after. I also had one who did actually incubate her eggs to full term a couple of times but none ever hatched as she didn't take very good care of her clutch during incubation and some days would be off of them for several hours at a time allowing them to get back to room temp for far too long, too often, which probably killed any viable embryos that were beginning to develop. I always had good luck with the ones I incubated myself in the bator tho and hatched several chicks many times that way. Now as far as u candling the ones that u leave in the nest, I'm not really sure what u r looking for. If they are not being incubated by a hen u will never see a change in the eggs until they spoil and rot because a chick will never develop. So if u want to see if any of your eggs r developing, try candling the ones in the bator.[​IMG] Hope this helps and good luck.

    Wanted to add if u r dead set on trying to do this the natural method as I was, thinking it would b neat watching momma run around with her babies. Here's a little advice. When I was trying I was told that a hen who actually lays her eggs in the same nest or spot every time and put together a clutch was much more likely to have the natural instinct to go broody then hens that lay their eggs carelessly all over the the place like they just took a poop each time. Also keep in mind after about 7 days egg fertility goes down each day after until they r no longer any good and begin to decay. I never set eggs in my bator that were more then two weeks old at the very oldest as any set after that had very poor hatch rates. Also in case I am misunderstanding what u r asking. If u r trying to check fertility of un-incubated eggs by candling them and that's what u were actually asking. There is no known way that I know of to check the fertility of a fresh egg by using the candling method. I also never candled my Button eggs as they had such a short incubation period I didn't mind the wait. They r small an difficult to handle and candle. U can use a small LED light similar to a laser pointer if u wanted to try.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

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