Bad coturnix quail hatch and what to do now?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Pluto, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Pluto

    Pluto In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2009
    So I had a really horrible hatch of coturnix quail. I did a couple things different and I'm trying to figure out how to prevent in the future and what to do now. This is a cheap little giant incubator with fan and egg turner. Temp was right around 100 degrees.

    I only set 16 eggs. I used a chicken egg turner for the first time, and it did crack a few eggs (I don't have quail racks). I unplugged it at 14 days, then I attempted to let the eggs hatch in the turner. Chicks started to hatch late in day 17. The first 4 popped out fine and started running around turning the other eggs and generally making a mess. A few more eggs had pipped but kept getting turned around.

    I struggled to keep the humidity up, and used an eye dropper to squirt more water through the air hole onto the paper towels and a wash cloth I had used to line the incubator. I have used the paper towels in the past to keep things clean, but I wonder if it was preventing evaporation from the lower reservoir?

    After 24 hours I gave up and pulled the 4 that had hatched (late day 18). Sprayed some warm water and soaked a washcloth in hot water (got the humidity up to 70% for a bit but it kept falling back to the 50% range). There was an unzipped egg that had been struggling for about 6 hours at that point, I dabbed a bit of warm water around the membrane (which was dry). 24 hours later (late day 19) I gave up all together and helped the still struggling unzipped egg. Three other eggs had pipped and I unzipped them all and tore the dry membranes (no blood), they were "ready" and two had pooped in their shells. They are pushing the rest of the way out now in the incubator. The one that unzipped on its own is hobbling around, neck kinked and none of them are doing great, but still pushing around trying to figure out how straighten out. Three other eggs had fully formed but dead chicks, one pipped through the membrane the other two never pipped. Everything was very dry and those membranes are tough :(

    So do you think this is a low humidity issue? Could it be that they got a bit crammed in the egg turner and couldn't move/wiggle the eggs around like they would like to? And what are the chances of my 4 late bloomer chicks making it long term? I left them in the incubator for now (the first four a bobbing around a brooder just fine).

  2. You get a DO OVER.

    Incubating can be difficult sometimes. Sounds like you may need to up your temps a tad next time.

    Wish ya the best.

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