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Bobwhites: Hoping to figure out reason(s) for low hatch rate

Discussion in 'Quail' started by MissChicks, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. MissChicks

    MissChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2012
    I'm concerned about my hatch rate and am examining the process to see what I may have done wrong. Using a Brinsea Mini Advance, I set the timer for 23 days, with auto turning to stop two days before hatch. I set the auto turn to turn every 45 minutes at the number 5 on the chart that comes with the brinsea, for small eggs. I kept one half of the reservoir with water, refilling every 2-3 days, kept the temp at 100F, candled all 12 at seven and fourteen days and saw that only 5 were developing (shipped eggs) and continued incubating those 5. At lockdown I filled both sides of the reservoir, candled again (all looked very dark with only the air space) removed from turner and placed back into BMA.

    On Saturday, day 22, one chick hatched and seems perfect, a male. I left him in the bator till yesterday, worrying that none were going to hatch I removed him and refilled both sides of reservoir quickly and put him in brooder. Last evening, 30 hrs after first chick, one more hatched, another male. This morning, with the other 3 eggs unhatched, I removed him too. They are both doing well.

    I haven't exactly thrown out the baby with the bathwater just yet, still have the remaining 3 eggs in bator. Yes I know lockdown is lockdown and I didn't exactly stick to that, not sure it was the cause of failure though.

    In retrospect I have some questions in my mind:

    • Should I have set the days to 23 or 24, with auto turn to stop in last 2 days?
    • Did I adjust my turning number correctly for bobwhites? (#5 on chart)
    • Could I have had too much humidity filling one half of the reservoir every 2-3 days?
    • Should I have left hatched chicks in for 2 days, not opening at all during lockdown?
    • I cut out a circle of shelf liner with a hole in the middle using the turner as a pattern, so that was down after turner was removed. I've read about the splayed legs problem when they slip on the bottom of the BMA. Would paper towels be better? Or something else?

    One thing I've already decided is to use a small humidity/temp gauge next time. I'm new to incubating, so any helpful advice is appreciated.
     
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  3. MissChicks

    MissChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, dc3085, for all the points answered, I am making notes for next hatch and will incorporate them. Last three eggs still in there, guessing they won't hatch, but leaving till tomorrow just in case. I appreciate you taking the time!
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Leave them a couple more days. Sometimes they'll hatch as much as 3 days late.
     
  5. MissChicks

    MissChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will, thank you. I have trouble giving up on life. :)
     
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like you've don't quite a bit of research already but here is one more thing that will be important. Bobwhites are very aggressive and become cannibalistic easily. To avoid this brood them under a red light. Red light suppresses aggression. If they are fighting too much and you can't make them stop, "cool them off" by turning off the brooder lamp for a couple minutes. When they get cold all animosity goes out the window.
     
  7. MissChicks

    MissChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have them under a red light, so that's good to know. The first male to hatch was very aggressive with the one hatched next day- right now he has settled down and they are both calmer. Thank you!
     
  8. MissChicks

    MissChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am confused about which thermometer/hygrometer to use. I won't have much space in the tiny Brinsea mini advance- do you have one you recommend that is really small and accurate?
     
  9. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    After I suggested that I was thinking...Where do you get one small enough to put in a brinsea?...I've seen one that is a little larger than a silver dollar, I'll look around and try to find it again for you.
     
  10. MissChicks

    MissChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, because I have more eggs ordered, I ordered the incutherm digital thermometer hygrometer with min/max memory from incubator warehouse. But if you do see one that seems perfect I'd appreciate the info.
     

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