Button Quail Brooding

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Guineagang, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Guineagang

    Guineagang In the Brooder

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    May 11, 2014
    Hello everyone. I bought a few button quail about 3 or 4 months ago and mid December they started laying. Yesterday I looked into one of my pairs cages and I saw that the female wasn't there. I thought she had escaped but she had started sitting on her eggs. So are there any special precautions that I have to take or any tips might be really helpful. I've also been wondering if I should take the male out of the cage.
     
  2. taprock

    taprock Songster

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    If your female is like ours, she wouldn't allow the male anywhere near the nest while she was sitting. So he got extra treats to keep him busy. Watch the male after they hatch. Our male was a wonderful father. The chicks spent as much time under him as the female. That said ,there are some that have harmed babies so wait and see how he reacts. Baby Buttons are so adorable!
     
  3. Guineagang

    Guineagang In the Brooder

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    May 11, 2014
    ok thanks!!
     
  4. oldhen2345

    oldhen2345 Songster

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    I am new to button quail- I have successfully hatched and brooded chickens for several years. I had a clutch of button quail eggs in the incubator and they all died. Necropsy showed that they were fully formed, but I guess could not break the membrane. The humidity was probably too low. I have another clutch ready to put in the forced air incubator- with some changes. I upped the temp to 37.6 and added an extra temp / humidity gage in the incubator. I also am thinking I should keep the humidity around 75% - is that too much to start with? The person who sold me the eggs said I should keep it at 85% but that seems way to wet until lockdown. Also, I have another batch of eggs arriving in a couple of days- I will incubate them separately, but if all goes well, can I put chicks together in a brooder that are a couple of days different in age?
     
  5. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

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    I don't own an incubator, but I very rarely see more than 55% humidity recommended for the first part of incubation - 45% is a common recommendation. At lockdown, 75%+ should be fine.
    If the chicks are only a couple of days different in age, I think they'd be okay in the same brooder.
     
    Sara L likes this.
  6. oldhen2345

    oldhen2345 Songster

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    Thanks for the info. After this last catastrophe, I am kinda nervous about setting these eggs in the same incubator. I have two different orders of eggs so that maybe at least one will hatch out. LOL I am making the DIY forced air incubator tonight and testing it for a couple of days before the other eggs arrive. I will set the first batch of eggs on Saturday morning and the second on Monday, so they should be close in age - fingers crossed.
     
    Sara L likes this.
  7. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

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    Make sure you have enough ventilation in the incubators. I recall reading that lack of oxygen might well be the culprit when fully formed chicks die.
     
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  8. oldhen2345

    oldhen2345 Songster

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    I will make sure there are enough vent holes. I am changing the design of the Styrofoam incubator slightly. I found a thermostat with a plug and will use that instead of a dimmer swithch. On the overnight trial, the temp went form 100.5 to 95.6 so I don't think it is safe to leave eggs in yet. Maybe with the thermostat, it will be secure.. Also, I put a thermometer with a hygrometer in the store bought incubator and the humidity with no water it is still 71%. I hate to leave it dry, but am worried about the chicks drowning if I add water. The incubator instructions say to add up to 100ml. So now I am horrified and confused.
     
  9. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

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    Do you only have one hygrometer? One can be a mistake, but if two reads 71% I'd have no issue with leaving it dry. Depending on the climate, dry might be the only proper way to hatch eggs.
     
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  10. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging

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    Here's an article about how to calibrate your hygrometer:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/calibrating-hygrometer.50678/

    I incubate quail eggs with high humidity the whole time. For me it works better but it all depends on your incubator and climate. I recently swapped some eggs putting some from my incubator under a sitting hen and putting the ones she'd been sitting on in the incubator. Technically I was returning her eggs to her (I wanted a good hatch rate from her eggs).

    The ones she'd been on had huge air cells (despite the ambient humidity indoors having never fallen below 50%) and two pipped, one externally, one internally but didn't make it. I'm still waiting for one to hatch but it's taking forever. If they lose too much moisture they cannot rotate to unzip and I suspect they'd just lost too much moisture. The chicks that spent most of incubation in the incubator are also bigger than the ones naturally brooded.

    As a side note the hen decided to take a break as her eggs were pipping (so much for 'lockdown':lol:). 6 out of 7 hatched successfully. The one that didn't hatch hadn't even pipped internally (I think - she lays extremely dark shelled eggs which are almost impossible to candle).

    Make sure you move your eggs around in the incubator as all incubators have warm and cool spots. Moving them around averages out the dips and highs.
     
    oldhen2345 likes this.

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