Button Quail Hatching

gwboolean

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2019
21
19
44
I have hatched a few sets of Button quail before, and they have all been rather lackadaisical with the hatching process. Generally, I have found that all that will hatch will do so in about an 8 - 9 hour time frame. Not like wild quail of any kind that generally all hatch in less than 2 hours (I once had a complete hatching of California quail in less than 15 minutes. It was like my incubator exploded!).

This hatching came out different. I am now 2 days into hatching and, what I think is the last one, just hatched (He had just started and I was in a hurry so I just went ahead and manually hatched him). It is questionable whether the last few are going to hatch at this point.

On the day that I locked down the eggs I had a power outage for about 2 hours. I did not get my incubator back online for over an hour (I finally hooked it up to my generator). I am curious about whether that hour at low temperature and low humidity caused this change in the hatching process I am currently experiencing.
At lockdown I generally kick the humidity up to the 70% range until hatching. In this case the humidity dropped down to about 20% and the temperature dropped down to about 70 degrees.

I realize that I only have an N of 1, and that would not even qualify for a hypothesis, but it is intriguing. Other than the fact that these are end of the season eggs (the shells were fragile even at the beginning) there were no different conditions over the incubation period.

Anyone have any thoughts and/or experience with this phenomenon?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,121
24,511
951
New Zealand
I've had Button quail pairs hatch naturally in an aviary. The chicks would always start to hatch in the late afternoon then by the morning the whole family was up and on the move, looking for food and exploring.

Being smaller the eggs are likely more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Maybe next time regularly rotate the eggs to different positions in the incubator to even out any colder and warmer spots in your incubator. Being more domesticated may also have affected how they hatch as well as I've always found Japanese quail to be reasonably spread out when they hatch also.
 

gwboolean

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2019
21
19
44
My incubator has a function that moves the eggs. In fact, my incubator is so good that it could hatch a rock.

The chick I previously mentioned was indeed the last. I checked through the remaining eggs and there was only one that did not hatch and died in the egg. He did not pip. All of the other eggs that did not hatch were not fertile and never even started (I never bother to candle the eggs and check during incubation).

Funny story. I had a couple of button quail hens as pets awhile back. By the way, while they are interesting pets, they have a tendency to hang around your feet and can end up smooshed. Anyway, I let one of the hens hatch a batch of eggs (she had never hatched eggs before). When the first egg hatched she did not know what the hell was going on and let out one hell of a squawk!
 

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