Button Quail Lockdown (no pipping)?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cuckleberry, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. cuckleberry

    cuckleberry Chirping

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    Hello! I feel bad kinda posting right after making an account but I wanted to make sure we weren't about to lose our first clutch.

    We ordered button quail eggs off Ebay and they arrived November 22nd. The reviews all said they were fertile so we took our chances with it. We let them sit out for 24 hrs before putting them in the incubator. It's a Janoel 12. From then on we kept the temp. at 99-100 and the humidity around 50-60. (There have been times were the humidity was in the 40s, or in the 70s, but they were only for an hour or so).
    We're now in lockdown (day 15!) and I've yet to hear any pipping. I've looked through other threads and other people said they didn't hear anything til the chicks hatched.
    Once again this is our first attempt and we're getting a little paranoid. The temp. is now at 98-99 for lockdown and the humidity has been fluctuating between 65-75. At one point it did drop to 30 when we went out, but we got it back up. I'm not sure if that alone did any damage to our eggs?
    I wish we had gotten a second hygrometer just to make sure.

    Any help would be appreciated! They are due to hatch tomorrow so hopefully we'll either hear or see something tonight/tomorrow.

    (Edit: Any tips on how to keep the humidity more consistent would also be appreciated!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  2. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    It can be really difficult to see any pips so fingers crossed you'll get some chicks. Buttons like to hatch as a group so they will be chatting amongst themselves to figure out the optimal time, though there are always stragglers. In a natural setting I've found they hatch in the afternoon so that by the next morning everyone is ready to get off the nest to visit the food bowl.

    It can vary as to what day they hatch on. Even an incubator with a fan can have cold spots which can delay hatching. Try not to panic (though I know how difficult the wait can be, staring at those eggs and fearing that none will hatch). You'll definitely hear them when they do hatch. I give them a fuzzy cloth in the brooder to snuggle under which they love, pushing up into the folds of it as they would their parents feathers.

    Have you candled at all to see how they are developing and how the air cells were growing?

    Make sure you have stones in the water dish no matter how shallow it is. They can drown in 2mm of water if there isn't something there to keep them out of the water. Teach them to eat and drink by tapping on the food and water. They are very cute but quickly become very active so make sure your brooder has a lid by the end of the first week.

    A drop in humidity won't hurt them unless they are hatching so don't worry about that.
     
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  3. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    And, by the way, welcome to the flock! :welcome
     
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  4. cuckleberry

    cuckleberry Chirping

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    Thank you for responding!

    We did try to candle during the 7th day, but struggled to see anything. I don't know if it was due to the shell, or possibly something else?

    Fortunately we do have our brooder set up. It's a 40 gallon with two heat lamps (both have dimmers) and there is a thermostat inside. We will use a paper towel for the first week or so to feed them before using something similar to the water dispenser. (We can use the shallow bowl for water instead if that's safer!)
    I can definitely provide anything they may need or remove whatever seems unnecessary! This is just what I gathered from videos.

    I'm hoping at least a few of these guys hatch. We both swore we saw movement at some point yesterday, but I'm certain we just imagined it from our excitement.

    Here are some images of our brooder. 20190107_164855.jpg 20190107_164850.jpg 20190107_164910.jpg
     
  5. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    That looks great for as they get older but you might want to keep the brooder very simple for the first 4 days until they've found the food and water and are more steady on their feet. If they get stuck somewhere they'll lose heat (if in a colder spot) and energy very quickly. I've had chicks end up stuck under the paper towels that were under the non slip matting I use and get themselves wedged. If there's trouble to find you can guarantee a Button chick will find it! Keep an eye on them in the incubator too - it's amazing the places they can fit through (where they shouldn't go).

    I put down paper towels with the non slip mat (sometimes called drawer or shelf liner) on top as initially I scatter food everywhere so that wherever they pick they'll find food. It only takes a couple of days before they've figured out where the food bowl is.

    Make sure one end of your brooder is toasty and at the opposite end where it's cooler have the food and water (though don't make them go too far when they are new hatchlings).

    My very first chicks were abandoned as pipping eggs by their mother so I had to throw together a brooder and just put them on paper towels. One ended up with a slipped tendon because the paper towels didn't have enough grip, and the chicks are very prone to this. The non slip mat has prevented this happening again.

    If you're lucky you'll see an egg wriggle as the chick turns to get into the correct hatch position. They'll pip internally and sit for around 24 hours before making an external pip. Then they rest and finish absorbing the remains of the yolk for about another 24 hours before starting to unzip (which usually takes no longer than an hour). So it's quite a process.

    They are super cute babies so feel free to share some photos.
     
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  6. cuckleberry

    cuckleberry Chirping

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    Thank you so much!! You're a saint.

    I will take the extra stuff out for them and make the set up simpler. I'll also look into finding some non-slip stuff so they don't slide around. The last thing I need is a bunch of injuried chicks.

    Thank you again! I will gladly post if we get lucky to have any hatch.
     
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  7. cuckleberry

    cuckleberry Chirping

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    Woke up this morning and redid the set up. If this still seems off let me know! I was lucky enough to snatch the last 3 shelf liners the dollar store had. :D
    I'll be putting paper towels down once these guys start hatching. (It might be hard to tell but we took some of the pine as well so it's not super thick.)

    Frankly, there's been no signs of movement yet. Last night around 2, I think I saw one wiggle for a few seconds? Again, it could be my imagination. Hoping for something this afternoon into tomorrow!
    20190108_084209.jpg 20190108_084152.jpg
     
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  8. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    That looks good. Fingers crossed for the hatch (the waiting is torture, I know). :fl
     
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  9. cuckleberry

    cuckleberry Chirping

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    It's now the end of day 16, and although I know it's better to not be impatient, I do have a few questions to ask. (Again, I am new to this, so I'm sorry if these are really dumb questions.)

    We put the eggs in around 4 p.m. on December 23rd. Does the time of day you start incubating affect when they hatch? I know you mentioned that button quails tend to hatch in the afternoon.

    We have a range of colours with the eggs we ordered. A lot of brown ones, a white speckled, a solid grey-ish brown, and a blue-ish speckled one. Do the colours of the eggs relate to the colour of the chick or no?

    I was reading up on people that also bought eggs and saw that sometimes eggs that are shipped can take longer. Someone said an egg that is laid 7 days or more before being placed in the incubator can also take longer? Not sure if that's true so please correct me if I am wrong!

    Lastly, and I feel really bad admitting this.. yesterday when I was moving around, I knocked the incubator a little and a few of the eggs rolled. None were cracked thankfully and I moved them back into the spots they were originally. Was this enough to damage any chicks or hinder their ability to hatch?

    I'm sorry to being a pest and asking so much! I never thought I'd be so antsy over these little guys. Any feedback would help a bunch! Thank you!
     
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  10. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    It's always like this when hatching eggs - I never seem to get over that fear and stress and excitement. And ask away - that's what this site is all about.

    Shipped eggs typically have much lower hatch rates as they've been bumped about (possibly dropped) on their way to you, and although most don't crack, impacts can dislodge the air cell, or hurt the egg in some way that stops it developing. The age of an egg can affect its hatchability too - no more than a week old is often cited as being the best period to get the best results. Hope that makes sense.

    Incubating eggs that your birds have laid always makes for much better results. I've found them to be pretty tough and I'm very hands on, candling sometimes every day as the development is fascinating.

    The colour of the egg depends on the hen that laid it. My favourite colours available in New Zealand (we are much more limited down here compared to America or England etc) both lay very dark brown eggs that are almost impossible to see into. My cinnamons on the other hand lay greeny eggs which are easy to candle. Their colours and patterns on the eggs can make it very difficult to see any external pips. Sometimes shining a torch on them from an angle can show up any tiny bumps which indicate a pip (and they are tiny).

    I think the time of day you start incubation does impact when they hatch to a certain extent, but there are always stragglers, which in a natural setting wouldn't end up hatching because the hen would get off the nest with the majority of her babies once they were all asking to be fed, rather than risk sitting longer on eggs that might not hatch and letting her chicks got hungry.

    I don't think a little bump will worry them too much. Hens bump eggs all the time (and still get off to have a snack while the eggs are pipping!) so the eggs are a lot tougher than we give them credit for.

    Day 16 is still pretty early really and a slightly lower overall incubation temperature can delay them. In autumn here it can take 20 days (with a hen sitting on them) due to cooler overnight temperatures. Incubators often have a drop in temperature overnight when the ambient air temperature drops.

    I have candled at this late stage but our summers are humid so it's often more humid outside the incubator than inside (just in case you pick up an egg that is in fact pipping). It's essential to keep the egg in about the same position that it's lying in in the incubator as tipping it up or down might make the chick try and turn around, thinking it's in the wrong position (but a little roll to one side or the other doesn't seem to worry them). Although in saying that, when our bantam chickens hatched eggs they were still flipping them as they were pipping! Your phone flash light is a good, strong, and size appropriate light to use when candling, but sometimes the room needs to be really dark to be able to see a thing - I know how thick and dark some of my girls shells are.

    If the chick has pipped internally you'll see a little shadow beak in the air cell at the fat end of the egg. Sometimes you can hear them tapping if you hold the fat end up to your ear, but the crackle of your hair or your pulse can make you think you hear something when you don't. But I don't want you to get disheartened if you don't hear anything as you don't know how many of your eggs have developed (how many are you incubating?).

    Just make sure you've got your vents on the incubator open. That's very important as those babies need fresh air.

    :fl:fl:fl Come on babies!
     
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