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Calling all hatchaholics!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Skip, May 1, 2009.

  1. Skip

    Skip Songster

    Hi, everyone! I'm COMPLETELY new to hatching eggs. I don't have an incubator, I don't have any experience, all I have is a pair of healthy quail laying fertilized eggs that I wanna hatch!

    If you have any experience hatching any kind of egg, quail, chicken, duck, ostrich, penguin, I really don't care what it is, HELP ME OUT please! Got experience making homemade incubators? Post everything you know here! If I have enough help, I'll make my own bator and hatch a few quail eggs, and tell the story and post pictures here!

    If you have ANY EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER, spill what you know! I only have a few eggs at a time, so I need to give my little babies the best chance possible!

    Now, a list of important questions I need answered immediately:

    How many eggs should I use?

    What is the usual percentage for egg mortality?

    How do I control humidity in a 100% homemade bator?

    How often do I have to candle?

    How often do I have to turn the eggs?

  2. chickens4me

    chickens4me Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    South Carolina
    For my first batch of hatching eggs, I BORROWED a Hova Bator incubator (It was new in the box.) from my local 4-H (just look in your phone book under your County Extension Office.) They loaned me a great tub of instructions, brooder lamp, thermometer, sponge & said if I needed any help, to just call them.

    It was a great deal. The only expense was picking it up and dropping it off.
    Also for the eggs. (my local feed store also told me that I could get some inexpensive ones from them after I had bought some on EBAY)

    I bought my own incubator now, but it was a very good way to start. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps a little. Have fun! [​IMG]
  3. farmerlor

    farmerlor Songster

    Don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no quail babies but I have hatched some chicken, duck, and turkey eggs.
    If you make an incubator-you'll want to invest in a good hygrometer that measures temp and humidity. They're not too expensive.
    You can put as many eggs in there as will comfortably fit. Some people say that the eggs shouldn't touch as it disturbs air flow around them but I don't know about that.
    I don't know that there is a standard for egg mortality....if your eggs are fertile and all hatching conditions are optimum you should get all your eggs to hatch in theory unless there's something wrong with the chick genetically.
    I read somewhere that a chicken turns her eggs like 40 times a day or something like that. So if you can manage four turns a day or an auto turner you're doing good.
  4. misty7850

    misty7850 Songster

    Apr 12, 2008
    Fort Covington, NY
    Hi and welcome to the forums. Hatching eggs can be very addictive so watch out.
    There are different means to make incubator. I found the best (and I've made one out of wood, aquarium and styrofoam) is the styrofoam incubator. There are good instructions right here on the forum.
    I recently found 3 nice size Omaha steak styrofoam coolers in spring cleanup, and of course wasn't to proud to take them.. LOL..

    I personally started with 12 eggs from my own chickens.. Some start with 6. Some with more.

    The usual percentage for egg mortality depends on temp, humidity, turning the eggs, etc..

    You control the humidity by adding or subtracting the water (I add a little at a time until I get the humidity right where I want it, then just watch to see when it changes & add some more water.
    Its not the depth of the water, its the percentage of area covered.

    I don't candle till day 8-10. When I first started I candled earlier, but found you really don't see much till then.

    Eggs need to be turned at least 3 times a day.

    Like I said look in the learning center.. There's alot of good information there. And also alot of people on the board here have years of experience (much more then me).. I'm sure someone with come along with more good information for you.

    And good luck,
    Keep us posted.
  5. Roc&VicknTN

    Roc&VicknTN In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    West Tennessee
    We were in the same boat as you my friend not to long ago, (except it was a chicken obsession instead of quail) we bought a Hova-Bator 1588 w/ the egg turner, read the instructions, filled the tray with water, and plugged it in....22 days later we hatched 38/42 eggs without doing a thing except candling and adding a dash more water in the process, the bator has a thermostat and the water tray does the humidity thingy, hope this helps........
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    We just had a build-your-own-bator contest on here with many entries. Every one had detailed directions on how they did it and what they used. I followed MissPrissy's chick bator design - find one of her posts and follow her links.

    If you hang out in the Incubating and Hatching Eggs section reading posts you should be able to learn all you need to know.

    Now, a list of important questions I need answered immediately:

    How many eggs should I use?

    As many as you want or your bator can reasonably hold. Always set fresh eggs, so if you only have a pair - save eggs for a few days and put all the saved eggs in at once. I wouldn't try to do a staggered hatch your first time unless you had a plan in mind.

    What is the usual percentage for egg mortality?

    Varies A LOT. Personally I think that egg mortality has more to do with human error than a fault with the egg or genetic material.

    How do I control humidity in a 100% homemade bator?

    By getting a good hygrometer at Wal-mart or a cigar shop. If the reading is low - add water.

    How often do I have to candle?

    You don't HAVE TO candle at all. If you want to then try it about halfway through incubation, but don't toss any eggs unless you're very sure of what you're looking at.

    How often do I have to turn the eggs?


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