Candleing Quail Eggs.....please help


10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
Darnell, Louisiana
Okay, here's the deal......I am able to candle my hen eggs with no problem. But I'm having trouble with quail eggs. They're Coturnix. I'm having trouble seeing "through" the shells. Is there some special way for candleing small eggs???? Any advice on this will be greatly appreciated.
What I do is wait until day 10 then shine a flash light through them if the light does not go through I leave them be you won't see an embryo or anything but the shadow is good enough! I use a non incubated quail egg as a control the light shines through easily and you can see the yolk so as long as your eggs are not looking like that on day 10 there is life
quail eggs are more fragile than chicken eggs so it's best to handle them as little as possible, I have some Tuxedos due to hatch this weekend
spikennipper pretty much covered it- I'd add that I bought one of the tiny mag-lite flashlights that takes one AAA battery- they were 6 bucks at the hardware store- when you can get the entire end of the flashlight on the fat end of the egg it should be quite clear...since you store them fat side up, that's where the air sac should only the fat end of the egg should glow, and the rest should be in shadow.

best of luck!
Thank ya'll for the good advice. I found out today how fragile these lil eggs are...... dropped one while candleing, and cracked it. There was an almost fully forned chick in there, made me sad as heck. Decided I will just leave them alone, since this next Thursday will be day 14. Is that the day I lockdown????? I just assumed since chicken eggs go on lockdown 3 days ahead, maybe quail too??? Like I said, this is my first batch of quail eggs to incubate, and I would like to have a good hatch. I have 51 eggs left now, and hoping I get more than half hatched. I could just kick my own butt for what happened today, felt so darn bad. Won't make that mistake again tho.
Coturnix are really hard to see but my method really worked for me: I took a mini-mag flashlight to mine. Take the top ring off where the bulb goes and remove the plastic shield. Then replace the metal ring but don't screw it all the way on. The fat end of the eggs sit nicely in the metal ring and you can see pretty clearly. You may have to move the egg around a little.
On my next go around I am going to use a smal sure-fire super bright flashlight. The kind the cops use.
That should light them up!
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I am lady fumblefingers when it comes to eggs, especially in the incubator! I found that at ten days I can candle just as effectively without ever picking up the egg. Make sure you have some way rigged up so that your light fits tight to the egg. You can cut and tape a little cone to the end or whatever. All you have to do is put the light straight down on the egg. If nobody is home the whole egg will "glow". If it is developing, you will have a little ring of light right at the aircell, then dark. Like spikennipper said, use a non incubated egg to look at and you will see the difference. Its also very fast this way.
And also sometimes there are some really dark shelled eggs which it will look like they have something in there but they dont, just leave all the ones that you cant see through with a light.
THANK YOU SO MUCH OUTDRDUDE!!!!!!!!! The min-maglight was perfect!!
It even works better on my chicken eggs than my old method. Wish I'd have ever thought of this myself a month ago. I could see everything, and was able to do my candleing much quicker. Anyway, I have 39 very healthy-acting quail chicks right now, day 10. I am so excited!! I also bought an Acurite humidity monitor today, hoping that would help me out with that problem. Wouldn't you know it, I was reading instruction sheet, and it says on there "When considering placement options, be sure to choose an area free of water, dust and heat that may effect the accuracy of the humidity and temperature readings on the indoor thermometer." Now, why didn't they put that on the OUTSIDE of package???? I know is only $8.00, but I live WAY away from town, and is just inconvenient. Oh well, live and learn, I guess. Okay, so now to my next question......No one around here has quail egg-size egg cartons, so what do I put the eggs in after taking out turner??? Is it possible to just lay the separate trays from the turner flat on the wire/cheesecloth, for hatching??? Or is there danger in doing that???? Not sure what to do......
After I took my egg turner out we placed the eggs on an old pillow case inside on top of the wire. Using an old LG incubator BTW. However I left about a quarter of the wire uncovered so the humidity wouldn't be affected. Seemed to work for me. Glad I could help.

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