Completely new to this

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Nethielka, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Nethielka

    Nethielka Chirping

    116
    165
    96
    Mar 1, 2018
    Cambridge, UK
    I just bought some quail hatching eggs and I am freaking out :D
    I managed to put together an "incubator".
    [​IMG]

    So far I can say it holds moisture and heat pretty well.

    Now the waiting game for the egg delivery begins.
     
    Farmer Connie likes this.
  2. Athiena14

    Athiena14 Songster

    874
    982
    191
    Feb 23, 2018
    St. Robert MO
    Good luck, its a lot of fun. Eggs will be difficult to candle sometimes just to warn you. Good luck with the homemade. I tried it with chicken eggs one year and failed lol. I didn't know what I was doing at all
     
  3. Diamond Dan

    Diamond Dan Chirping

    76
    81
    81
    Feb 8, 2017
    Southern MS
    My first attempt at hatching was a walmart styrofoam cooler like yous and i hatched 12 of 18 eggs
     
    Dobelovr23 likes this.
  4. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,982
    3,385
    327
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Good Luck. We were there last Nov. First ever batch of eggs and a homemade styrofoam incubator. I will tell you that your incubator will be different in temp management once eggs are added - that is a lot of mass.

    We placed about 55 eggs and hatched 32. A few were not fertilized, a few quit development part way through, and a few were fully formed, but never even pipped. We felt successful for our first hatch.

    Here are pics of my incubator (with notes because I was asking Q on BYC). Note the heat shield (part of a metal lunchbox) which kept direct light off the eggs and hopefully created an "airflow" just due to hot air rising, cool air cooling. My plexiglass needed to be 2 layers (with air space between) because one layer developed condensation quickly. You want humidity, but not water droplets dripping on eggs. I used rocks on the bottom to help keep temp moderated when I opened the incubator 3x per day to turn the eggs. The heart shaped metal tins are keeping the mesh raised off the floor for air circulation and so that the rocks were at the bottom. Heat source was a 25w bulb. I tried a few other bulbs, but this was the best one. Also, you cannot see it, but there is an exterior dimmer attached to the light bulb. I used this a few times when the temp would be a bit high (maybe because the ambient temp was a bit higher?) and would slightly dim the bulb, because too much dimming lowered the temp too much. Aluminum tape is great for this application - the humidity did not impact the tape at all. The humidity was controlled using a glass container filled part way with water with aluminum tape on top, which allowed me to poke holes and to make the holes larger. I ended up doing most humidity controlling by moving the glass closer or farther away from the heat source (keeping it on that shelf).
    Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 8.47.10 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 8.46.56 AM.png


    Here it is with eggs inside. I was concerned that the paper egg trays might mold or mildew in the high humidity environment, but they did fine. The trays were rotated 2 ways each time I turned the eggs: First bottom tray became top tray (to help with any heat variation) and then the two tray were rotated 180 degrees so that what was on the south side was now on the north side. The piece of wood (cut on an angle) was the prop for the egg trays. A few more eggs were underneath, and they were rotated individually. I don't think any of those hatched however, but they were eggs from very young birds and the eggs just may not have been fertilized. The eggs in the cartons were purchased from a breeder, rather than obtained from my cage of very young birds.
    Notice the black thermometer - it has temp readings and high and low for the past 24 hours listed. It indicates that the temp is 97F (95-102 range). How about humidity 29% (range of 23-41%). I definitely had temp fluctuations throughout, but got a pretty good hatch. Also, I got better at temp control too - this pic may have been taken in the first few days of using the incubator.

    Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 8.47.30 AM.png

    Candling: The eggs are dark and small. Heck, I made an incubator, might as well make a candler. I took our brightest flashlight (LED, of course) and it also happened to be one of our smallest. I made an egg base with soft foam and black electrical tape, with an added cuff for staying on the flashlight. This powerful LED illuminated the egg well. Now, it got harder the farther along in incubation and the fact that I had no prior experience with candling any kind of egg. But, unfertilized, or non-developing eggs were pretty obvious by Day 14 - lockdown day.
    Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 8.50.30 AM.png

    I placed the eggs on the mesh floor of the incubator and used and old soft cloth as the "floor". This cloth got very dirty and we just threw it away, but it was a good base for them to use when they first hatched. You can see pips and one that has hatched!
    Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 9.17.11 AM.png

    GOOD LUCK! They are super cute and super small! The girls from this batch started laying at 5.5 weeks (only a few), and all were laying by 9 weeks!!!! The boys started crowing at 5 weeks, and it was in earnest by 6 weeks - they are loud! Many boys went to freezer camp by 9 weeks old.
     
    Farmer Connie likes this.
  5. Nethielka

    Nethielka Chirping

    116
    165
    96
    Mar 1, 2018
    Cambridge, UK
    Thank you! I am already hyped :D

    Oooh that's perfect!! Thank you so much for all that info :) Dripping on the eggs is definitely an issue that I noticed. Rocks - will put some in.
     
    Acre4Me likes this.
  6. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,982
    3,385
    327
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    I read a few posts on making an incubator. Put a few ideas to use among various online "plans". Since adding a fan was going to be more expensive and time-consuming, I opted to use a still air incubator. The main thing I would change in this still-air design is to move the light build lower on the side. Then there may be more air movement since the air would heat and rise further. Cool and drop, then heat and rise. With the heat shield (which is from a Dr. Who metal lunchbox - I see you are listed as UK based), I think I got some circulation, but the bulb was higher on the side.

    Is your light fixture ceramic or plastic? If plastic, you might want to be careful about it overheating since it will be on all the time.
     
  7. Nethielka

    Nethielka Chirping

    116
    165
    96
    Mar 1, 2018
    Cambridge, UK
    Fortunately its ceramic. I bought a very cheap table lamp and gutted it as it was cheaper than getting a fixture on its own. Currently it has a 20W halogen bulb in.
    Amazon should deliver my thermometer/hygrometer today so I'll post later about the temps..
     
  8. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,982
    3,385
    327
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Good! I found that my thermometers (I had 4 at one point) were all a bit different. I removed the two that were outliers (one was high and one was low), and kept the other two in there. However, they are taking readings from very different spots in the incubator. This way I was able to try to manage temps better. However, sometimes the temp would climb fairly high - at one point my thermometer (the black one on the bottom) read 106F!! Ack - removed the lid, used it to vent the incubator for about 10-15 seconds, then put it back on. Maybe the thermometer was not accurate, maybe it had only just reached 106 but eggs were not that high yet, because Im pretty sure it would have killed the chicks at that high of temp.

    Do you have eggs in your incubator yet?
     
  9. Nethielka

    Nethielka Chirping

    116
    165
    96
    Mar 1, 2018
    Cambridge, UK
    No, still waiting for them to arrive, but at least it gives me time to prepare :)
     
  10. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    1,982
    3,385
    327
    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Yes, agreed! If they are being shipped, I've seen it recommended to let them sit for 24 hours at room temp to let the eggs settle and if any air cells are detached they may readjust. Not sure if this is needed advice for quail eggs though (usual advice for chicken eggs though). If you let them sit, they should be pointy side down.

    How many eggs are you getting? What type of quail?
     
    Diamond Dan likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: