Do you prefer incubation or natural mother brooding?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by crimsonmama, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. crimsonmama

    crimsonmama Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2017
    I've been very lucky! I brought eggs to incubate right before my coturnix female decided to brood and hatch her own eggs.

    I'm just curious given the choice which would you prefer?

    I was very happy and feel privileged to watch my female doing the process but I can understand why people incubate more often than not (which has been said to be the reason natural broodiness has been bred out of coturnix quail)

    Comparing my experience of the two: I had eleven eggs and so did my female. I have nine chicks alive and well. She has six. We both lost one to pasty butt. We both had one stuck in the egg. I helped the incubated one and it survived. Hers I left for a day and a half and it died. I was going to help but as this was mamas chicks I was leaving it to nature more than my incubated chicks. Me female had two duds. I had one dud. One of mamas chicks got trampled in the nest too. So I think my success rate is higher.

    My incubated chicks are friendly and still like being petted (so far) and I feel will know me and be great adults to have. My mamas chicks do want to be friendly - coming over to see my hand but mama soon calls them away and they are wriggly and difficult to hold compared to my incubated chicks who are used to hands.

    My incubated chicks are not very explorative of different foods. They are eating tonnes of chick crumb and growing fast! In comparison my females chicks are more eager to try bugs and meal worms as well as chick crumb because mama shows them the bugs.

    I guess it's obvious incubated chicks will be more tame so I must say if I want a new flock I would incubate rather than have mama brood again. It's a shame as I enjoyed my mama sitting her nest but I just feel the end result is better when incubated.
  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2015
    I definitely prefer the natural way- just letting the mom raise her chicks, but I'd love to hear others' opinions!
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2015
    I only have buttons and those are not going to be tame either way unless I'm prepared to spend a couple of hours a day cuddling them. So unless I need a large quantity of birds (or have very low fertility so I need to incubate more eggs than mom can cover to get a proper amount of chicks), I'll always prefer it the way nature intended. It's less trouble for me and it's so absolutely adorable to watch mother and babies - plus, I believe it's proof that mother feels comfortable in her enclosure when she's willing - and manages - to hatch chicks.
    Also, it's nice to be able to say they were hatched the natural way when you sell them.
  4. fishforbrains

    fishforbrains Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2015
    Mine simply do not do natural mother brooding. My courtnix and valley quail have never shown the slightest interest in their eggs. I had one button that sat on her eggs, so I humored her and let her do it, but she managed a zero percent hatch rate. I did an egg-topsy and they were fertile, just all dead at various times during the incubation.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by