Dog got a wild mama bobwhite quail, 11 viable eggs in nest- what next?


8 Years
Jun 6, 2013
I just brought the eggs in. Candled all and they all seems just fine. Mama was flushed right off the nest :( I'd like to let them live and help them hatch, but have 2 concerns:

1. How do I tell how far along they are? If they were chicken eggs, judging by the development I'd say close to day 18- proportionate air cell, lots of movement of chick, can't see through the body of the egg. What's the safest route? Assume they're close to hatching and don't mess with them?

2. My incubator is currently hatching out chicks as we speak. I have a few options;
- put in incubator and hope chicks don't trample them (maybe quickly slip them in in a cardboard egg carton?). Not sure on this, I don't want to mess my hatch up...
- put under a broody chicken. I have several broodies all going to hatch the same day. I could remove all the eggs from one gal, give them to the others, and slip the quail eggs under her... This is the best idea I have, but not sure if a chicken would crush the itty bitty eggs?
- put them in the dehydrator at 99 with a pan of water. I once incubated chicken eggs like this, for the first 10 days only- that clutch hatched 13 out of 15, so it must not have hurt them any. I don't want the quail eggs staying in til hatch, but if they could weather 48 hours in the dehydrator until my incubator is done they could then go to the bator...

Thoughts? I'd love to give these little guys a chance!
Um, the eggs are rocking around wildly and I'm pretty sure the babes are pipping! I know one egg had a tiny 'crunch' spot in the shell from the chaos of mama flushing, I sealed that with wax and inspected the others- didn't see any flaws. Now most have little pip holes! It's been less than an hour! They're in the dehydrator, flat on a plate, but there's not much humidity in there yet! Should I just monitor close and hope for the best? What more can I do? I have a big tub of water in the bottom and a moist towel wrapped around the edge of the plate.
I moved them to a plastic tote brooder stabilized at 100 degrees (under infrared lamp), still on the plate, and put soggy cottonballs around them, plus a moist towel and a small bowl of water. I just feel like hatching in the dehydrator with no established humidity would be disastrous. They're in the bathroom with the incubator and it's already quite warm and a little humid in there. I could run the bathtub with hot water, too, to get humidity up.

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