First dry Coturnix incubation, half have huge air cells.

MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
1,333
4,046
421
Very South Texas
Not sure if this belongs here or in the general incubation forum. I live in a very humid climate and have always added water to the incubator as per the instructions, using a NurtureRight360. I've had great hatch rates, 85%+. I had read about dry hatching being superior for quail in some people's opinions and figured the only way to know was to try. Well 3 days ago I candled and all the air cells were tiny (enough that I was concerned they wouldn't be able to pip internally) and today I'm going into lockdown so I candled again today and 3 of the 7 have huge air cells now about 1/4 of the total egg. They also feel lighter than the other eggs. The humidity has been at 44% fairly consistently with one dip into the 30s, usually I run at 50-55% adding water. I guess my question is, could those light eggs still be viable? Is it likely they'd be tiny and weak if they do hatch? I feel bad now because I caused the situation and I'm trying to mentally prepare for issues at hatch.
 

DearChicken

In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2021
31
29
39
Don’t feel bad! Just go on with the lockdown and wait and see. Life’s pretty strong, so they should be fine. I have a turning incubator that didn’t turn properly, but I didn’t know. Still 3 chicks hatched perfectly normal.
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
3,636
7,401
441
I find the best numbers for the nr360 is about 30% for most of the time, and about 45-50 at lockdown. If I forget to fill the water trough, it runs at about 24%, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. If it’s been 44% all along, I don’t think humidity is an issue at all.

This is all assuming you have calibrated equipment, not just trusting the incubator numbers, because I find the nr360 is pretty accurate for 30% humidity and above, but below that, it doesn’t sense it accurately, so my independent equipment shows 24% and the nr360 says like 5% or shows an error (I think 00 or something), or sometimes will say like 37% on the bator, and 25% on the hygrometer, like it got stuck at its last reading or something.
 

MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
1,333
4,046
421
Very South Texas
I find the best numbers for the nr360 is about 30% for most of the time, and about 45-50 at lockdown. If I forget to fill the water trough, it runs at about 24%, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. If it’s been 44% all along, I don’t think humidity is an issue at all.

This is all assuming you have calibrated equipment, not just trusting the incubator numbers, because I find the nr360 is pretty accurate for 30% humidity and above, but below that, it doesn’t sense it accurately, so my independent equipment shows 24% and the nr360 says like 5% or shows an error (I think 00 or something), or sometimes will say like 37% on the bator, and 25% on the hygrometer, like it got stuck at its last reading or something.
I calibrated after purchase last year, but not since. We have 80-90% humidity in my area so I've never seen it dip below 30 when I run it dry for a few days before setting eggs. Maybe the large air cells were just late quitters. I think my older male (just turned one year last month) is losing fertility or maybe it was just a little too early in the season. I'm collecting for another hatch with a new male from my stock and some XL females from shipped eggs. I think I'll go back to what's worked before, the whole " if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it". 🤷
 

CovidtimeQuail

Highly quailified
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
747
1,619
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Honolulu, HI
I figured I'd update incase someone else did a search and ended up here. All three of the large air cell eggs have pipped along with most of the rest. I'll update again if they all make it. Quail are such tough little birds!
I thought they'd do okay. I dry hatch for the first 14 days and our ambient humidity is 70%-90% also.

(Glad they did fine!)
 
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MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
1,333
4,046
421
Very South Texas
All 7 hatched! The last one is just drying in the incubator. So I guess I can say dry incubation does lead to better hatch rates after all.
IMG_20210503_104720.jpg
 

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