First hatch not so good

Discussion in 'Quail' started by JHaller, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

    95
    7
    41
    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    My first ever attempt at hatching, with a new incubator, isn't working out so well. I bought the machine about a year ago, but only now have had time and resources to use it. I put 28 Pharoah quail eggs in it set the temp and humidity according to the manual.

    After 14 days I stopped the automatic turner. Still nothing at days 16, 17, and 18; so Day 19 I turned off the incubator. The next day I cracked open a couple of the eggs to see what might have developed. To my horror, one of the chicks was moving. I turned the incubator back on, not sure which was more humane....to let the hatch die or let the remaining eggs develop?

    Early Easter morning I woke to the sound of chirping and found a live, active chick. Several eggs appeared to be trying to hatch. Eight hours later two more chicks had hatched. One was rather crippled, struggling to straighten its neck. Another was dragging its shell around by what I guess was the umbilical cord.

    I moved the three chicks out of the incubator into a brooder 8 hours after I discovered the 2nd and 3rd chicks. They were active nd chirping loudly and seemed to be shivering. When I put them in the brooder, one of the newer chicks quickly drowned in 1/4" of water, the crippled one just died. The chicks were fluffy, but their heads were slightly damp.

    Did I put them in the brooder too soon? How do I know when to move them?

    The live one was put back in the incubator. It's more energetic and chirping (it was lethargic in the brooder). But it seems to be shivering. There are other eggs trying to hatch. I'm going to let them alone for the night and leave the live chick in the incubator for a while longer. I fear the remaining chicks will have developmental problems.

    When should I give up on this hatch?

    Thanks for any insights,

    Judith
     
  2. Tikkajazz94

    Tikkajazz94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your new to this (as I am finally getting into it). I normally let the batch go till 20 eggs before testing the eggs. Testing eggs I prick a hole in the air sack area (the flat bottom part) and put a light to the shell, That way, if the chick is alive, I've not killed it. Did you put water in from the begining or on lockdown?

    I've had a few that, that has happened to, I think its normal for some chicks.

    For the brooder, You put the chicks in when their dry, energetic. you should put marbles in the waterer (no matter how deep), so no drowning is involved. Did you dip the beak in so they know that they drink it?

    If the eggs seem to be trying to hatch, give them a few more days to hatch.
    Hope this helps you,

     
  3. Coopershawk

    Coopershawk Out Of The Brooder

    11
    4
    24
    Apr 6, 2012
    first time i tired quail was to hot looked at the digit thermo over the mercury one and cooked the eggs 5 hatched 2 day early out of 80
    2nd time i tried got what you had to cold hatched 3 days late got 14 out of 55 that time
    once you get feel for hum and temp it becomes easier now i can get 30 to 40 eggs to hatch out of 50 now still fine tuning things
    just remember youll never get perfect
    but here some hints on how i do my cot hum 45 to 55% for first 14 to 15 days then bump it to 65 to 75% keep temp around 99.1f
    Forced Air incubator this will change if its still air about 101 on still i dont got one so dont hold me to that and i raise temp about to 100 maybe 100.5f during hatching getting 75% hatch on that hope this helps

    oh yea and i normally leave them incubator for 16 to 24 hours for them to fully dry out
    and i use washed pea gravel in my water alot smaller havent had a chick drowned yet
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

    95
    7
    41
    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    Wow, I didn't know you could prick the air sac and not the kill the chick! That's great information to have.

    I put water in the incubator's reservoir at the the start and topped it off slightly when the humidity dropped below 60. The temp stayed constant, but I think the reading is too low and maybe that's why the hatch took longer? When I stopped turning, i let the humidity go into the 70's but some people are saying they get better results with lower humidity.

    One more chick hatched early this morning. The first three all are dead now. The live one is vigorous, but the toes are curling, like the others. I'm going to see if anyone nearby has some hatchlings so I can try to brood these incredibly tiny creatures. This might be the only survivor and it will need some friends. The remaining eggs that have cracked don't seem to be progressing.

    What kind of thermometer is best for checking incubator and brooder temps?

    Thanks everyone, you've helped a lot.
     
  5. Tikkajazz94

    Tikkajazz94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have my Hovabator Genesis 1588 set for the factory setting, which On my Thermometer it says 104. Which mine hatched on time (with a few off, but that is normal). Next hatch, try doing it dry till lock down. I had mine not hatch, than i did it dry.
     
  6. chickbird

    chickbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    576
    8
    141
    May 4, 2009
    I KEEP MY HUMIDITY 35-45% UNTIL THE LAST 3 DAYS WHEN I RAISE IT TO 60%. STOP TURNING 3 DAYS BEFORE THE 16 TH DAY. I HAVE TWO INCUBATORS A FEW DAYS BEFORE THEY ARE DUE TO HATCH I TURN IT ON AND GET THE TEMP AT THE SAME AS THE ONE I AM USING AS AN INCUBATOR....AS THE QUAIL HATCH I PLACE THEM IN THE OTHER INCUBATOR AND LET THEM STAY UNTIL THEY ARE GOOD DRY AND VERY ACTIVE, USUALLY 4-6 HOURS. I HAVE PAPER TOWEL IN MY NON HATCHING INCUBATOR AND I HAVE FEED SPREAD ON THE PAPER TOWEL AND A SHALLOW LID WITH GLASS AQUARIUM PEBBLES IN IT WITH WATER. I DIP THE QUAIL BILL IN THE WATER INITIALLY TO SHOW THEM WHERE WATER IS. AS I AM REMOVING QUAIL I KEEP A VERY SMALL BOTTLE WITH A SPRAYER IN THE NONHATCHING INCUBATOR AND WHEN I GO IN TO REMOVE THE QUAIL I SPRITZ THE EGGS TO COMPENSATE FOR MOISTURE LOSS CAUSED BY OPENING THE INCUBATOR. I DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO WHAT SOME CALL LOCKDOWN, II OPEN WHEN NEEDED AND USE THE SPRY BOTTLE...I HAVE EXCELLENT HATCH RATES. AFTER THE 4-6 HOURS IN THE NON HATCHING INCUBATOR I PLACE IN A BROODER THAT IS AROUND 95 DEGREES. I LET MY QUAIL HATCH IN THE TURNER, IT KEEPS THE EGGS UP RIGHT AND JUST SO EASY. REMEMBER TURNER DOES NEED TO BE TURNED OFF ON THE LAST THREE DAYS.
     
  7. jbobs

    jbobs Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sucks - it sounds like your temperature was overall too low in the incubator. Temperature for a forced air should be about 99.5 to 100.5; for a still air 101-102 (My old still air fluctuated between 98 and 104 as the lights came on a dn off and produced great hatches) the Brooder temperature should be 95 F at the hottest part. I keep my humidity at about 50% during incubation and between 60-70 during hatching.

    That being said, I once had a bunch of button quail eggs that were 5 days overdue, so i turned the bator off and went to throw the eggs out the next day just like you did, and heared them cheeping inside. I turned the bator on and within an hour every single one hatched and was healthy. I hadn't changed the settings in thebator at all since my last hatch, so go figure. Nature is weired. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by