First time incubating Buttons


11 Years
Apr 13, 2008
Branch, La
Hi, all. We'll be attempting to hatch a few buttons, and have never hatched any type of quail. From what I've heard, temp and humidity are the same as chicken eggs, and they take 17 days to hatch. Is this correct, and is there anything else I need to know? Well be using a Hovabator, and turning the eggs ourselves, because I don't have the quail egg cups for my turner.
Any advice, or maybe a thread with this info?
the main things I have learned are different, as a new quail owner: they need food and water much sooner after hatching than chicks. probably do better with higher hatching humidity. their brooder will definitely need to be covered sooner that later. They are very bad about jumping and hurting their heads/necks on cage ceilings. Special precautions are needed.
Quail, buttons especially, do better if they have higher humidity than chicken eggs. You should try to keep the humidity in the 45%-55% range during incubation, then up to 65%+ for the hatch. They also seem to hatch better if the temperature is lowered 1 degree during lockdown.
They do need food and water almost immediately after hatch, you can go about 24 hours before you really must feed them. I usually wait till there is a 'lull' in the hatch and move hatched chicks to the brooder.
Quail chicks need a higher temp in the brooder as well, closer to 100*. This will prevent them from piling on top of each other, which is one of the main causes of quail chick death. Just be sure they have room to get away from the heat source if they get too hot.
You need to use a quail chick water base AND put marbles and/or small stones in it for buttons, they can and will get into the water base. You also need to grind (or make into a mash) their feed for at least the first 2 weeks (also for buttons).
Buttons can fly very well at just 2 weeks old, so you are better off covering their brooder from day 1. That way, you don't find out the hard way that they've learned to fly. Their flight feathers are in at 1 week old.
You want to get a starter feed with the highest level of protein you can find. Game bird starter is best, but chick starter is okay if you can't get that. Most people say it's not necessary, but I make their feed a wet mash the first couple weeks, it cuts down on waste and I know they can eat it!
Thanks so much for the tips. So, a little higher on humidity, and feed them asap. So, do I stop turning on day 14? I've heard incubation is 17 days. Is this correct?
thank you very much for your help.i was not sure about the chick starter.i have some here and will wet it for the 1st week.i have 80 in the incubator and so far theres about 9 that came out.this is day 17 hopefully will have more tonight and tomorow.its my 1st time hatching cortunix quail hopefully i do good.thanks again
So, can anyone tell me about candling these eggs-is it safe to candle? What day is it best, and am I pretty much looking for the same thing as when candling chicken eggs?
Basically, all you'll be able to see is if the eggs is 'full' or not. Button eggs should be dark green or brown, so they are very hard to see through. But you'll be able to see the air sac, and might be able to see into the egg, but you probably won't see any veins, unless the eggs are really light colored.

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