First time incubating Coturnix Quail: Absolute failure

Greendale_Quails

Hatching
Jul 15, 2020
2
1
8
Hi, First time poster here.
Recently decided I wanted to try incubating some Quail Eggs.
Bought a relatively inexpensive 24 egg digital, automatic incubator.
I have 4 coturnix quail I received from a friend, 1 male and 3 female.
11 eggs (no older than 7 days) wen into the incubator once the temperature and humidity readings were right (37.5c and 60% humidity(wet bulb))
Candled the eggs on day 6, 5 of them were showing signs of fertilization with red blood vessels visible (struggled to candle some due to dark coloured eggs).
Locked the eggs down on day 15 and increased the humidity to 70%, disposed of 4 eggs that were very obviously no fertile.
Fast forward to when hatching day was supposed to be (day 17,18 or 19) no signs of life from the eggs, tried candling them again with little information gained.
Read around on this frum and decided to give them another 2 days, still with no success.
Did egg autopsy on day 22, of the 6 remaining eggs:
-1 was infertile
-2 had small fetuses inside but had obviously died early in development.
-the remaining 3 had fully formed chicks inside that were dead😭 , the chicks were feathered, had hard beaks but hadn’t absorbed all of the yolk sac. The membrane also seemed very thick and was tightly wrapped around the chicks.

I decided to test the in-built thermometer on the incubator to see if that was an issue, and it was!
It was reading 3.5 degrees celsius lower than it was inside the incubator, meaning it was 41 degrees celcius inside 😓
Being a fan forced incubator with a wet bulb hygrometer, I assume that lower temperature reading also means the humidity was off as well?

So after adjusting the temperature in the incubator, i'm ready (with significant anxiety) to try again.
Does it sound like im on the right track? Anything else i need to adjust before trying again?

Thanks
 

Quailobsessed

Crowing
Oct 12, 2019
2,026
3,231
351
Australia
Welcome to BYC!
So sorry to hear about the chicks 😔

It's rare to find an incubator that displays an accurate temperature. Most people recommend putting several calibrated thermometers hygrometers inside the incubator to get an accurate reading.

Hopefully the other members on BYC will be able to give you some incubation tips ;)

Please keep us posted. Good luck on future hatches! :D
 

Fenrisulfr

Crowing
Mar 30, 2020
990
2,227
286
Germany
First either ... :welcome and glad you joined.

What is the calibrated temp and humidity telling? How much was the difference to the inbuilt measures?
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,557
61,656
1,096
Sonoma County, CA
Welcome! It sounds like you have your temperature issue sorted out. I see another potential problem. For coturnix quail, in my experience lower humidity will give you better results. I incubate mine at about 30% humidity and raise humidity to 50-60% when they start to pip.
 

Greendale_Quails

Hatching
Jul 15, 2020
2
1
8
Welcome! It sounds like you have your temperature issue sorted out. I see another potential problem. For coturnix quail, in my experience lower humidity will give you better results. I incubate mine at about 30% humidity and raise humidity to 50-60% when they start to pip.

Ok, great, thanks for the advice :thumbsup
 

HeatherN

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 19, 2013
42
41
99
California
Using calibrated thermometers/hygrometers are usually the key, I find. I use a permanent marker to write margin of error near the incubator's display, once I've found out how "off" it is.
Additionally, certain incubators can have issues holding consistent temps throughout the entire chamber or throughout the entire day. It's good to check temps at the top/bottom, all corners, and wherever the eggs sit. Some models come with removable styrofoam shells. If you are concerned about temp fluctuations, you can keep them in their foam.

Happy hatching!
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,630
5,971
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Because they hatch so quickly from day one to chicks, I don't candle. It takes too much time, causes too much heat loss & humidity escapes.
I put them in and let them run their days before finding out which were fertile, which quit on me, and how many chirpers I get :d
Better luck this next go-round.
 

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