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first timer with ? (please bear with me)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by garye5007, May 23, 2010.

  1. garye5007

    garye5007 In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2010
    OK, I'm new at this, so please be patient...
    I want try to hatch 12 quail eggs. I was loaned a hovabator 1602. it has a turner for chicken eggs. is there any way i can use the turner for quail eggs? i'm trying to do this as inexpensivly as possible... so i don't want to buy quail trays. i like the idea of a turner tho.
    If i find i enjoy doing this, perhaps i'll buy a bator of my own.
    also do i need a humidity tester? the instructions are a little sketchy as to this.
    the thermometer that is with it has separated red stuff... directions say to put in ice water and all red will go together with some tapping...
    i'm not having any luck fixing this.
    yeah, i'm pretty clueless about this, so, any advice would be very appeciated!
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:First off I want to tell you I have never hatched quail. However, a hygrometer (humidity gauge) is necessary and you can get a VERY reliable one at PetSmart - the reptile one. You can use the chicken egg turner, though watch it and see if the eggs get knocked around, if so, stuff paper towels around them (just dont get them wet when you add water). You can find a thermometer at any walmart. Forget the one with the red and mercury. They are hell to read in there after a while. Get a digital you can actually see! Goodluck!!!
  3. joe17

    joe17 Songster

    Nov 25, 2009
    With hova bators, all you have to do is fill one tray the first 18 days and fill both the last three days. Well..... nvm. Humidity depends on your location/weather. Buy one to make sure.
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Quail eggs generally do just fine in a chicken egg turner--that's how we hatched our first batch of quail (we've been hatching ducks for a while, but just got into quail). They did great, but were hard to pick up to candle, because they were so deep in the little holes. If they don't fit right there, the paper towels suggestion is probably just fine.

    I like the Acurite thermo-hygro combo available at Walmart--less than $10 and pretty reliable. You'll need to calibrate first though... You could just run the batch without one, just following the instructions that come with the bator--usually they say to fill one of the trays through the first 15 days (for quail), then fill the rest for the last few days (lockdown). Everyone does humidity a little different, so don't let it freak you out. I find I have best success (even with quail--every single one of our fertile quail eggs hatched on our first try) with super low humidity for the first part, and then super high humidity for the last part of each incubation. Others have different experiences. Just don't stress too much--try what makes sense to you, then change it as needed for the next time. Candle your eggs right before lockdown and make a note of how large the air cells are. If they are 1/3 of the volume of the eggs, terrific--note how you handled humidity and do it next time too. If they are larger, then you need more humidity next time. If they are smaller than that, you need less humidity next time. You will probably still hatch some out, even if the air cells aren't quite where you want them, but your best hatch rates will happen when you get those air cells right. No one can tell you how to do it, because it has way too many variables, and each situation is different.

    Do get a good thermometer though. That part will drive you insane and ruin your hatch to boot. It's ten bucks at Walmart and will save your hatch and your sanity. And if you can get one with the hygro built in, all the better.

    Good luck!

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