Hatching Quail


Jun 4, 2019
Southeastern Wisconsin
I am getting quail eggs delivered in the mail today that were all hatched 2-7 days ago. This will be my first time incubating eggs. I have an automatic turner with a quail insert that will fit them all. Do I stand the eggs upright in the trays or lay them on their side? And I have read that I should keep the temp at 100 degrees. Do I change that temperature on day 15? I have also read a lot about the level of humidity for hatching quail eggs. I was thinking that because this is my first hatch, I would do a dry hatch so I don't have to worry about adjusting the humidity level. Will this be okay? Do I need to add humidity on day 15 when I stop turning them? Thanks!!
Welcome to the happy insanity of raising quail! :celebrate I raise button quail. I don't use an automatic turner since button eggs are so tiny. I will tell you what works for me, and I'm sure others others will chip in that raise other breeds. Most of what I know is from making mistakes, but I've got a decent system down now. :D First, let the eggs sit for 24 hours pointy side down after they arrive. Start your incubator right away so the temperatures have a chance to stabilize. In a forced air incubator, the temp is 99.5, still air 100.5 (I use a forced air for incubation and still air for hatching). All incubators have cool spots, so I put thermometers in various spots to see where the cold spots are. I have serious OCD when it comes to incubating, so I have 2 thermometers in the center, one in each corner, and a few along the edges :lau You don't have to go overkill like me, but make sure the thermometers are at the height of the egg. Most incubators with sensors have the sensors at the height of chicken eggs. I have to put my hatcher at some ridiculous temperature (104 I think) to get 100.5 at the height of button eggs. I turn the eggs 3 times a day, and keep the eggs away from the cool spots. Humidity is 50-55% for the first 15 days for buttons (they hatch on day 17). At day 15, I lockdown. I put the eggs in the hatcher and bump the humidity to 60-65%. The eggs aren't turned at this point. Because buttons are so stinking tiny, I put burlap down on the floor of the hatcher to keep them from getting their feet caught in the plastic mesh. I keep chicks in the hatcher for 24 hours, and then move them to the brooder. Happy hatching! :jumpy
The most important thing is to have at least one calibrated thermometer and a salt tested humidity gauge.
You cannot trust the built-in instruments in your incubator.

I do not lower the temperature on day 15 and I do run a dry incubator and only bump the humidity up to about 40% for hatching.

My dry incubator stays at about 25% throughout.

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