Help! Bad eggs or bad or bad owner, or both?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Sid Post, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Sid Post

    Sid Post Chillin' With My Peeps

    I eventually found a local source for Japanese Quail eggs. The good news was no shipping and $20 for 8 dozen. The bad news, only 35 hatched and so far 18 have died. [​IMG]

    I incubated them in a Brinsea Octagon 40 with auto-turn and humidity pump. When I asked the breeder about the egg size differences and what to expect, he said he ate the bigger ones and only had a 50% hatch rate ... [​IMG]

    My first 2 quail hatched at day 16, the bulk at day 17-19, with 4 quail at day 22. [​IMG]

    Temperature and humidity were dead on the entire time. I stopped the turn at day 16 when the first two hatched. Most chicks were about the same size and fluffed up a little bigger than golf ball size when dried. About 1/6th of them were noticeably smaller. I assume this was driven by the various egg sizes.

    Now to my current dilemma, I have them under an EgoGlow 50 and added a heat lamp. At first I had them on newspaper after reading new chicks would eat the wood shavings. I currently have them in a 4'x4' pen with wood shavings, the EcoGlow, and a heat lamp. They have free access to fresh water (chicken water with marbles) that is at the right height for them and I am feeding them Purina Startena which is a 30% gamebird chick feed I got locally. They seem to be happily running around with lots of energy and eating and drinking well. What I can't figure out is why they keep dying.

    I am aware of the biosecurity issues and these are the only birds I have. When I pick one up they are really lively. They don't huddle much (not cold) and run under the heat lamp at will. They are all about a week old (give or take a little) right now.

    Do I need to spike the water with sugar or some electrolytes?
    Am I doing something wrong?


    Or, did I just get bad eggs from a hobby breeder that didn't know what the heck they were doing. Oh, did I mention some of them are A&M Whites too? [​IMG]

    At this point, I'm looking for guidance on whether I should just grow these guys out and eat them or, keep them to lay eggs and raise more little ones. I'm assuming at this point I have inbred birds with bad genetics and need to write them off as "a lesson learned" but, I also want to make sure I'm not missing something basic and causing these problems myself.

    I am in East Texas between Lindale, Mount Pleasant, and Sulphur Springs which is about 90 minutes from the East side of Dallas. Are there any reputable breeders out here if I start over? If not, where are the good online sources for eggs or chicks that are good LARGE JAPANESE quail?

    TIA,
    Sid
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In Oct my egg production slowed way down, and my fertility rate had been declining. . Knowing the end of breeding season was near I loaded the bators to max hoping to squeeze out a few last birds for the year to sell over the winter. 2 sets of eggs, 140 in one and almost 400 in the other; 0% hatch rate. All the eggs were infertile & clear. I knew my quail had quit mating but I figured maybe a few had done the deed when I wasn't watching, but no such luck.

    I'd say you got bad eggs.
     
  3. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2014
    Washington, Kitsap County
    Were the eggs shipped to the local store or were they raised at the store, in mine and some other people experience shipped eggs have about a 50% hatch rate if you're lucky.

    some times the little guys don't make it after the first few days. But it does sound like you may have some genetic issues with those birds. Probably want to get some from a known breeder with experience. Quite a few on ebay, but the laying season has slowed down quite a bit until march, at least up north here it has. You could maybe get some more eggs and take 5 females from this clutch and one male from a new one and see what produces from that.
     
  4. Sid Post

    Sid Post Chillin' With My Peeps

    I picked them up direct from the breeder who was about 100 miles away so, no shipping.
     
  5. Sid Post

    Sid Post Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm down to 11 today. [​IMG]

    I only have 1 A&M left.
     
  6. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds like bad genetics. I would look for a NPIP certified breeder in your area and start over. If they are dieing off that fast something is really wrong and I would ask the breeder you bought them from. Even if they don't give you money back I would at least let them know so they can work on the issue as well.

    But I don't know what the living conditions are of the birds without seeing it I can't say if it's you cause the issue or not. I would contact the breeder though for sure and talk to them about it. I know that if I sold eggs and the person said all their chicks are dieing I would start to rethink my breeding pairs...
     
  7. QuailRaiser

    QuailRaiser Chillin' With My Peeps

    i echo the same thought, bad genetics... unless you're keeping them on mouldy floors or too cold temps you shouldn't have more that 5% chick morality. in 6 years i avg out to 2%, but that's genetics for ya
     
  8. QuailRaiser

    QuailRaiser Chillin' With My Peeps

    would there be a possibility for pictures?
     
  9. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It also sounds like inbreeding brothers and sisters, and that doesn't lead to very successful chicks.
     
  10. Sid Post

    Sid Post Chillin' With My Peeps

    I got my eggs from a hobbyist. I doubt he really cares about something as detailed as breeding pairs.

    In terms of living conditions, they were moved to a cardboard box lined with newspaper from the Brinsea Octagon incubator. They were in a heated bathroom that ran 75~85F ambient with ambient humidity in the 30~40% range. The incubator was rock solid on temperature and humidity. Post hatch, they were under a heat lamp and active, eating and drinking well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015

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