HELP - Incubating Shipped Coturnix Eggs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Bates, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Bates

    Bates Chirping

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    I bought some Coturnix quail eggs a few weeks ago and have been incubating them with a Brinsea Maxi II Advance. It’s the 20th day and there’s been no progression. What should I do? Here is the timeline:

    June 13th - I collected the eggs from the post office. They weren’t packed very well and I ended up with 27 / 48 eggs (56%) after removing the breakages. I let these sit overnight (12 hours) and placed them in the incubator the following morning.

    June 14th (Day 1) - After doing a lot of research, I thought I’d try dry incubation as this seemed to be the most successful. I let the shipped eggs sit in their carton for 3-5 days so that the air sac could settle and reattach. There was no turning during this time and the incubator was set at 37.5C (99.5F) with 45% RH humidity. There was a power cut for a couple of hours between this date and day 5.

    June 18th (Day 5) - I set the eggs in the turning tray and activated the automatic turning.

    June 23rd (Day 10) - I candled the eggs and removed a couple of eggs that I had missed with fractured hairlines. They didn’t look like they had developed and I didn’t want to risk the spread of bacteria. There were some eggs I was unsure of so I kept these in the incubator incase.

    June 27th (Day 14) - LOCKDOWN - I candled the eggs again and started removing some that looked empty. They were not full or dark like you’d expect at this point. I cracked open the first egg and was mortified to find a developed embryo (cirka. day 9, without feathers) that was still alive. I felt really awful about this and after culling the embryo I ended up putting the “uncertain” eggs back in the incubator. There were two that were definately empty (I checked) so these were removed. The humidity in the incubator was increased to 65%. I removed the turning tray and replaced it with a non-slip, cardboard mat.

    I haven’t opened the incubator since and have been eagerly checking the eggs each day. There hasn’t really been any movement (thought I saw an egg wobble once or twice) or pipping. I’m getting a bit desperate and have tried encouraging them with quail sounds on YouTube.

    It’s now day 20 and I’m wondering what I should do next. I have read they can hatch as late as day 21, but should I give them a little longer (i.e. 25 days)? I’m feeling disappointed at the moment, but trying to stay positive. I think there have been a lot of factors (as named above) that have influenced the outcome…

    I’d welcome any advice or support at the moment. Thank you.
     
    AlderCreekFarms likes this.
  2. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    Are you checking the incubator temp with a separate calibrated thermometer? I ask because the built-in ones can be notoriously inaccurate, and the delayed development of that chick coupled with the overdue hatch date make me think the temperature is too low. Sorry you're having such trouble with this hatch (and shame on your supplier for packaging that poorly).:hugs
     
  3. Bates

    Bates Chirping

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    No. I did buy a second, cheap thermometer, but the temperature difference was so much I thought I'd be better relying on the incubator. I know of people who have bought 8 different thermometers and get different readings from all of them, so I thought it would make things less complicated if I use only the built-in thermometer. Brinsea is supposed to be more reliable.

    I'm not really sure where to go from here. I'm tempted to float test them tonight, but I don't want to ruin any possibility of them hatching by opening the incubator.
     
  4. cosmosue

    cosmosue Songster

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    I dunno. I would be watching for egg wiggling. At this point they should all be rocking and rolling mostly. Usually the day I lock down or at least by day 16 they are wiggling all over. If they grew but were slow because perhaps the temp was high enough to develop them but not at the right speed of development then they will be late and of course no one wants to toss out eggs that are alive.

    I’ll say this, as just a stupid experiment I put a few eggs under a broody hen, people might give me crap for it but I had no intention of letting her hatch them due to bacteria/disease, just sit them, after a couple weeks I took them back there was 6. 1 was rotten, 5 were dark or near dark. I floated them and they moved I didn’t have an exact date to go by and she wasn’t reliable at all as far as sitting (the hen) so I put all 5 on the hatch rack and waited. I also wiped the shells down with a solution so I wouldn’t have the bacteria.

    All 5 of those eggs hatched at different times. Some a few days later some a week later. So I had to remove the babies as we went, but it worked, those 5 I call Sophie’s 5 and they are already in the grow out pen.

    Now that being said, again, I won’t do that again, I didn’t think she would even incubate them and she had a hard time cause she’s huge and they are small.

    But I also have shipped eggs right now. 7 made it out of 12. Their air sacs don’t look that great, a few do. But they are all still alive and there is a chance the air sac will repair closer to hatch (saw that happen on an egg last time and I was like shocked it repaired itself!) but I also lost power for 2 hours during incubation and I put the incubator in the bathtub with hot water which kept it between 91-96 more towards 93 or so.

    So I don’t know what will come of these shipped eggs either but I’m gonna wait it out and see. My guess is they will be late.


    Can you candle again and see if you can see anything at all?
     
  5. Erkenstein

    Erkenstein Songster

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    Since you candled and also found an embryo it's best to give them more time. You may have a cool incubator, but they should be rocking by now.
     
    cosmosue likes this.
  6. Bates

    Bates Chirping

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    Thank you for sharing your experience. Do you remember what sort of temperature/humidity they were at? I was wondering if it would be okay to have such high humidity if they're behind schedule. I'm glad it wotwor out for you in the end, even if it wasn't as intended. :)

    Do you think it's safe to candle when they're in lockdown? I don't want to jeopardise the hatch by going in there when I shouldn't. I did think about putting them up to my ear and trying to listen.
     
  7. Bates

    Bates Chirping

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    Apr 9, 2014
    Hedmark, Norway
    Haven't seen any rocking and I've been inspecting them through the incubator regularly to check for signs of pipping. Tried whistling and tapping on the side to see if they react, but again it's quiet. Do you think it's safe to candle or hold them up to my ear, or should I not tamper with the incubator right now?
     
  8. Erkenstein

    Erkenstein Songster

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    It's best not to open the incubator or mess with the eggs at all during lockdown for a couple of reasons: 1) if there are any pips, the chick will be shrinkwrapped and 2) the chicks are working on getting in position to hatch.

    The high humidity is okay since they've had a lot of days with lower humidity to develop an air sac. I incubate at 50 and lockdown at 60 and then once they start hatching out it goes 60-70 on it's own from the wet chicks.
     
  9. Erkenstein

    Erkenstein Songster

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    Time to go to a movie or something. ;)
     
    AlderCreekFarms likes this.
  10. Bates

    Bates Chirping

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    Hedmark, Norway
    Yea, I've read about that and it's one of the reasons I've been telling myself not to open the incubator. Don't want to make things worse!

    I'm currently building their coop/run, so that's keeping occupied outside. Gorgeous weather at the moment so best make the most of it. :)
     
    AlderCreekFarms likes this.

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