Horrible Hatch - Only One Chick

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Hereiam, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Hereiam

    Hereiam New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    Hello All. I am new to both this site and quail. I ordered a dozen eggs and received a baker's dozen in the mail. The shipping company was supposed to call me when they delivered the eggs but did not so the eggs sat in below freezing temps (high 20's) for a few hours. I figured all was lost but went ahead and tried. I let the eggs set at room temp for a day then put them in the incubator. Only four eggs started development. One of those eggs developed fully but was breech and never pipped. I did not know the chick was breech until I opened the egg on day 19 to see why it didn't hatch. By this time it looked to have been dead for about a day. The remaining three hatched but two were never quite right. They both had seizures that started mild but got worse until they were unable to recover and died withing a few hours of each other about 40 hours after hatch. The one remaining living chick seems to be doing great. She/he is acting a little peeved at her siblings for leaving and calls out for them regularly. Do you think this little chick will do alright by herself? Any advice? She is on day four of life.

    Funny thing - this egg was the 13th egg. I had numbered it fourteen so her name is Fourteen. I am not really superstitious but it is family tradition to skip numbers 13 and 666 when numbering animals. I was taught that number superstitions weren't real but human reactions to numbers believed to be bad were very real and should be avoided.

    I have searched old posts and found a list of members that supply hatching for quail but the list is quite old. Does anyone have an updated list or know of members that supply eggs? I would like to give it another go.
     
  2. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What type of quail are you looking for? It would be best to put that info in your title. I do not have any eggs for sale.
     
  3. LadyHawkeAvry

    LadyHawkeAvry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2015
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    Shipped eggs during the colder months can be a crap shoot. Living in the Northeast, I've found that April 1 through August 1 eggs have the best hatch rates in terms of shipped eggs. They wont freeze or bake during shipping. There is definitely a difference between the survival rate between the eggs I collect and incubate form my ladies and those I get shipped in as outside breeding stock. Quail are pretty hardy though - I've had a batch suffer two separate power outages while in the incubator and everyone lived. One of the problems with shipped eggs is the potential for a saddle shaped air sac and tiny hairline cracks. I've found that those babies with irregular air sacs from shipping tend not to be able to hatch independently and will die during the hatching process if left to their own devices, I have to babysit my shipped eggs at lockdown time so I can watch for any problems. Every batch of shipped eggs I've incubated, regardless of species, required at least one assist. The death rate for quail after hatching can also be higher for shipped eggs.

    Your little one will do fine, and will likely end up tamer than most. They are sweet little birds when tame, I have a rooster from a late fall breeding stock purchase in my kitchen who was too young to go out with the big birds when I got him. He's a joy to have around. Be careful, however, if you incubate another batch and want to integrate your flock. Older birds are aggressively territorial, and think nothing of killing younger intruders. Even a 2 week difference in age can result in death of the younger birds, and some hens can be as bad as roosters.

    Incubating quail is fun and quite addicting, and after one good run of shipped eggs, you can begin producing your own eggs to hatch! Don't be discouraged by a bad hatch from shipped eggs - it happens - there are tons of things that could happen to the eggs during shipping, and USPS is not gentle, even when the boxes are marked fragile.... Keep an eye on the forecast, and order when the weather looks good for the next several days. In the meantime, enjoy your new baby!


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    Some of the quail from my first shipped batch of eggs... Several eggs were pitched on arrival for hairline cracks, and a few were infertile by candling after a week of incubation.I lost several in the incubator (Some eggs were quitters, and some were from me not knowing that shipped birds can have hatching problems) and another two within a week of hatching. Another bird was killed in a territorial dispute. Out of 24, I ended up with 6 adult birds. I incubated the eggs from my adults all spring and summer and got a 90 to 100% hatch rate, with only one death after hatching.
     
  4. LadyHawkeAvry

    LadyHawkeAvry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, where are you located? It's too cold here for me to send out eggs, but I raise coturnix quail and can ship once the weather is better.
     
  5. Hereiam

    Hereiam New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    I am in Virginia. I do need to work on my profile a bit. Thank you for the encouraging words. Your post was full of experience and I appreciate that you took the time to write it. The little chick does look very healthy. She runs around the brooder, eats, drinks, and poops. Not always in that order. This evening she started singing (soft chirping) again for the first time since her litter mates left. She still does the loud 'where are you?' CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP occasionally but not every 5 minutes like she was doing. It is good to know that she should be ok on her own. I do want to try again. She is a coturnix quail and will probably turn out to be a male since I am calling her a she. Thank you for the heads up about integrating age groups and singletons. I hope to someday have about 8 - 10 hens and 2 roosters in two separate pens. I will probably still have poor little Fourteen in the living room. :)
     
  6. LadyHawkeAvry

    LadyHawkeAvry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A good ratio is two hens to each roo, but while they are not breeding, they are content to be in large flocks. I have a mixed group of 40 - 50 (I lost count) in a 200sq ft flight pen to overwinter before they hit the smaller laying cages in the spring. Since you are in Virginia, you can start your shipped egg season way earlier than I can!

    If your chick wants company, keep the brooder in an area with lots of traffic. Our hatches brood in the living room with the family. One batch of pheasants wouldn't let me go to my room to sleep at night, so I spent the first few weeks sleeping on the couch so they could see me and didn't wake up the entire house with their calls. The quail roos will begin to crow at about 6 weeks, and it's adorable! The hens trill, and make a wonderful little noise when you bring them food.

    If you have any questions as you get into quail raising - feel free to PM me - I have probably made every mistake in the book at one time or another! There is also an amazing coturnix thread in the quail section of the forums with tons and tons of resources!
     
  7. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sent you a PM, but I forgot to mention that you may want to put a small stuffed animal in with 14. I'm guessing that 14 is a coturnix, and that breed needs companionship.
    James
     
  8. Hereiam

    Hereiam New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    I will try out a stuffed animal. I will have to make a trip to the store as I don't have any stuffed animals small enough. I am also keeping the chick in our living room with us humans. Our 120 pound Lab mix has decided that Fourteen is a funny looking puppy and needs mothering. She gets so worried when little Fourteen cries out. She sits and watches the chick and the chick watches her. It is rather funny. The dog is only around the brooder when I am close by. Otherwise we have the brooder securely protected by the evil vacuum cleaner that shall let no dog pass. I swear Fourteen doubled in size since yesterday!

    Thank you to everyone that sent me PM's sharing their less than perfect hatching stories. I have answered all of them and welcome any more.
     
  9. shotgunrem14

    shotgunrem14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Shipped eggs are always always always a risk.
     
  10. Hereiam

    Hereiam New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2015
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    I just wanted to post an update. Fourteen is doing great. She seems very happy. I had planned to keep the birds outside but since I have just one... She really likes it when I sit her cage on the table during homework time. She loves her dust bath bowl. And.... She laid her first egg today!!! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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