Incubating coturnix quail HELP!


May 5, 2015
Hello, I have been reading BackYard Chickens for a while now and loving the information i get for all the animals on my small farm. Lately my boyfriend and I have been trying to start raising quail. We ordered twice from a very high praised seller on ebay buying a mix of Tuxedos, Texas A&M, and Golden Coturnix eggs. We have a still air incubator and live in high altitude and dry area (Utah) The first hatch we had 24 eggs, we kept the incubator at 99.5 F (it fluctuated slightly but we tried to keep it at 99.5 F) and the Humidity we had a hard time with but managed to keep it in the 40-50% range for the first 14 days and than bumped it up to 60% using wet paper towels in the corner of the incubator. we kept one of the vent plugs unplugged the entire time and took the second one out at the 14 days. We just turned them by hand 3 times a day (we did get excited and miscalculated the days, so they went approx a day without turning before we realized it was not the 14th day yet, so we were pretty sure that is where we messed up on that hatch) We ended up getting 5 quail to hatch and 2 pipped.

We didnt get the amount we wanted so we ordered another 24. Both times we candled on the 3rd and 14th day to check for fertility and got rid of any that didnt look fertilized. We did our reading and put water into the canals during this hatch, and tried another way of turning the eggs (which once again i dont think turned them well enough) We also got a calandar so that knew exactly what day to stop turning and which day they were hatching. We kept the temp at 99.5 F again and the humidity between 40%-50% and raised it to 60% after the 14 days and stopped turning.

They just hatched yesterday and we only got 3! one pipped but than black goo came out of it we took it out and investigated to find the membrane very rubbery and the chick was fully developed and surrounded with red dark goo... not sure what it is or why it happened, one of the quail that hatched died and now another one is sleeping a lot and doesnt get up and move around very much so we are worried about him. We were going to go through the other eggs when we realized another one was hatching! and it hatched! its now day 24 and we have two more pipping, and one cracked almost completely out of its shell! So that makes 3 almost 4 quail out of 24 so now to my question What are we doing wrong to get such a poor success rate? the incubator is not in the sun or a drafty area. Also what do you think happened to the quail that died in the black/red goo? Why would we still be getting quail hatching at 24 days? Any comments or advice is very much appreciated and sorry about the long post just wanted to make sure i got everything so we can find out what we are doing wrong! Thanks!

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