Jumbo Coturnix Quail

Rodd

Chirping
Nov 11, 2018
9
66
54
Idaho
So, my wanting to start to raise quail is going to happen soon. Wednesday night I won a contest on Facebook for 13 jumbo Coturnix quail eggs. The eggs are coming out of VA, and I am hopeful that the shipping and the cooler weather does not destroy the eggs.

Any hints on hatching shipped eggs? I have never tried any that were shipped. I have only gone directly to the location and picked them up. But, since I am 2,621 miles away, Google maps suggests it is only 40 hours, I am not sure I can make it in a weekend.

Also any advise on hatching quail eggs? I have auto turning, with quail rails and Styrofoam incubators.
 

TwoCrows

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Shipped eggs are a gamble when it comes to hatching, and what hatches can be a grab bag of both good and bad. LOL Genetics play a huge factor as to the hatching, the growing and health of these birds.

However all this said, I have had fairly good luck hatching shipped quail eggs. Expect about a 50% hatch rate although you can get a higher or lower rate, 50% is pretty average.

When you receive the eggs, inspect each egg carefully. You should incubate only clean eggs, no eggs with cracks, funky shapes, discolored or very small eggs.

You want to rest the eggs for 18 to 24 hours before setting. Place them in an egg carton with the large end up. This will allow all air bubbles that formed during shipping to break down and re form the air cell at the top of the egg. Keep the eggs somewhere where its between 50 and 60 degrees. Once or twice during this waiting period, give the eggs a sideways twist to keep the yolk from settling in one spot. Meanwhile get your incubator up and running. It takes about 24 hours for the temp and humidity to settle down and remain steady and exactly where you want it. Never place eggs in a cold incubator or one that has not yet stabilized. I've never used a styrofoam incubator so maybe someone else will chime in here to help you with it.

For forced air, temp somewhere around 99.6 - 99.8 Humidity somewhere between 40% to 45% is fine. Monitor the air cells as they develop to know if you've got too much humidity or not enough. If the air cell shrinks too fast, you have low humidity. Air cell doesn't shrink fast enough, you have high humidity.

After setting your eggs, temp and humidity will go haywire. Eggs themselves need to come up to temp, this will lower the temp inside the incubator, the humidy will probably shoot high as well as the eggs will steam off. Do not be panicked and try to adjust anything. It will take almost 24 hours for the temp and humidity to settle down. At this point if you are not completely satisfied with the conditions, you can make adjustments then.

Some people don't turn the eggs during the first 24 hours, I prefer to do so however. Its not incrediblely critical until the following day and days. Professional hatcheries turn eggs every hour. I have always done this as well. But they need to be turned at least 4 times a day so the yolk stays centered and the growing embryo gets constant new nutrients available in place of where it has been feeding.

Lock down 3 days before hatch, day 15. Stop turning eggs. Temp remains the same, however humidity needs to be raised by 10% to 15%. I put a cup of water inside the bator with a clean kitchen sponge in it. This will release a ton of extra moisture. NEVER open the incubator when there is pipping or chicks are hatching. During the pipping stage, it is very critical to keep very high humidy in the egg. A quick drop in moisture can cause chicks to stick to the inside of the egg and die. (Not so high they drown either, keep humidty about 60% or so). When a chick pips, it will sit like this, with a tiny breathing hole for nearly 24 hours. Do not attempt to break it out. Its detaching itself from the inside of the egg and absorbing the last of the egg yolk.

Have your brooder ready during lockdown.

Good luck!
 

Rodd

Chirping
Nov 11, 2018
9
66
54
Idaho
Shipped eggs are a gamble when it comes to hatching, and what hatches can be a grab bag of both good and bad. LOL Genetics play a huge factor as to the hatching, the growing and health of these birds.

However all this said, I have had fairly good luck hatching shipped quail eggs. Expect about a 50% hatch rate although you can get a higher or lower rate, 50% is pretty average.

When you receive the eggs, inspect each egg carefully. You should incubate only clean eggs, no eggs with cracks, funky shapes, discolored or very small eggs.

You want to rest the eggs for 18 to 24 hours before setting. Place them in an egg carton with the large end up. This will allow all air bubbles that formed during shipping to break down and re form the air cell at the top of the egg. Keep the eggs somewhere where its between 50 and 60 degrees. Once or twice during this waiting period, give the eggs a sideways twist to keep the yolk from settling in one spot. Meanwhile get your incubator up and running. It takes about 24 hours for the temp and humidity to settle down and remain steady and exactly where you want it. Never place eggs in a cold incubator or one that has not yet stabilized. I've never used a styrofoam incubator so maybe someone else will chime in here to help you with it.

For forced air, temp somewhere around 99.6 - 99.8 Humidity somewhere between 40% to 45% is fine. Monitor the air cells as they develop to know if you've got too much humidity or not enough. If the air cell shrinks too fast, you have low humidity. Air cell doesn't shrink fast enough, you have high humidity.

After setting your eggs, temp and humidity will go haywire. Eggs themselves need to come up to temp, this will lower the temp inside the incubator, the humidy will probably shoot high as well as the eggs will steam off. Do not be panicked and try to adjust anything. It will take almost 24 hours for the temp and humidity to settle down. At this point if you are not completely satisfied with the conditions, you can make adjustments then.

Some people don't turn the eggs during the first 24 hours, I prefer to do so however. Its not incrediblely critical until the following day and days. Professional hatcheries turn eggs every hour. I have always done this as well. But they need to be turned at least 4 times a day so the yolk stays centered and the growing embryo gets constant new nutrients available in place of where it has been feeding.

Lock down 3 days before hatch, day 15. Stop turning eggs. Temp remains the same, however humidity needs to be raised by 10% to 15%. I put a cup of water inside the bator with a clean kitchen sponge in it. This will release a ton of extra moisture. NEVER open the incubator when there is pipping or chicks are hatching. During the pipping stage, it is very critical to keep very high humidy in the egg. A quick drop in moisture can cause chicks to stick to the inside of the egg and die. (Not so high they drown either, keep humidty about 60% or so). When a chick pips, it will sit like this, with a tiny breathing hole for nearly 24 hours. Do not attempt to break it out. Its detaching itself from the inside of the egg and absorbing the last of the egg yolk.

Have your brooder ready during lockdown.

Good luck!
Thank you for the great advice, I will do so and see how things turn out. Still waiting to see when the eggs will ship.
 

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