My 1st hatch/lockdown this week questions


7 Years
Jul 3, 2012
I have a few questions regarding lockdown with my bobwhites. I set my eggs the 13th of April. Accordning to my calculations lockdown should be Friday the 3rd. (day 20). I have an egg turner that will need to be removed. How long do I have to get the eggs transferred without danger? I have 34 eggs incubating. I am still confused on the number of days some sites say 21-23 others say 23-24. So once I do lockdown should I wait up to 3 days if necessary? There is just so much to learn. How long do they stay in the incubator once they hatch? Dumb on my part but according to my calculations that puts them hatching on Monday. Which is my day to work in town so I will miss a lot but want them to be safe until I get home.

I have kept my humidity and temps pretty regular throughout.

Also I have reds and regular bobs will they be different colors when they hatch?

Any other important tips for a good hatch?



Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
The eggs are not going to cool down so rapidly that you do not have time to transfer them to a hatcher, or remove the egg turners. Make sure to use some sort of non-skid material in the hatching area so that they have good footing. You don't want to give them any chance of splay leg. :)

Bobs take 23 to 24 days to hatch. I have had them hatch as late as day 26 and as early as day 22. Depends on your incubation temps and the chick itself.

On lock down day, get your humidity up to 70% or 75%. Use wet sponges if you have to.

Transfer the babies sometime during the 24 hours after hatch. Quail need to eat and drink quicker than chicken chicks.

In the brooder....Bobs and other new world quail need more heat than other quail babies. So start the temp at 97 or 98 degrees. Lower the temp each week by 5 degrees til they are 6 weeks old.

Use a chick waterer or put marbles or tiny stones in a regular water font base. Make sure they can reach the water, but not fall in. Quail babies are very tiny and drown easy. You can even use jelly jar lids with tiny stones. Dip their beaks in the water when first putting them in the brooder.

You can brood them on wire or shavings. I am a fan of wire for Bobs as it helps prevent cocci. However you can use grass hay or shavings. Lay paper towels down for the first 3 days or so and sprinkle the feed around the feeder area on the floor so they know where the feed is stored. If the feed crumbles are not ground up much and powdery, you might need to crush it so they can eat it. You can remove the paper towels once they know where the food is.

Put the heat off to one side and the food and water on the other side of the brooder so they have to step out of the heat to get the goods. It helps them adapt quicker to changing temps and allows them a place to cool off should they need to.

I recommend you use a red bulb or infra red with Bobs. They are very excitable and hot tempered and the red will keep their heads cooler. White agitates them. Red also allows for a normal sleep pattern at night.

Do not cover the lid of the brooder with anything but a screen or some sort of wire for good heat and oxygen exchange. Use a brooder with solid walls and flooring so you do not have any drafts.

Should they start fighting at any time during brooding, lower the temp by 2 or 3 degrees and continue with the 5 degree heat reduction in the same manner from there.

Do not crowd them. Bobs are highly suseptable to cannibalism. Give them as much space in the brooder as possible. Do not feed them meal worms until they are over 6 weeks old as they cannot yet distinguish them from toes and Bobs are big on toe biting. Something you will NEVER train out of them.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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