My first hatch

Discussion in 'Quail' started by chickenluver70, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. chickenluver70

    chickenluver70 In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2012
    I have a hova bator 1586. I poked two tiny holes in the styrafoam near the motor of the automatic egg turner as I noticed it gives off heat and I am afraid the fan is not strong enough to push the air around the hovabator evenly on its own.

    I have 28 jumbo coturnix quail eggs and 10 chinese painted button fresh fertile quail eggs. Which I obtained from a wonderfully generous farmer (what a lovely couple) 2 hours from my place. I have been letting the eggs climatize to our room temperature overnight with the pointy end down. I am going to put the coturnix quail eggs in the hovabator in this morning. The hovabator has been plugged in for two days so that I could monitor the fluctuations in temp. I noticed that it was NOT keeping consistent temp throughout, until I poked those two holes near the motor of the automatic turner. Now it seems much more even. Before I poked those two holes the hovabator was too hot on the egg turner motor side and obviously cooler on the left side. I have three thermometers throughout. One on the right near the motor (which is the old traditional style thermometer that came with the hobavator), a small rectangular digital hydrometer/thermometer by 'Springfield" (which does not seem too accurate as it does not really fluctate too much at all) it seems to either read 95.5f or 99.5f and never temps in between ~ its odd). My digital probe reads between 36.8c (98.2f) to 37.9c (100.2f) consistently now.

    I just took the temperature (with my digital probe thermometer) from two locations (without opening the hoba vator). The top hole reads 37.7c (pretty good right?) the bottom hole near the motor reads 38.4c I guess I will just skip a couple spots in the egg turner tray near the motor since I will not be filling the hobavator to capacity.

    I am putting my coturnix eggs into the hobavator in a few hours. I will be unplugging the hobavator for a few minutes prior to loading up the eggs so that the eggs don't go into shock (my home temperature is 21.1c (70f) I don't want to shock them by putting the eggs into a hot incubator. I will plug it in again once the eggs are all loaded up.

    I have read so many different hydrometer settings. Some ppl say hydrometer should be at 30% and increase to 55% when in lock down. Others say 80% and then increase to 90% when in lockdown... Does anyone have experience with hatching quails?

    I have a fish tubing that I have attached to a feeding syringe and this little contraption will allow me to add water to the hobabator through the hole so I do not need to open the hobavator unnecessarily.

    Also is it possible to candle quail eggs? If so at how many days? Is it smart to add the button quail eggs two days after I put the coturnix in? The breeder told me the coturnix will take an extra two days to hatch out and I do not want to have to open the incubator to get the button quail when the coturnix are so close to lock down... does that make sense? I heard that once a chick is peeping if you open the incubator it will create like a vacuum and it will be very difficult for the chick to get out of the egg unassisted.

    Any tips, and advice welcome... on how to remove chicks safely from incubator...
    What temp should broodery be at once chicks are removed from incubator? How long should chicks be in there?

    Oh ya I forgot to say that I am in Canada. Ontario Canada and this is my very first time hatching anything. Our family is very excited.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  2. good luck with your first hatch, i also use a hovebator, im on my second hatching atm,(jap quails) my 1st hatch i set 80 eggs approx and 55 hatched, but i lost about 20, i figured i had temp way too high, normal thermometer reading 102f , digtial reading 99.9. so this time round i set the temp on normal thermometer reading just between 99-99.5. digtial reads 98.4. so far since this morning about 15plus have hatched, humdity was around 55-60% during the 1st 15 days, then i bumped it up to 70-75%. seems to be doing ok atm. i did open the incubator once a day to check water levels. coturnix hatch between 16-18days what i have read up on. i dont bother candle the eggs as its way to hard to tell in jap/coturinx eggs. i set the brooder temp between 97-102f as its a garage and does get cool inside. i just adjust the height on the heat lamp when needed, if they are in a ball under the heat lamp means too cold, if they are just on the outside if it and running around, its ok. i move them once they are fluffy and about 5-6hrs old sometimes longer up to 15hrs in the incubator before i move them, i put them in a small box and place them in the brooder, make sure brooder is already up to the temp you need. usually stay in brooder 5-6weeks, depends on the outside weather, also decrease temp every week. hope this helps, im only newbie, there is some great information on this site already. also some great quail people out there with way more knowledge then me that have helped me last time. so i suggest read some past threads and you will find useful information. good luck.
  3. chickenluver70

    chickenluver70 In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2012
    Thanks so much. I am super brand new to birds and this is all so very exciting. Thanks for posting.
  4. hows the process going with the bator?
  5. steveovergard

    steveovergard In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2012
    Congrats on your adventure. We have hatched 1000's of quail in small batches just like this. Recently had 7 hatches in a row that were 100%. I can say that you are being very careful and diligent, way moreso than me. There are a lot of opinions out there on temps and humidity and such. This has worked well for me, although others may disagree. I always go with 99.5 by a mercury thermometer. The digital ones are easy to read, but you can put three side by side and get three different readings. I do use a digital too, but only after I have learned how much it is "off" by calibrating it to a mercury thermometer.

    It is hard to regulate the temp in a small incubator. The best thing that I have found is once you have it correct, don't keep tweeking it. We have used the little giant brand and they are very difficult to get set just right becasue the slightest change in the temp control sends the temp inside up or down a lot.

    If you keep your water resevoir mostly full, your humidity will be ok. It is also ok to open the cover once in a while to top it off, so don't worry about that if you need to go in there a few times a day. Think about how eggs are hatched in nature. That hen will get off and eat and drink on a periodic basis. We switched to a Sportsman recently and I maintain 55 % humidity as best that I can and that also has worked.

    You can candle the quail eggs but it is a little more difficult because of the egg specks and because the candeling lights are a little too big in most cases.

    Once your chicks hatch and are dry you can move them into the brooder. It usually takes a few hours. Also, they will break dance quite a bit during the first few hours, dont worry about that. The temp in the brooder shoudl be around 95 degrees at first. Watch the chicks , if they all huddle together under the light in a tight ball, they are cold. If they stay away from the light then they are too hot. You can adjust accordingly. As they grow older they will need less and less light.

    The most important thing . WATER . Baby quail can die within a few hours if they run out of water. They can die in a few minutes if they get wet. Sometimes, these little boogers will manager to tip the waterer and spill a lot of water in the brooder.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress . Kind Regards from Virginia
  6. chickenluver70

    chickenluver70 In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2012
    Cool beans! I live in the city so I can't have all the birds I'd like to have. I'm looking for the calmest most gentle. Starting off with this hatch and will be donating the birds to friends, family and neighbors who want to raise home hatched babies. Lots of kids like to eat the little quail eggs, and they also look cute in salads (boiled eggs).

    My husband will be making the chicken coop. We want to make it portable so that its way close to the deck off the back door in the winter and in the far corner my the shed come summer. How on earth will will have a portable run? Guess we will have to make two...

    Thanks for the tips! We are super excited about our upcoming chicks and hope we do well hatching. We got the eggs from a generous farmer about 2 hours from us. He is 84 years old and WHAT AN INSPIRATION he is to me. Such a nice man.

    Cheers from Canada

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