My first quail hatch, egg autoposy questions.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Wil SC, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Wil SC

    Wil SC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2012
    I just had my first quail hatch this weekend. For the most part it went well but I was using a homemade incubator and had some not develop completely. I was hoping someone could tell me what might have went wrong so I can fix it for next time. Half of the eggs that hatched were on day 17, the other half the morning of day 18. I set them around 10pm so I think my temp was good.

    I set 28, 10 hatched, 3 were mostly developed, 5 were a 1/4" blob with eye, and the rest looked either infertile or had been too damaged during shipping to start development.

    The incubator is heated by 2 light bulbs and has a fan connected so it turns on and off with the lights to circulate the heat.

    For temp I used a Spot Check with a fake silicone "egg" so I could monitor the internal egg temp. Temp held between 99.4-100.0. 90% of the time it was right at 99.5-99.6.

    The eggs were shipped so I left them big end up for the first 5 days then started rotating 3 times a day.

    Humidity was around 40-50% untill day 14 when I stopped rotating and turned the humidity up to 60-65%. I used two cheap humidity gauges so I just took thier average to figure around where I was. They were 5-8% apart.

    When I locked down I noticed some of the insulation had expanded and partily blocked my air vents, so I opened them back up and created another larger vent. So there may have been a lack of oxygen for the first 14 days.

    First, the 10 fuzzballs that made it. 5 tuxedo, 4 common and 1 texas A&M (I bought a grab bag of eggs for some variety) Sorry for the dark pics, my camera won't flash with the red heat light for some reason :

    Don't scroll down past the first two pictures if you don't wanna see poor dead chickies [​IMG]

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    4-5 looked like this. About a 1/4 blob with an eye.

    [​IMG]



    Out of these three, two both had exposed brain so the skull wasn't fully developed, they appear to have quit within a day of eachother. The third looks complete, there was even a little poop in the egg with him and the yolk is still there a little bit.
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    Thanks for any advice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  2. OLDGOAT35960

    OLDGOAT35960 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Centre, Alabama USA
    What kind of Quail are these? If they are Bobwhite then they should not have hatched until 21-23 days, so I would say your temp was too high. Of course if the were Coturnix then 17 days is normal.
     
  3. OLDGOAT35960

    OLDGOAT35960 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Centre, Alabama USA
    I just looked closer at the egg shells so I think they were Coturnix, so maybe not the temperature but maybe improper turning was your problem.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I think you hit the nail on the head. Lack of ventilation. Generally when chicks die early on during incubation, it stems from incubation temps too high, not enough ventilation, not enough turning of the eggs or the hatch rate was bad due to shipped eggs.

    Now...if your temp was too high, you would see a lot of leg and feet issues, as these can be very common symptoms of high heat. If you did not have enough ventilation, then the chicks may have formed but ran out of oxygen and died early on. If you did not turn the eggs enough, the embryo's would have run out of nutrients. And last, shipping is rough on eggs. If you get a 50% hatch rate on eggs, you are doing good.

    So, go over these general things here and determine which ones need work. Ventilation is a HUGE deal and the growing embryo's need a ton of oxygen. It is common to want to plug up holes to save humidity, but that is not the way to save moisture. Just add more humidity to the air with wet sponges.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  5. Wil SC

    Wil SC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2012
    Thanks, all of the legs and feet of the ones that hatched are perfect. Toes straightned out on thier own within a couple hours. I never saw a temp above 100.0 and I don't think I had any spikes since it was indoors with a constant air temp outside the incubator of 70*. I was expecting around 50% hatch with shipped eggs so I'm happy with getting 10.

    Oxygen was my main concern when I saw what happened to my vent holes. The incubator is made from a cooler. I used a 1/4 drill bit to make the vent holes. My guess is when I moved it inside and it all warmed up to temp that's when the foam expanded a little. By the time I noticed the holes had almost completely closed and were maybe 1/8" open so I doubt there was much flow thru them. Luckily I had three 1-1/2 holes drilled along the bottom for my water system so I just opened one of those but it was only for the last 3 days.

    I'll get the vent problem fixed before I do another hatch, maybe a small auxillery fan running at a low speed to suck air in. I'll just have to see if I can do it without cooling the air temp too much.



    Oldgoat, yes they are all coturnix.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    It is always best to use a fan inside the incubator to prevent hot spots, which can cause all sorts of trouble. But you did get some of these babies to hatch. Enjoy your new quail!
     

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