My hatching diary

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Sweek, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Sweek

    Sweek Hatching

    Sep 7, 2014
    I can't seem to hatch these eggs past pipping. Three tries and all that came out of it was at least 6 dead in shell and a broken heart. I'm working with a R-com mini with a quail egg turner. My incubator can only hold 6 eggs but my first few attempts I've been greedy and over loaded it.

    1st try: Let the r-com do it's thing without messing with it other than to fill it up with water every once it a while and turning the excess eggs by hand. I had only one egg that pipped and another egg with an internal pip. I messed up by opening up the lid and trying to save the one hatching egg because it's been over a day.

    2nd try: I added tiny plastic makup lids to hold water inside the incubator to increase humidity. I didn't have a thermometer or a humidity reader but I felt it was necessary because forced air bators tend to run dryer (or so I've read). Still turning the excess eggs by hand. I only had one with an internal pip and saran wrapped.

    3rd try: This time I was less greedy and only ordered 6 but my supplier was nice enough to add an extra egg and of course I had to stick that in the bator too. Added the water cups again. Also scotch taped a temperature and humidity reader to the lid. My apartment is cold at night and warm in the afternoons and as I found out the temperature fluctuates because of this. So started messing with the temperature. I accidentally let it get to 38.5 c one time.

    I stopped hand turning the extra egg on the third day. Oddly enough that was the egg that almost made it. It zipped a third of the way and stopped. It may have been stuck but I waited it out. It was dead no saran wrapping and the inner lining was white and healthy with yolk completely absorbed. Another egg fully formed and made a window before quitting. Another egg was a late quitter. Almost fully formed but zero signs of life.

    So, I'm currently weighing my choices. a) Cut my losses and give up. b) Try, try, try again. c) Cave in and buy a breeding pair.
  2. earlyredrooster

    earlyredrooster Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    Harrisburg, Ar
    If think after all that I would get a breeding pair.
  3. yallapilko

    yallapilko Songster

    Nov 13, 2012
    Can I suggest you get a different incubator?
  4. Sweek

    Sweek Hatching

    Sep 7, 2014
    Hmm...This may be the cheapest option.

    I have a habit of aiming low and then later swindling myself into something that costs at least 5 times as much. I'm looking at the Hovabators but it seems like every bator as some temp fluctuation issues. Mine is more of a humidity issue. I can't seem to get it higher than 30% and after pipping it was around 24%. The cold weather must have destroyed the humidity. I'm thinking of investing in a cheap humidifier.
  5. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    How many thermostats and hygrometers are you using to verify that your incubator is actually running at the temperature that it is supposed to?

    It's best to use at least 3 different thermometers to verify your temps. You really only need one hygrometer once you know that the one you have is reasonable accurate.

    If you are getting fertile eggs that are developing get away from blaming the parents. Incubating is a skill. As you develop it your hatches will improve.

    Edit to add:

    Are you opening the incubator at any point after the eggs pip?

    Are you running the air vents wide open at lockdown?

    What temperature and humidity settings are you using?

    What type of quail are you hatching?

    If you answer all those questions I can probably point you to your problem.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  6. Sweek

    Sweek Hatching

    Sep 7, 2014
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    Ok your setup sounds pretty good so I'm going to lean toward one of two things. Either shrink wrapping of the viable eggs when you opened the door, or humidity fluctuation causing a hard membrane. Buttons tend to hatch pretty darn easy without interference but genetics and egg care play into that as well.

    I would still try double check the temp with one or two more thermometers but honestly you have some wiggle room on temperature as long as it stays within 99-102 degrees F (sorry I don't know the C* conversion off the top of my head). For humidity you can run incubation at 45-55% just pick a number and try to stay close to it, on day 14 run it up to 65-70% but not above 70.

    When you receive the eggs make sure you allow them to acclimate the temp and humidity of the room the incubator is in, for 24 hours, before you set the eggs in the incubator. Touch them only with clean hands or latex gloves and don't candle or water candle them. Just assume they are doing great and don't mess with them at all. This eliminates any potential handling or care problems you may accidentally cause.

    And don't worry all of us were just as excited starting up. My first hatch yielded 2 or 3 out of 50 shipped coturnix eggs and nowadays I rarely have hatches below 40% on shipped eggs and usually closer to 50. It harder to do much better than 50% on shipped eggs most times because they go through a lot getting to you. You'll get more and more as you become more skilled at incubating, and eventually you'll be able to interact with the eggs more during incubation and not cause them issues
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  8. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Songster

    May 28, 2012
    Buttons should be fairly easy to incubate. First did you say you quite turning on day 3? what about the ones in the turner? When did you shut it down?
    If you are only doing a few eggs, I agree with DC you should not have to open the incubator at all until day 13 and then just to remove the turner racks and add extra water for the humidity to rise. The chicks MUST have fresh air to hatch so you should double check that there is a vent of some sort on the incubator, this is true even for chicken eggs so I think the manufacturer must have them somewhere on it. Anyway try again and do your best to leave them through day 20 even 22 days sometimes. Good luck!
  9. Sweek

    Sweek Hatching

    Sep 7, 2014
    Would you say that coturnix are easier to hatch than buttons? Or vice-versa? I'm going to try hatching again.
  10. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    Buttons with good genetics hatch much easier than coturnix.

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