Never hatched quail before

Smileybans

Crowing
Nov 13, 2020
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My neighbor raises quail for meat and eggs and has asked me to hatch them out for him. He’s going to pay me per chick but I’ve never hatched quail before. I’ve hatched chicks a bunch of times but from my reading quail are very different. Google also can’t give me definitive answers on when to lockdown, temps, and humidity. The most consistent thing I have read is that most people like to hand turn quail eggs.
I have four incubators and plan to use two as lockdown incubators. My main questions are: does the lockdown day really depend on breed? What is the temp and humidity you guys use and is it the same for all breeds of quail? Can the dry incubation method be used? I’ve had success with that in my still air with chicken eggs. Can the chicks be transported to him right away, after fluffing up, after hatch?

And how much would be a good ask per chick? He’s offering $1-$2. I’m leaning more towards $2 since running my incubators will effect my electric bill a bit. Not tremendously though.
 

orloffer

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Jun 10, 2020
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What type of quail is it that your neighbor raises? I have a bit of experience with coturnix / Japanese quail. The temperature for them should be around 99.5 F / 37.5 C and the humidity should be around 45% until lockdown on day 15, at which point it should be raised to 65%. Hand-turning the eggs should not be necessary if you have an incubator with a turning tray that is able to properly fit quail eggs.
I have not tried the dry incubation method, so cannot give advice on that.
The chicks can go into the brooder as soon as they are fluffed up.
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
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May 15, 2019
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I understand your confusion. Even here in this thread we have disagreement on humidity. I have found that I have a much better hatch rate and fewer curled toes when I keep the humidity at about 30% during incubation and let it get up to 50-60% during hatch.

One of the things you'll learn is that there are a lot of right ways to do things. Almost as many as there are wrong ways. Some of it will be trial and error as you learn.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/coturnix-incubation-tips.76184/
 

Smileybans

Crowing
Nov 13, 2020
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Upstate New York
What type of quail is it that your neighbor raises? I have a bit of experience with coturnix / Japanese quail. The temperature for them should be around 99.5 F / 37.5 C and the humidity should be around 45% until lockdown on day 15, at which point it should be raised to 65%. Hand-turning the eggs should not be necessary if you have an incubator with a turning tray that is able to properly fit quail eggs.
I have not tried the dry incubation method, so cannot give advice on that.
The chicks can go into the brooder as soon as they are fluffed up.
I’ll have to ask him again what type they are. He told me but I don’t remember. He mentioned bobwhite a lot but I’m not sure if that’s the breed he has. Both of my bigger incubators accommodate quail eggs and everything is automated in them. That’s why he asked me to hatch them. He doesn’t have a good incubator set up but needs to hatch more quail.

I understand your confusion. Even here in this thread we have disagreement on humidity. I have found that I have a much better hatch rate and fewer curled toes when I keep the humidity at about 30% during incubation and let it get up to 50-60% during hatch.

One of the things you'll learn is that there are a lot of right ways to do things. Almost as many as there are wrong ways. Some of it will be trial and error as you learn.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/coturnix-incubation-tips.76184/
The humidity range you mention is similar to what I used to do for my chicken eggs. I actually had a better hatch rate with a lockdown humidity of 50% than the typical 80%.

Personally I run my incubator the same way I run it for chickens, just do lockdown at day 15 instead of 18, since they hatch on 18.
Do all quail hatch on day 18? I kept finding conflicting information about when to lockdown. One website I found said that it depends on the breed. I was starting to think hatching quail was more complicated than chicken eggs.
 

JacinLarkwell

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Mar 19, 2020
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I’ll have to ask him again what type they are. He told me but I don’t remember. He mentioned bobwhite a lot but I’m not sure if that’s the breed he has. Both of my bigger incubators accommodate quail eggs and everything is automated in them. That’s why he asked me to hatch them. He doesn’t have a good incubator set up but needs to hatch more quail.


The humidity range you mention is similar to what I used to do for my chicken eggs. I actually had a better hatch rate with a lockdown humidity of 50% than the typical 80%.


Do all quail hatch on day 18? I kept finding conflicting information about when to lockdown. One website I found said that it depends on the breed. I was starting to think hatching quail was more complicated than chicken eggs.
No, other species are different times.
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
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Oct 25, 2015
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I’ll have to ask him again what type they are. He told me but I don’t remember. He mentioned bobwhite a lot but I’m not sure if that’s the breed he has. Both of my bigger incubators accommodate quail eggs and everything is automated in them. That’s why he asked me to hatch them. He doesn’t have a good incubator set up but needs to hatch more quail.


The humidity range you mention is similar to what I used to do for my chicken eggs. I actually had a better hatch rate with a lockdown humidity of 50% than the typical 80%.


Do all quail hatch on day 18? I kept finding conflicting information about when to lockdown. One website I found said that it depends on the breed. I was starting to think hatching quail was more complicated than chicken eggs.
I hatch all species of quail, except Mearns and Elegant quail....mainly Bobwhites though....haven't raised Coturnix in quite some time.

I incubate my Bob eggs at 100°F and humidity at 43% for the first 20 to 21 days, I raise it to 55% - 60% for the final 3 or 4 days of incubation. Bobwhites take on the average of 24 days to incubate....give or take a day or two either way, due to the temperature they are incubated. Cooler incubator temps will take longer to hatch, higher temps will hatch earlier than the 24 day average. They are auto-turned in an upright turner.

I don't leave them in the incubator after hatching more than 12 to 18 hours. As soon as they are 'dry and fluffed up' I move them to a brooder.

The temperature of the brooder, under the heat source will be around 98°F to 95°F the first week. The temperature is lowered by 5°F each week, until they are fully feathered or the ambient temperature is around 70°F. You will want a brooder big enough so one end is heated and the other is cooler, you will want your feed and waterers at the cool end of the brooder.

HTH
 
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