Newbie/Homespun Questions :)

Trillium

In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 3, 2008
12
0
22
Hi All,
I'm very new to the poultry rearing field... I've only ever bred parrots before - and then the hen did most of the work.
But as a home project (just my equally clueless father and I) are attempting to hatch buttons. We made an incubator out of a cooler that we saw on cyberquail.com and we've got the temp and humidity relatively stable where it needs to be. So, I'm a little out of my league in refering to posts and sites with cool 'newage' incubators that do everything but name the chicks for you.

I just got the eggs in today. Now comes the confusion.
I'm not sure how I should place the eggs in the incubator. They came in a cute little egg carton tray, but they're rather snug in there so I'm not sure if I can turn them easily. Or, can they lay loose and horizontally? The blurry image of the incubator on the website aformentioned showed the eggs laying in a tupperware dish. This doesn't seem right to me.
And lastly, can someone please explain *exactly* how to turn an egg. lol I haven't found a single good site that actually explains or shows how this is done properly. All I've really read is about putting an x on one side and an o on the other. Does that mean they lay on their side and I 'flip' them completely around? I don't want scrambled quail in the end obviously.
Thank you so much for your help!
 

Trillium

In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 3, 2008
12
0
22
Anyone?


Or at least point me in the direction of a decent site that answers these questions?
 

Chamelle

Songster
11 Years
Mar 30, 2008
141
6
129
Springfield, OR
Hi Trillium, and welcome to BYC.

Here's the deal with egg turning: (I'm basing this one what I know about chicken eggs, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong about applying it to quail eggs.)

They should be turned at least once a day, preferrably more, but if more than once, turn them an odd number of times so that they aren't spending all night in the same position as the night before.

If you lay them on their side, turn them all the way over, just like you were thinking, with the X's and O's. The reason for the markings is so that you can clearly see that you're turning them all the way over, and make sure you're turning every egg.

I use the egg carton method: I take a paper egg carton, tear it almost to shreds, and make a holder for the eggs. I tear it up because I want good ventilation from the bottom, and because I'm afraid when the chicks pip, the sides of the carton may be tall en'ough to get in the way.

Since your eggs came already in some kind of container, you may want to consider leaving them in there, and just turning the whole container from side to side. I raise up one side of my egg carton and put a 1 by 1 inch stick under one edge. Next time I turn them I just slide the wood to the other side.

I have to admit, though, I borrowed an auto turner from a friend and I absolutely love it. I have had much better hatches since I got the turner, but there have been other factors as well, so I can't be absolutely sure the turner is why. I am running two incubators right now, and one has the auto, one has a stick.


Hope this helps. The search function for these forums is awesome, you'll find all the information you ever wanted, and people are generally very helpful with any and all questions.

Good luck with your incubating, and again, welcome!

Cham

edited cuz I missed a step.
 
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chickmamawannabe

Songster
11 Years
Aug 20, 2008
211
14
119
Canby, Or-y-gun
You can leave them in the carton, or you can lay them flat, it's really up to you. If you leave them in the carton, then to turn them all you need to do is put something under one end to raise it up, then 3-5 times a day switch the ends that are raised up. Make sense? If you decide to lay them horizontally, then you should mark the egg on one side with an x and the opposite side with an o. Make sure to use pencil. Then same thing, just make sure to turn them 3 or 5 times a day. Like if the x is facing up,, then turn it to the o. I've heard it works best if you turn it an odd number of times. About 2 days prior to the hatch date, stop turning.
 

Trillium

In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 3, 2008
12
0
22
Awesome. Thanks! Wow, I didn't realize it was as simple as elevating the carton one one side and switching it. Should I remove the eggs from this carton a few days before they should hatch? I would think the bits of carton in between each egg would hinder the chick. Or do you think it will be fine?
 

Trillium

In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 3, 2008
12
0
22
Oh yeah, I used the search function a few times, but my keywords must be lacking.
I tried Turning Eggs and even the simple turn.... Is there a better term for this process? Maybe that's why I'm not googling anything good on it?


I'm pencil-ing my x's and o's now that I know a little more about what I'm up to. hehe
 

shelleyd2008

the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
23,381
95
351
Adair Co., KY
Sorry you seem to be getting ignored
There are many people that leave the eggs in the carton to hatch. I believe they just leave them like they are. I have an auto turner, and I take mine out of the turner and lay them on their sides. The turner for hatching is mainly for easier cleanup, but whichever way oyou decide will be fine. Just remember to take notes, and that way you can try different ways, and see what works best for you!

 

TheTeenyTinyFarm

Songster
11 Years
Sep 23, 2008
111
0
119
Elberon, Virginia
thank you for the great info...if by chance one of the eggs on day 14 was not turned, is the chick okay? I noticed when I turned the eggs this morning that one of them was still on the x and not the o...then...I put a hygrometer in the incubator and noticed the temp was not the same as the thermometer...off by 10 degrees...now I'm all worried my chicks didn't have enough warmth...I'm in a panic!
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,645
12,149
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Hi, Trillium. Welcome to BYC. Sorry, I didn't see your post, but I've had my hands full the last day or two and didn't cruise through this section. You'll get excellent advice and meet lots of great new friends here.


Oh, TeenyTiny, one day not turning an egg wont be a critical mistake. Relax about that. The temp thing is a really important issue. You need to find an instrument that is accurate. What thermometer brands are you using?
 
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