Quail Egg development

JacksonP

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
14
11
24
Hi,

This is my first time posting and my first time hatching quail. Today is day 19 of incubation and they should be hatching. I have seen what looks like it may be an external pip but im not sure. My main problem is that my eggs have been troublesome to candle. I dont have a real candler and Ive been using a flashlight that is bigger than the egg. I can see the airsack and its the right size but I was not able to see any blood vessels the entire time. The other problem is that the glare from the flashlight makes it hard to see anything except the top of the egg. My final problem is that my eggs have thicker shells. One egg has a shell so thick and dark that the flashlight doesnt go through. The other eggs have much thinner shells but still thicker than normal and are harder to see through while candling. Should I do float tests on them tomorrow?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,682
22,195
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New Zealand
Welcome to the wonderful world of quail!

They are frustrating things to candle I agree. Have you got a cellphone with a flashlight? I find they are the best when candling little quail eggs.

The float test often isn't conclusive so I'd just wait. There may well be pips - it's just a lot harder to see on those eggs. I'd leave them in until day 21 to be sure. Sounds like your temperature may have been slightly low if they are hatching late.

When they pip internally you'll see their little shadow beak in the air cell. If they are working on pipping internally you may see the membrane flexing on one side under the air cell. If a foetus has died it will sink towards the narrow end of the egg and there will be a watery layer between it and the air cell. Have your air cells developed a slant? They draw down on one side just before the chicks start to internally pip.

Hope that helps some.
 

JacksonP

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
14
11
24
The airsacks are at the blunt end of the egg. They are kind of slanted to the top. When I get home I will candle them with my phone light.

Edit:
Should I candle them if they are due to hatch tonight or just wait?
 
Last edited:

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,682
22,195
941
New Zealand
The airsacks are at the blunt end of the egg. They are kind of slanted to the top. When I get home I will candle them with my phone light.

Edit:
Should I candle them if they are due to hatch tonight or just wait?

I'd leave them and then if you are worried I'd take a peek. If you do decide to candle you need to keep them in the same position they are lying in in the incubator so that the chick doesn't get confused and try and turn because the egg has moved. It is really difficult to see pips on their spotty shells so it can be a very nerve wracking wait.
 

JacksonP

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
14
11
24
There are two that are too dark to see through, 4 that look partially full, 1 that looks like it may be developed, and 1 that looks developed but im not sure. It isnt a dark shadow but it also isnt glowing. I am not sure because I have seen some photos of eggs that are on hatching day being candled and it looks similar but then there are other photos that are much darker. I just dont know about it and I dont know if it is viable.
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Oct 25, 2015
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South Central Texas
Personally I would not do a float test. The embryo may not move while floating, leading to an assumption that it's a dead egg. You may bump the container or table and not realized you did, leading to a false indication that the egg/embryo is alive. And lastly, performing a float test will take the "bloom" off the egg, which can lead to bacteria entering the egg.
@JaeG has given you great advice and a link to a candling guide. Your incubator may not have been at the correct temp, low temps will cause a late hatch, higher temps will cause an early hatch. Give it a few more days to be sure. You didn't state what your temps or humidity are at...in this stage of the hatching process, the temp should be 99.5 to 100°F for for ed air incubators and 102 to 103°F at the top of the egg for still air incubators. Humidity should be in 60 to 65% Rh at this stage. HTH
 

JacksonP

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
14
11
24
My incubator is prone to tempature swings, It was swinging 5 degrees day to night so I think that may be why I havent seen any pips. I was incubating at 100 but if it was very hot It could go up to 105 and if it was cold at night it could drop down to 95. It usually stayed at 102 during the day and dropped down to 98 at night.
 

JacksonP

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
14
11
24
Just cracked open three eggs that did not pass the float test. One eggs was undeveloped but has a small airsack. The next one was undeveloped but almost completely dryed out. It was a hard yellow like consistency and was almost entirely air. The final one was dry like the last one but had an embryo in it. The embryo looks like it developed for the first 6-8 days before it died/dryed out to much.
 

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