Quail eggs didn't make it, but one almost did!

rookbeak

Chirping
Nov 7, 2021
25
116
79
NE USA
This was my first attempt at incubation. I only had 5 eggs and a little giant incubator, so I wasn't expecting any miracles. Yesterday was the last day they had to hatch, and it came and went without any chicks. I float tested them today and they all floated, but before I threw them away I wanted to see if any if them developed. 4 of them were duds, but one was a fully developed chick! I must've messed up and not had the humidity high enough during lockdown.

I'm still considering if I'm gonna give this another try. I think I will in the future, but after doing some research I've concluded now is not the best time in my life to be raising fowl. I definitely learned a lot from this experience though, such as the important of an auto rotator so I don't have to set a midnight alarm to flip my babies lol.

I attached some pics of the developed chick. Even though he didn't make it I'm proud I got this far!


20211128_221321_capture.jpg
20211128_221412_capture.jpg
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,551
61,594
1,096
Sonoma County, CA
Please, please, don't float test your eggs. Egg shells are porous, and if any chicks were alive, they might not be after the float test. Candling is a much better test.

As for the incubation issues, did you have a calibrated thermometer (or 2 or 3) inside the incubator? Incubators are notorious for not giving reliable readings on temperature and humidity.

Here is some information that I hope you find helpful for your next try.

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

rookbeak

Chirping
Nov 7, 2021
25
116
79
NE USA
Please, please, don't float test your eggs. Egg shells are porous, and if any chicks were alive, they might not be after the float test. Candling is a much better test.

As for the incubation issues, did you have a calibrated thermometer (or 2 or 3) inside the incubator? Incubators are notorious for not giving reliable readings on temperature and humidity.

Here is some information that I hope you find helpful for your next try.

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

I had two thermometers, though admittedly I didnt calibrate them. And yeah I am kinda worried I may have killed that one chick withe the float test :(. Will they float even if they're alive?
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,551
61,594
1,096
Sonoma County, CA
I had two thermometers, though admittedly I didnt calibrate them. And yeah I am kinda worried I may have killed that one chick withe the float test :(. Will they float even if they're alive?
Float testing basically tests the amount of air in the egg. It's possible if the air sack is particularly large. If you float test and the good egg sinks, though, it's quite possible to drown the chick inside.
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
3,617
7,368
441
What day number were they on when you gave up? If the thermometers were not calibrated, the temp could have been a bit low or high. Low temp will make the chicks develop more slowly and they can hatch late. Sometimes even with good temps you will have a late chick. I recently had maybe 35 button quail hatch within 24 hours of each other, and I had a few eggs left and candling, one looked like it was moving. I kind of lost track of it, and then like 4-5 days later I hear peeping and it’s hatching! That little guy turned out just fine so far. Sometimes they’re just slow.
 

rookbeak

Chirping
Nov 7, 2021
25
116
79
NE USA
What day number were they on when you gave up? If the thermometers were not calibrated, the temp could have been a bit low or high. Low temp will make the chicks develop more slowly and they can hatch late. Sometimes even with good temps you will have a late chick. I recently had maybe 35 button quail hatch within 24 hours of each other, and I had a few eggs left and candling, one looked like it was moving. I kind of lost track of it, and then like 4-5 days later I hear peeping and it’s hatching! That little guy turned out just fine so far. Sometimes they’re just slow.

It was day 22. Oh no, I probably killed that one chick didn't I 🤦.
It wasn't a forced-air incubator so I was running it a little warm. The room thermometer read 100-102, and the meat thermometer read 100, though it was sitting at the top of the incubator.
 
Last edited:

Canina

Songster
Oct 28, 2021
229
629
153
Wo
What day number were they on when you gave up? If the thermometers were not calibrated, the temp could have been a bit low or high. Low temp will make the chicks develop more slowly and they can hatch late. Sometimes even with good temps you will have a late chick. I recently had maybe 35 button quail hatch within 24 hours of each other, and I had a few eggs left and candling, one looked like it was moving. I kind of lost track of it, and then like 4-5 days later I hear peeping and it’s hatching! That little guy turned out just fine so far. Sometimes they’re just slow.
Wow a whole 4-5 days?! I guess taking a hands off approach really can yield better results and one should never give up too early. I almost gave up when the incubator was off all night- glad I didn’t.
 

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