Small air sacs? Large number of infertile...getting some nerves

enigmachick

Chirping
Apr 29, 2020
72
62
81
Central Illinois
We are at day 10 with our first ever quail and I'm starting to get a little nervous about them. Firstly we started with 30, three ended up cracked (one was accident, one came that way and one cracked mysteriously in the incubator), we just candled them all tonight and a whopping 7 more appeared completely infertile. Two look like they gave up early (but they're in the incubator for a couple days just in case).

I also noticed when candling the air sacs were small, like quite quite small which really surprised me because I'm doing a dry hatch and the humidity has been around 20-30 generally I'd say. They look way smaller than my quail book says they should be at day 6 much less 10.

I'm not sure if this is all normal or if I'm doing something wrong, the eggs are from Myshire farm and they're in a magicfly incubator set at 37.6 celsius with separate thermometer reading in the 99'sF.

I'm definitely getting pre-hatch jitters and I'm surprised that I'm already down by almost half, only 18 chicks likely still alive of the 30 eggs. Is this normal?
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Oct 25, 2015
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South Central Texas
We are at day 10 with our first ever quail and I'm starting to get a little nervous about them. Firstly we started with 30, three ended up cracked (one was accident, one came that way and one cracked mysteriously in the incubator), we just candled them all tonight and a whopping 7 more appeared completely infertile. Two look like they gave up early (but they're in the incubator for a couple days just in case).

I also noticed when candling the air sacs were small, like quite quite small which really surprised me because I'm doing a dry hatch and the humidity has been around 20-30 generally I'd say. They look way smaller than my quail book says they should be at day 6 much less 10.

I'm not sure if this is all normal or if I'm doing something wrong, the eggs are from Myshire farm and they're in a magicfly incubator set at 37.6 celsius with separate thermometer reading in the 99'sF.

I'm definitely getting pre-hatch jitters and I'm surprised that I'm already down by almost half, only 18 chicks likely still alive of the 30 eggs. Is this normal?
For shipped eggs, yes, about 50% is not unusual.
 

enigmachick

Chirping
Apr 29, 2020
72
62
81
Central Illinois
That's encouraging, I didn't think so many would be infertile but I guess it makes sense, they can't know when they send them out.

So today is day 14 and I candled them all before moving them to the hatching shelf. I noticed most were extremely dark with very VERY small air sacs (basically looked like they did at day 10 when I checked last) and a few had lightened up considerably, were redder altogether and had vastly larger air sacs. These lighter ones were clearly moving and alive whereas the dark ones with small air sacs did not appear to move (but I did this very quickly to avoid them getting too cold so they may have, the others just moved obviously right away).

Are some of the chicks just way ahead of others or is there some reason a bunch still have extremely small air sacs and haven't seemed to progress since day 10? I did a dry hatch, humidity usually in high 20's. The Magicfly incubator has seemed to hold nice even temperature, 99.7 according to my thermometer most often.

I know I'm supposed to up the humidity tomorrow for any that may start pipping but I don't want to give the majority with tiny sacs no chance to make them any bigger...not sure what to do here. 🤷🏻‍♀️😩
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
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David, Chiriquí, Panama
Personally, I'd not add humidity with a small air sac.
The chicks could also be so big that there's simply no room for a large air sac, it happens, and that scenario comes with a whole different set of things to consider.
If the ones that look normal to you hatch out and the ones with small air pockets don't... consider at that time putting a 'safety hole' in those eggs for breathing. Sooner rather than later, as the other chicks hatching will dramatically increase the humidity in the incubator, and you don't want drown chicks in the shell.
 

enigmachick

Chirping
Apr 29, 2020
72
62
81
Central Illinois
Personally, I'd not add humidity with a small air sac.
The chicks could also be so big that there's simply no room for a large air sac, it happens, and that scenario comes with a whole different set of things to consider.
If the ones that look normal to you hatch out and the ones with small air pockets don't... consider at that time putting a 'safety hole' in those eggs for breathing. Sooner rather than later, as the other chicks hatching will dramatically increase the humidity in the incubator, and you don't want drown chicks in the shell.
I did notice that the bigger eggs were the ones that looked better, more active with bigger sacs. It was generally the smaller eggs that were just dark.
I wish I had read your comment first...My incubator is a disaster with humidity. I saw a video with a guy saying if humidity had been too low the chicks could get dried out and stuck to their shells so I added a little bit of water to the incubator, not enough to even cover half the floor...the humidity shot up to like 75% and there's no way to bring it down but to take the eggs out and dry out the bottom of the incubator with a towel. I'm so mad I did that (had to get the whole incubator back up to temp again) and unsure what the heck to do to try to keep any kind of control over the humidity for days 15-19. There's barely any water left in there and the humidity is still around 55%.

Since writing the above I have had my hubby very carefully drill a hole in the side of the incubator under the hatching tray that I can fit a straw through and that way add strawfuls of water if it's too dry or tightly rolled paper towel to wick out water (which is what I've been doing). Of course it can be covered with tape when not in use.

I've noticed that now my thermostat and thermometer are disagreeing drastically whereas they were in reasonable agreement before. My thermostat says 37.7C and my thermometer says 98.4F. It must be because now they are on the bottom shelf but I'm not sure which to believe, one says it's too hot and one says it's too cold 😖
 

Tonyroo

Free Ranging
Mar 29, 2020
2,887
6,934
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N. California
Moisture in a confined container isn't idling, the heat causes evaporation which binds water to the air and forces it to move. As it moves in a confined space, it cools back down. And that's why you get 2 different reading on your gauge.
 

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