They're Hatching! Now what.....

The Chickeneer

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Jan 9, 2011
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This was my first time incubating quail eggs, I am a newbie to quail so I need some help. I set 30, and 25 made it to lockdown. They aren't supposed to hatch until tomorrow, but there are six already hatched and more hatching right now. I'ts too late to go to the feed store and buy game bird starter, so will they be okay until tomorrow? I know chicks can live 2-3 days off yolk reserves, but I don't know that much about quail.

I consider myself a chicken expert, I've many of them ever since I was a kid, so what needs to be in the brooder that is different from chicken chicks to quail chicks? smaller feeders & waterers? More heat? I've also heard about putting ground dog food or cat food in their fed for higher protein, so any thoughts or advice on that?Thanks.
 

TwoCrows

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Quail chicks need to eat quicker than chicken chicks and need to eat and drink after 24 hours from hatch. If you don't have any gamebird food starter, you can use chicken chick starter for now.

Quail are not as quick to learn about where the food and water is in the brooder, so you need to help them out a bit. Lay down paper towels on the floor of the brooder and sprinkle feed all around the floor in the feeder area so they can figure out where the food is. You can remove the paper towels in a few days when they have figured out where the feed is stored.

Quail drown very easily. So put marbles or stones in the base of the water font. Or use a chick waterer. You can even use jelly jar lids with tiny stones in the bottom. Dip their beaks in the water when you put the quail in the brooder.

Start the temp off at 95 degrees (for Coturnix quail...other quail such as new world quail, start at 97 degrees) and lower the temp by 5 degrees each week for 5 or 6 weeks.

Make sure there is no drafts in the brooder and only cover the lid of the brooder with a screen or wire to keep good oxygen and heat exchange.
 
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The Chickeneer

~A Morning's Crow~
9 Years
Jan 9, 2011
976
47
138
Central Valley California
Thanks
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I bought some turkey starter the other day (30% protein) and they ate eating just fine and are very active. There is one chick that has splayed legs really bad. I tried to use a band aid but that didn't help at all. He can't stand up, but he still able to move pretty quickly around the brooder and eats and drinks just fine. What can I do to help him? I've had splay leg chicks and guinea keets before, but it usually wen't away by itself in a couple of days, but this quail chick still has it. I have them on shredded paper bedding by the way.
 

James the Bald

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Jan 6, 2013
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... I've also heard about putting ground dog food or cat food in their fed for higher protein, so any thoughts or advice on that?Thanks.
I just checked out a website that suggested feeding that to chicks. They did warn: "However, if feeding to adult quail, cat food is best, and ONLY about once a week in the summer months as it's potentially too much fat for adult coturnix to metabolize".
 

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