This time, day 17 on the dot. All within 3 hours of each other. Thermostat on the Little Giant incubator was set to 99.8 degrees, and a calibrated thermometer confirmed even temperature between 99 and 100 degrees throughout. I am a big fan of fans -- adding a fan and circulating the air inside was a literal life-saver.
I also open every egg because if I can't see where the chick failed, I can't improve the process. It's yucky but necessary. This time, there were no chicks forming in the three that did not hatch.
I once had a button quail hatch SIX DAYS after her hatch date! She did struggle to grow when she was little and is still slightly smaller than the others but she's alive! I usually give two to three days after the last quail chick hatches before I autopsy the rest of the eggs.
I’ve been too much of a baby to autopsy my eggs so far, but my hatch rate seems to be getting better, so I think I’m on the right track.
what seems to work is using a dehumidifier until lockdown, insulating my incubator with a towel or in a styrofoam box, and turning the heat up like a half a degree during the second part of incubation, then down to a half a degree below 99.5 for lockdown.
ive got little ones hatching today, day 18. Four of the 10 eggs have hatched so far within about a 5 hour window, which is an improvement even from my last hatch! (I got 9/10 last time, but they were staggered over 36 hours.)
This time, I put an X on the three eggs I suspect are infertile, so I can see whether I can judge fertility accurately by weight/feel.