SOOOO....kay I know it's not normally acceptable to crack open the air cell in an egg to see if the chicks ARE indeed viable. HOwever I had read about doing it on a scientific experiement for students in some college. Anywhoo...I did it wondering why all the remaining button quail eggs were no longer "talking". Oddly, Pippin (the only one to sucessfully hatch and stay living of the 10 eggs I got in teh first place) must have been a ventroliquist because he was theo nly one that could hve been making the noises I was hearing. I opened the one egg to find it was nothing but rotten yolk and a dead chick. Opend the other air cell, a chick YES!!! Upon closer inspection though, found the chick (this is the chick I had asked if it was okay that it's air cell was in the small pointy end) had only it's lower beak and one large eye. It's feet were also huge and it had this huge airbubble wrapped around it's body. Once I saw that it only had a lower part to the beak I removed it from the egg completely to inspect it knowing it would not live, nor would i want it to suffer like that. All the other eggs, I didnt really look at too closely, they were either not fertile or died early in incubation stages. I ddint want a stinky egg mess so I decided just to cut my losses where I knew they were instead of inspecting. So my question is, could this chick have been deformed like this from incubation or would it have been something from genetics??? the girl I got them off of has about 20 birds in small boxes (it's a nice set up but i think that's too many birds per box IMO). Just curious if tight breeding like that would have caused it, or if it was something about my incubator?? My incubator has been great for me. However just like i've read with most all styrofoam incubators if the outside temp (in teh room) changes so can the temp in teh incubator itself...but i checked it often and kept it stable. Only one day (just like 3 days ago) did i have a woopsie...the temp/humitiy guage battery started to die...and when I thougth it read 100 f....it was actually 96 f for many hours...however i was assured the chicks would be fine and they were...however, I actually lost a button quail chick last night...and i was suprised how large of a chick it was forbeing a button quail....even the chick that sucessfully hatched without a problem I wouldtn consider VERy tiny, i mean he's tiny but not the size of a bumblebee that's fo rsure, but he's no where near as big as the first hatchling that died last night was. I named him Pippin and he's hyper and full of energy I have no worries about him making it. I think he'll do just fine. HOwever....what's up with this deformed chick? I have many more eggs to hatch in just days from other breeders, so i guess it's an experiement I dont wantto experience but will have to. I guess if the coturnix quails come otu deformed it's probablysomething about my incubator. I know a lot ofpeople do not like "Little big giants" however this is my first incubator and I actaully really like it. It took me a week to adjust the temp to the perfect temp, but ever since that i've had no problems with it. HOwever the temps in our house changes, so too does the incubators but it's a simple adjusting of the holes on the top and everythings hunky doory....so im nots ure what I personally could have done wrong...if anything. Theories? Experiences? thanks!