What went wrong?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by QChickieMama, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Songster

    Oct 1, 2011
    I just hatched my first batch of eggs ever. It didn't work out well. :-(

    They're A&M coturnix, young and fertile. I put in 24 eggs, some of which I kept at 52* for 4 days until I gathered enough to incubate. Only 6 hatched. Some at day #19, 20 & 21. I threw out the rest after that.

    The biggest bummer: they all died. Every single one. One drowned itself despite marbles in the waterer. Several looked perfectly fine, and in an hour, we'd check and they'd be lying on their side, dead. Then we just had 1 strong one living, and I suppose it died b/c it was alone. Ugh. All that work and being so careful about the million variables. Please tell me what went wrong.

    We're gathering eggs now at 52* for another batch soon.

    After reading and rereading the helpful material here, I'm thinking of these variables that may have been at fault:
    1. Incubating at 103. I read that was right. Then I read it should be 100. Geepers. So, they were at 103 for the first half of incubation.
    2. Brooder temp. I put a heat lamp over the box, but it only got to 88* in the box. The chicks never seemed cold. THey liked to be together, but they weren't huddled as close to the lamp as possible.

    What else do I need to figure out before I try this again?? Thanks!!

  2. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Songster

    Jun 9, 2011
    Red Rock
    I would be willing to bet the 103 is the main culprit. Stick to 99.5 for the temp. Also double check humidity. I have found that 30-40 then a boost for the last three days to 50-60 works well but others may start at 40-50 and then go as high as 70 and get good results.

    Are all the breeder birds out of eggs from the same breeder? If so, you might want to get a few eggs or birds from another breeder just to blend in some outside blood to build your own stock. While coturnix aren't that prone to hereditary problems, they will crop up, especially in the hybrid breeds like the A&Ms. Plus you would have the advantage of having additional stock blood lines on hand to do a little selective breeding for size and temperament as well.

    Do not forget to store point down and give 'em a turn 2-3 times a day until incubation. When you do incubate, turn 3 to 4 times a day to exercise that embryo.
  3. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Songster

    Oct 1, 2011
    Quote:Well, if you're right, setting the temp to 99.5 should be easy enough. For humidity, I was working w/o a hygrometer. (Is that what it's called?) I just put some water in the trench every few days, and then at the end, I put a bunch of water in the trench. Ha. So much for accuracy.

    Also, yes, my breeder birds are from the same breeder. Should I mix some other breed w/my A&Ms?

    I didn't know to turn the stored eggs either. Sigh. But I WAS sure to turn the ones in the incubator 3x/day. Soooo many variables!
  4. bfrancis

    bfrancis Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    Quote:Agreed with all! Other than the turning and storing point down...you don't have to store them at 50 degrees prior to the 'bator. People that hatches 100's at a time that is good practice. When laid in the wild, there's no 50 degree cooling system until they're all laid...I store ALL of mine at room temps (72 degrees) with very high success rates. your waiting 6 days was ideal. They say after 10 days the hatch is effected exponentially, but 6 is great. Don't beat yourself up, everyone's had oopsies, grab another bunch and throw back in the bator! [​IMG] (Don't forget to disinfect your incubator before trying a new hatch and set it up and running 24 hours prior to setting your eggs to work out any temperature issues you may have.)

    good luck!

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