When to start incubating eggs


7 Years
Aug 5, 2012
Eagle point, Oregon
This is my first time raising coturnix quail. I hatched out a set of quail from fertile eggs i bought online who have just turned six weeks old and started laying their first eggs yesterday. I have roosters in with the hens and today did observe one mating. My question is how long before I can start incubating the eggs and have any chance at fertile eggs?


7 Years
Oct 10, 2012
I bought my first quail at 6 months of age, (in Semptember, hence my username, haha) and they didn't start laying eggs until around mid-October. I too also noticed my quail mating. A few days later, I was collecting their eggs, but unfortunately dropped one. Shell broke, but membrane was still in-tact, so we decided to cook it to try out our new quails eggs! Yum!

When I cracked the egg, I noticed this white dot. Yeah, it was fertile. My roo became more active with mating both females after a while.
Because your quail are younger, fertility isn't at it's best. I've heard better fertility rates are at 2 months - 8 month quail.

Don't keep the eggs longer for one week under room temperature due to the loss of viability. I learnt that the hard way (11 out of 34 hatched for me, due to viability issues, the one's that hatched were the newer, more recent eggs.) I only did receive 2 fertile eggs a day, so it was a bit of a challenge.

But IMO (I'm still new to this though), I'd just wait a bit longer for her to lay better eggs, she is still young and only laying her first few eggs. Maybe try checking a few (cracking them open, and cooking.) and see if they're fertile. Then incubate the eggs that she lays later on, maybe in a few days or weeks time. Hey, maybe the others will produce fertile eggs and then you'll have a few different bloodlines? Plus more eggs to incubated.
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