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When to start incubating eggs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Reedgirl20, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Reedgirl20

    Reedgirl20 Chirping

    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?

  2. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Songster

    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.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012

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