Preparing Quail Eggs For Incubation

Tips That Could Increase Your Hatch Rate

You first need to have your quail eggs ready to incubate. If you ordered your eggs from a quail breeder and had them shipped to your door, the first thing you will need to do is open and check them. If any of these eggs are cracked or broken, just throw them away, most breeders will include a few extra for that reason. The next step is to just let these quail eggs sit for at least 8 hours at room temperature to give them a chance to settle.

If you're already raising a small number of quail and have eggs in storage for the purpose of reaching the amount of eggs you want to incubate. When these numbers are met and the quail eggs are removed from storage, you should let them sit until they reach room temperature (70 degrees to 75 degrees F). Once you have completed this procedure, you will then be ready to set the eggs in the incubator.

Turning Quail Eggs When Incubating

If you are using an incubator without an automatic turner, you may want to take a pencil and put an “x” on one side and an “o” directly on the opposite side. After completing this, then lay the quail eggs in the incubator in their natural position. On their side, with the small end of the egg being tilted slightly down. Have the “x” side facing up, for turning purposes.

If you're using an automatic turner you will not have to worry about this but if not, you will have to turn your quail eggs manually. There are varying opinions about how often to turn the eggs. Some will say twice a day, others will say every 4 hours and you will also hear 4 to 5 times per day. You will be the only one who can determine which best fits your situation. I personally prefer the 4 times a day.

This is where your pencil markings come in handy. You started with the “x” side up, so when you turn the egg, it will have the “o” side up. Just repeat this process on each turning.

Candling Quail Eggs

You can start candling your eggs after about the 7th day. A candling device can be purchased for a reasonable price from any supply store or on the internet. This light helps check the quail eggs for embryo development. If you find eggs that are showing no development at this point, you may as well through them away.

As Quail Embryo's Develop, Incubator Temperatures Will Rise

Once you have reached about the midway point to hatch, you have been candling your quail eggs and see the embryo is developing. You know that live chicks are starting to form in your eggs. After these quail chicks begin to grow and become living animals, they are obviously going to start generating some of their own heat. You should have a thermometer placed directly on top of the eggs that you have been monitoring anyway. At this point you should notice the temperature starting to rise in the incubator. This rise will mean that you need to adjust the temperature on your incubator. You should have to adjust the temperature down on the incubator to maintain the proper incubation temperature.

Change Incubator Settings Before Quail Eggs Hatch

When reaching 3 days before your quail eggs are due to hatch, stop turning the eggs and raise the humidity to 80% (this is extremely important, it helps prevent the chicks from sticking to the shell). If you are using an automatic turner, remove the turner and candle the eggs. Get rid of cracked eggs and quail chicks that seem to have not formed properly in the shell. Make sure you have placed the lid on the incubator during this process as to not loose heat. Before placing the good quail eggs back in the incubator, something should be placed on the surface where the eggs will lay to hatch, such as cheese cloth, shredded paper or even the material that is used in kitchen drawers or cabinets. This is done to help the quail chicks have secure footing after they hatch. As you know chicks come out of the shell very wet and you want to do anything you can to prevent them from slipping. The slipping could cause “spraddle leg” this usually means culling of the quail chick.

If you are using a cabinet type incubator, you need to level and lock the egg trays to prevent turning or move the chicks to the hatching tray. Do this following the same procedures as mentioned when removing the automatic turner from the table top incubator.

Once the quail chicks have hatched, they should be left in the incubator or hatchery for 24 hours or until dry. Moving them to the brooder while wet could cause them to get a chill. This could become a big problem.

After your eggs have hatched and the quail chick are dry, they will be ready for the brooder.


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Category: Quail and Diseases