Raising Coturnix Quails: Incubating and Hatching

I started a documentary of my raising Coturnix quails experience. This part of documentary describe the incubating and hatching the quail eggs the first 20 days.

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Materials needed:

Part 1: Incubating

To hatch quail chicks, we first need fertile eggs and a good quality incubator. I got my fertile eggs from my existing mature quails. The first incubator we bought didn’t work so well. The turning wheel broke and so we upgraded to a more expensive incubator. I chose this Nurture Right 360 incubator. I do sell fresh quail eggs for local pickup in Oviedo, Florida if you are near and would like to purchase by the quart size. A quart contains 36 fresh Coturnix quail eggs or 3 dozen eggs for $10.

The directions for the setting and humidity adjustment explained in the manual are very detailed. The candle light is much brighter than the first $60 incubator we bought. This incubator can fit 44 quail eggs. I didn’t need to buy the egg frame for quail eggs. The incubator set comes with an egg frame for chicken or duck eggs. Two quail eggs can fit into each of the 22 sections nicely.

Day 1: I started to incubate 44 quail eggs. The incubator was set at 21 days until hatching but quails hatch anywhere from day 16 to day 20 from experiences.

Day 10: Candle Light Testing

I used the candle light test to find out which egg is fertile and which egg is non-fertile. The humidity and temperature will drop when we open the incubator lid for so long. Take the lid off and place it down on a leveled surface. Carefully place an egg at a time on the candle light. If the egg glows in the dark, it’s a “bad” egg or non-fertilized egg. I would take the bad eggs out. Now there’s 36 good eggs. Try to do this within 5 minutes max and be careful not to shake the egg or else the chick may die inside the egg.

Note: For balut quail eggs, incubate fertile eggs for 14 days and take them out.

Part 2: Hatching Time!

Coturnix quail chicks hatch between Day 17 to 19 from my experiences with five batches of eggs so far.

Day 17: 12:40pm: Twenty-one chicks hatched right on Lunar New Year! All the little chirping woke me up in the middle of the night. When I went to bed two hours earlier, there where no chicks. I am excited!

9:00 AM: I woke up in the morning and more chicks hatched. For batch #5, 31 chicks of 44 eggs hatched. This is the highest hatching rate out of the five batches I tried to incubate.

I will have to wait until the chicks are dry and fluffy before taking them out of the incubator and start the next stage of their life, nursing in the brooding box. This may take a day for the chicks feathers to dry in the incubator. I do stop adding water to the incubator. Humidity percentage should be a constant 70%. I do leave any unhatched eggs in the incubator to continue to see if there’s any late hatching for two more days before I turn off the incubator.

It is now time to move on to Part 3: Nursing the Quail Chicks documentary post

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