Incubating quail eggs

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Incubating quail eggs

Postby LavenderLin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:44 pm

Just got my quail eggs delivered today - it will be my first time incubating eggs! Have been researching how to do this right, but have a couple of questions, as I have read some contradictory info.

The quail farmer I got my eggs from says to put them in the incubator and not turn them for the first 3 days? This seems to contradict everything else I've read on the topic. I have a nice but basic Brinsea model that does not have an auto-turn feature. Any advice on optimal number of turns per day, and safest thing to mark an X and an O with? Pencil may be hard to see on spotty quail eggs. But with a pen, I'd worry about chemicals getting into the egg?

Any advice appreaciated. The eggs are resting today, and I'm looking forward to getting them into the incubator tomorrow!
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Re: Incubating quail eggs

Postby Marina » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:47 pm

Yes, it's against everything you normally hear to not turn the eggs during the first 3 days. However - if you don't turn them they'll be fine, too. Once the egg contents do no longer move freely inside the egg, turning must commence. Otherwise the yolk will eventually stick to the membrane.

It's better to get into a routine from day 1. Turning 3 times per day is what's accepted as the best compromise but if you are away for a couple of days it won't matter if the eggs don't get turned.

I've never marked the eggs with X and O or whatever. I just turn them, one at a time, and keep my fingers crossed that they'll hatch. Turning is essential, especially in a still air incubator.Try to keep to a 3 times per day schedule to optimize the hatch rate.
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Re: Incubating quail eggs

Postby LavenderLin » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:20 am

Thanks for the advice, Mariana

Doing some more research, I see not turning the eggs for a few days is sometimes advised in the case of mail order eggs if there has been some damage to the air sac. Well, I will not be candling these eggs because a) I don't have a candler and candling with a flashlight sounds nerve wracking b) tiny quail eggs with dark brown splotches - I'm not sure how much I'd see. So I can see the sense in treating them all as you would eggs where there has been some disturbance/ damage to the air sac. Which I gather, is mainly - incubating them with fat side up for a few days, then turning only 45 degrees with fat side still up but at a slant.

Wondering what I can use to prop them up with as I don't have an egg cradle type thing in incubator as it doesnn't auto turn; I'll be turning by hand. I have read some people use egg crates for this purpose and just prop up one end and then the opposite end at 45 degree angle as a way to turn them. My quail eggs came in a quail egg package thing made of thin clear plastic, and I'm wondering if it would be wise to just keep them in this and turn them by tilting it side to side? The main thing I am not sure of with this is - what type of surfaces it might be safe or not safe for the eggs to be resting on in the incubator. I don't know if its hot enough in the incubator that it will distort or melt the thin plastic or something?
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Re: Incubating quail eggs

Postby Marina » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:53 pm

I think you are overthinking the whole process. If you use an egg box to stand up the eggs the eggs won't have any air circulation at their bottom. Who knows where that leads.

Just put them in, roll them around a bit 3 times per day, make sure there is adequate humidity and wait until they hatch. The Internet is full of people who present their experiences and ideas - some whacky, some make sense. I don't think the position during incubation has a noticeable influence on the hatch rate. Some incubators are designed to incubate eggs standing up, others for eggs lying down. Under a hen they are definitely lying down.

What I remember from hatching quail is that some took 4 to 5 days longer than the first ones to hatch so don't give up hope and keep them in the incubator for a while yet.
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Re: Incubating quail eggs

Postby LavenderLin » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:37 pm

Marina, You're right, I have a real talent for over-thinking things! Thanks for the advice. I kept them in the egg crate til day 3 as I'd already started them that way when I read your reply - it's now day 3, time to start turning, and I've laid them down on the bottom of the incubator, going to keep them there for the remainder of the incubator. Fingers crossed it works out okay! I'm also a champion worrier. It's my first time doing this, so it really is hard to imagine that baby birds are actually going to start coming out of those inert little eggs in a couple of weeks!
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