So your gunna be a quail parent…..
Below is a short list of ideas to help you with incubating eggs and your new babies.
- Let eggs “rest” overnight after your receive them in the mail pointy side down before setting them in your incubator. This lets the air sack in the egg go in the correct position in the top or fat end of the egg. This is also when you want to heat up your incubator (99.5) to stabilize the temperature BEFORE setting eggs. Humidity should be between 35%-45% in some of the more humid climates you may not need to add water to incubator. This is referred to as “dry hatch”
- Setting eggs is easy. Put them in turner pointy side down. If you have a turner made for chicken eggs, you can make holes smaller by adding paper towels to each hole. If you are turning by hand you should turn eggs 3x a day.
- Hard part- waiting! Day 1 – 14 eggs should be turned, kept at the 99.5 temperature, and the 35%-45% humidity.
- Day 15 take eggs off turner! They are now in “lockdown” This means that the eggs should no longer be turned because the chick is positioning itself to hatch out. Humidity is bumped up to 55%-65% Water should be added to the bottom of incubator a little at a time…its amazing how a few tablespoons can change the humidity so drastically!
- Day 17-19 The day you have been waiting for! Hatchday! Eggs will begin rolling around and you may hear peeping! Usuallyeggs are pipped and hatched within a few hours. Try your best not to open incubator as the humidity level drops and other hatching chicks can become stuck in their shells. The chicks will be just fine without food and water for their first day. (if you choose to take dry babies out during hatching spray inside the incubator with a mister-think old windex bottle- to make sure humidity stays up.) I usually take out dry babies every 12 hours.
If your hatch goes over day 18 it is probably because your temperature is low. They can still hatch as late as day 23…Hang in there!
You are a quail parent….now what?!
Baby quail are TINY because of this they need a little more care.
Food should be small enough for them to eat, so you may need to crush up your crumbles using a food processor, or save the crumbs from the bottom of your other feed bags. Quail thrive best on high protein. A game bird food or turkey starter will do the trick!
Water is the#1 cause of death for baby quail. They think they can scuba dive…I assure you, they cannot. Add rocks or marbles to water dishes for the first two weeks.
Heat is also a critical component for chicks health. Temperature under the heat lamp should be around 100 degrees for the first few days and then slowly decreasing. Make sure you have an area of heat, and one without.If you don’t have a thermometer thats OK! The babies will let you know! Babies piled under the heat lamp are too cold, babies trying to get away for the heat are to hot. You may need to raise or lower your light after the babies are put into the brooder after you assess their behavior.
They don’t stay small for long! You will be enjoying your very own quail eggs from your new covey in about 7 weeks!
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