Hatching quail eggs and raising your own quail chicks is absolutely an exciting and joyful experience. Especially it is more exciting and joyful for the beginners. Although the beginners may experience some accidents and mistakes. But here we are describing more about hatching quail eggs. And by following this guide you will be able to have a successful hatch.
People believe that incubating and brooding quail is very difficult. But it is actually not a too difficult task. And hatching quail eggs is not different than hatching chicken eggs. However, read some more information about hatching quail eggs below.
Setting up Brooder
Before purchasing equipment or anything else for hatching eggs, you must have to set up the brooder. Purchase all necessary raising and caring equipment before start hatching the eggs. You can make the brooder for quails with cardboard box, large plastic container etc. Along with the brooder, you also need bedding, heat lamp, chick crumbles, shallow water container, shiny pebbles or marbles etc.
The brooder is actually a small box which provide space, shelter, food, water and warmth to the chicks. For cleaning the wastage, the brooder should have bedding lined up. And you should clean the brooder at least once a week (because the chicks are very messy). Some great bedding materials for bedding are wood shavings, paper towels and straw.
Purchase/Collect Fertile Eggs
You can either collect some fertile eggs from the quails you already have, or purchase some from good breeders in your area or you can also order online. Determine the number of eggs depending on the number of chicks you want to hatch (also consider the size of incubator). Purchase/collect some more eggs, because some eggs may get destroyed along the way of incubation.
In case of collecting eggs from your existing quails, keep one male and one female together. Doing so will ensure more fertile eggs from the hen. Provide your laying hens with more sunlight and supplement their diet with calcium, especially if you want your hens to lay some great-quality eggs. Do not rub or wash the eggs, because the eggs have a special coating which protects them from bacteria (and you get rid of the special coating by causing friction or washing the eggs).
Setting up the incubator properly is a must. And the incubating method is the most important method of hatching chicks. Follow the steps below for hatching quail eggs with an incubator.
- Humidity Setting: Set the humidity of the incubator properly. Proper humidity inside the brooder is at least 45 to 50 percent. And set the humidity to 65 to 70 percent on the 23rd day of incubating your chicks.
- Temperature Setting: You should set the temperature at 99 °F for hatching quail eggs. This is the ideal temperature for incubating quail eggs.
Incubating the Eggs
Follow the steps below for incubating quail eggs.
- Keeping Eggs: Place your chosen fertile eggs inside the incubator. The eggs should be placed with the small end facing downwards and the big end sticking up, elevated. Depending on the breed of quail, the eggs should take between 17 and 25 days to hatch.
- Turning Eggs: Turing the eggs is very important. You should turn the eggs 3 times a day to stop the embryo in the egg from sticking to the shell. Setting up a turner in the incubator will do this task automatically. And don’t forget to stop the turning process 3 days before the hatch due date.
- Checking Eggs: Check the eggs inside the incubator on a regular basis. And don’t forget to start checking on eggs before hatch due date. It’s normal to hatch early or late, so don’t be worried.
- Moving Chicks: After hatching, move the chicks to a brooder you prepared previously. Transfer the chicks to a brooder once the chicks are dry. And the brooder should contain shallow water, chick crumbles and a heat lamp.
- Discard of Unhatched Eggs and Dead Chicks: Wait a while after the hatch due date (because you can get some late hatches). And after that discard of unhatched eggs including the dead chicks.
Care for the Chicks
After all eggs are hatched and the chicks are transferred to a breeder, you should take good care of the chicks. Learn more about caring quail chicks.