Raising quail can be a rewarding experience. Raising quail eggs can be done for several reasons, such as producing more eggs to eat, to sell or to hatch into a new generation of quail. Under the right conditions, even captive quail will incubate and care for their eggs; however, if you want to take the hatching and brooding into your own hands, it is easy to do. Caring for quail eggs requires a little set up and attention to detail, but it can be successfully accomplished.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fertile quail eggs
Collect your quail eggs from the nest. The best time of year to do this is in early spring. Make sure you collect the eggs daily, since more may be laid. You can also purchase eggs from a quail breeder.
Place the eggs with their ends in the up position in a cool and humid location. If you have a basement, this is usually an ideal location. Eggs can only be stored like this for up to seven days. This step is only necessary if you want to wait to incubate your eggs. If you are not planning to wait to incubate, you can skip this step altogether.
Set up your incubator. The incubator you choose is up to you. The temperature of the incubator needs to remain consistent, however, so you may have to adjust the room you incubate in depending on the style of incubator. You must also install a turbofan in your incubator to ensure proper air circulation. Follow your incubator's instruction manual for proper set-up. Ensure the humidity is around 70 per cent while incubating. Set the temperature around 37.8 degrees Celsius.
Move the eggs to the incubator. The small end of the eggs should be down, while the wider end should be pointed upward to start with.
Turn your eggs three times a day. The turn should be a 30 degree turn. This helps ensure the embryos do not settle and stick to the inside wall of the egg. If your incubator has an automatic turner, you can use this instead.
Leave your eggs in the incubator for 17 to 23 days, depending on the specific type of quail you are hatching. This period of time allows the chicks to actually develop in the eggs. Coturnix quail usually develop in the eggs within 17 to 18 days, while it can take up to 23 days for the bobwhite quail.
Adjust the humidity in your incubator to around 80 per cent to aid hatching after the required number of days has passed in Step 6. The extra humidity makes it easier for the chicks to get out of their eggs.
Allow your chicks to hatch from their eggs, and then brood your chicks as you normally would.
Tips and warnings
- Brooders help keep the babies warm; similar to how a mother quail would in the wild. The temperature should be around 37.8 degrees Celsius at first. Every seven days, decrease the temperature in the brooder by -15 degrees C until you have reached room temperature.
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