Have you ever seen newly hatched coturnix quail? They are adorable, they are speedy, and tiny, and everything cute. And boy do they grow fast! Hatching coturnix quail is very similar to hatching chicken eggs.
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The first thing to know when you want to hatch eggs is that you need is a male quail and female quail, multiple females, about 4-5 for one male.
Collecting Egg for Hatching
Quail start to lay really young, typically 6-8 weeks of age. They are fertile at about seven weeks.
You want to store them in a cool, dry place, points down just as you do with chicken eggs. These are just much tinier and a little harder to stand up on their pointer end in a chicken egg carton. Collect for up to a week.
Do not wash your eggs as you collect them for your incubator. Avoid excessively large or small eggs. Large eggs hatch poorly and small eggs produce small chicks.
Before you put them in your incubator make sure that you have had your incubator running and have it up to temperature when you put them in. You want it at 100F.
I don’t use an automatic egg turner, so I make an X on one side of each egg, and an O on the other side so I can keep track of which egg has been turned and how much when I do turn them.
You want to turn your eggs 3-5 times a day. This is important for the development of chicks.
You also want to make sure you have water in your incubator for humidity.
Hatching Coturnix Quail
Quail only take 18 days to hatch, everything with quail is sped up a little. This means you will need to stop turning the eggs are day 15 and make sure that the humidity is up for hatching.
When quail hatch, they run. These little guys have a strong flight instinct. They run all over the incubator even with the egg still attached sometimes.
I highly recommend putting down a non-slip mat in the incubator for them.
Make sure that they are fluffy and dry before moving them to your ready and waiting brooder.
It can take a while for all your eggs to hatch, some may not hatch until day 20 so be patient when you are ready to clean out your incubator after the hatch.
More Tips & Tricks
I just recently learned that there are apps you can use to help you as you incubator and hatch eggs. I have one that is no longer available through Google Play – Hatchabatch but it was recommended to me by someone who has a lot of experience hatching eggs and uses it herself.
Using an app can be helpful just to remind you when you should candle, or when to go into lockdown.