How to Hatch Quail Eggs


Incubators are an alternative way to hatch eggs. You have the option of buying a still air incubator, one with ventilation holes, or the one that uses a fan to circulate air and heat inside the medium. Either way, they provide a safe haven for the eggs to hatch in the absence of mother quail’s prefect care and setting ability.

Gather fertile quail eggs from the nest and check if they are fertile or not, by candling the eggs. Also note the quality of the shell, as a strong shell, is a sign of fertile egg. Buy an incubator from the market, depending upon the size of the quail eggs and the kind of heat, they require.

Transfer each quail egg to the incubator slowly and carefully. Handle the eggs in the incubator with extreme caution and care. Follow the temperature guide, that comes with the incubator. Place the eggs in the incubator with the small end pointing down. Adjust the light, heat and air inside the incubator following the instructions, that came with the machine.

Turn the eggs at least three times a day and adjust the temperature inside the incubator every day, as quail eggs produce their own energy, as they continue to grow. The closer they get to hatch-time, the more warmth the eggs will produce. Do not let them cool down to room temperature, as it may hinder the chicks' growth. Do not overheat the eggs, as they might crack open.

Carefully monitor the humidity inside the incubator. A quail egg only needs 60% humidity. Fill the water trough inside the incubator every day. Use room temperature water.

Hatching-time depends on the species. Bobwhite Quail eggs usually take 23-24 days to hatch, depending on proper temperature and humidity. Some will hatch as early, as 22 days, and as late, as 25 days. Closely observe the hatching quail eggs each day. Stop turning the eggs at least three days, before the hatch date. After the egg hatches, do not remove the baby quail from the incubator. They need to dry their feathers, prior to being moved. When they are ready, transfer them to the quail brooder nest box.

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5 Tips For Raising Quails

Quails are small birds, reared for their meat and eggs. In most places, quail eggs are considered a delicacy. Quail meat provides a healthy low-fat white meat, offering a substitute for red meat. Additionally, quails supply enough fertilizer to bring any home garden to life. Since quails are small birds, they require a moderate start-up cost. A modest 8 by 8 foot open-sided pole building will do just fine. In fact, any corner in an outdoor building is fit enough to house quails. If an open-sided pole building is erected for raising quails, remember to wall in the upper half to keep our strong winds.

There are a few things that anyone planning to raise quails needs to know. The 5 tips below should help beginners firmly grasp the art.

1. Build A Secure Quail House:

The bottom half of the building should be wired with sturdy wires so as to keep predators out. We are surrounded by a lot of wild critters, including raccoons, snakes and even foxes ready to snack on quails and their tasty eggs.

Once the outer structure is erected, move on to constructing a brooder, breeder pen and incubator at waist level of the quail pen. This keeps the birds off the ground, reducing chances of parasite infections and diseases. At the same time, it makes it easy to clean after the birds.

2. Get The Best Quail Breed:

Once this is in place, you are almost ready to start raising quails. Go to the local feed store where quail hatching eggs might be in store. If the stores do not have the eggs, several mail order companies that can get you the eggs, chicks, equipment and any other supplies needed to start raising quails.

Get the Japanese or Cortunix quails, if possible, as they are the fastest growing birds. With just 16 days in the incubator, the first egg batch provides a 50 percent hatch rate, or more. The baby birds need a constant supply of game bird starter mix in the initial 4 weeks plus a bird grower mix on the following 2 weeks.

3. Good Quail Breeding:

For a small brood, select the best 9 females and three males as breeders and house them in the breeding pen. This leaves you with the remaining hatchlings, ready to make a tasty meal. It is always important to maintain a 3-1 female to male ratio in the breeder for the best egg fertility success. The breeders are ready to start laying eggs at this age. Feed them with bird breeder mix, which has a high calcium level, necessary for production of healthy eggs. Keeping the breeders under 16 hours of light daily stimulates egg laying, throughout the year.

4. Expanding Your Quail Flock:

With the right conditions, each female bird should lay around 300 eggs yearly. With the breeders laying eggs consistently, make a point of collecting hatching eggs. These eggs should be kept in a humid free, dark corner until they are ready for incubation. After 10 consecutive days of egg collection, set them in the incubator at 99 degrees. Make sure that you observe humidity levels as instructed with the incubator you are using. Incubate the eggs with their pointy ends down, and turn them twice a day. This keeps the yolk centered inside the eggshell. After 16 days, a new batch of quail is ready for rearing.

5. Marketing Your Produce:

Once you have a large enough flock, then you can go into mass production. Talk with local stores managers to see if you can supply them with eggs and meat. Alternatively, you might try advertising on the Internet.

These are the five tips that have seen the rise of successful quail farmers in the past, and they will work for you, as they did for them.