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RAISING BOBWHITE QUAIL:    FROM EGG TO FLIGHT BIRDS

                            We now have Northern Bobwhite quail eggs 
                                             

                                       
                          

   


QUAIL EGGS TO FLIGHT BIRDS
Starting with  fertile quail eggs is the most important part of all.
Start with a good  (quality incubator) 

 It must maintain proper air flow and temperature to work proper.

Humidity
We have found that the humidity  needs to be about 45 TO  50% during incubation, and 65-70% during the 23 day of  hatching. We had better hatches  when kept under these conditions.


Hatcher     Buy a quality built hatcher.

Temperature
We always had better  hatches that hatch on time when the temperature was at 100 degrees.
We have hatched quail eggs at 98 degrees and as high as 102 degrees in forced air incubators.    When temperatures were at 98 degrees,  eggs hatched a day or two late. When at 102 degrees,  eggs hatched early and some chicks were deformed.
When (hatching  quail eggs), keep the temperature at 100 degrees (or as close as possible), and we believe you will be satisfied with all your  hatches
Coturnix eggs takes 16 to 18 days to hatch. all else same as bobwhite.
Place the eggs in  incubator with the small end pointing down.Turn off auto turner for first 3 days if the incubator has one.  Egg trays must turn at least 30 degrees each way, with a total of 60 degrees total  movement. This prevents the embryos from sticking to the shell.




 When to remove eggs from incubator
       Eggs should be removed from the incubator 3 days before hatching and placed in a hatcher. Do not over crowd  eggs in the hatcher.Quail Chicks need room to push out of shell.
  If placed too close together, some will be partially out and die in the shell.

Time For Quail Eggs To Hatch
It depends on the specie. Bobwhite Quail eggs usually takes 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.Pharaoh quail eggs takes 17 days  When taking out quail chicks, if there were too many eggs that failed to hatch, put them back into the hatcher and wait another day , just in case you're temperature and humidity was slightly off .

Egg Turning 
After eggs have been placed into the incubator, turn off the auto turner if it has one for the first three days. This time will allow the embryo to set. After that the eggs must be turned
at least twice a day or more to keep the embryo moving around in the shell. 

Although humidity, temperature & egg turning are key factors to a succesful hatch, do not expect all  eggs to hatch. Fertile  Eggs is the most important of all. Most quail farms run 3 hens to 1 cock. However, with less hens per cock more  eggs will hatch. One hen per one cock is the best.
We have found it is best to keep quail breeders in small  groups in cages off the ground, regardless of how
many hens per cock you run. Eggs will be cleaner and lots easier to gather. Checking quail eggs for dents and cracks will help get better hatches. Quaileggs with cracks and dents wont hatch.   Boil and eat these.

After The Eggs Hatch
All Quail chicks
 needs a place that can be heated.  A thermostat is the best way to control heat. 
There are other ways to do this. Raise or lower a heat lamp to obtain correct temperature. Heating elements are used in box brooders. A simple red 100 watt bulb with a thermostat will work fine. First, try to keep the temperature at 100 degrees in an area big enough for all the chicks. Then, start to lower about 3 to 5 degrees each week . Check  several times the first day. If they are too cold, they will bunch up on top of one another, and some will smother. It helps to sprinkle high protein feed all around the feeders and always keep plenty of water available. After 3 to 4 days chicks will know where the feeders are.  Sometimes quail chicks will start pecking, and by the time you notice this, it can be too late. Their feet and nostrils are good indicators of this . We believe it is always best to lightly debeak at 3 to 4 days, regardless of any signs. 

What is debeaking?

    Cuting off about 1/3 of the top beak from the tip to the nostril. I know this seams crual but it doesn't harm      the chicks. You will loose less chicks by debeaking.

Space

Baby quails are small birds and doesn't require a lot of space at first.

A space 2 ft. by 3 ft. will hold about 100 quail chicks for about 10 days. After that, they need more space. 

After about 6 to 8 weeks, we move chicks to flight pens to produce  flight conditioned birds, or grow them in
cages to produce meat birds.

For meat birds, you can debeak and crowd about 3 TO 4 birds per sq. ft.

Bobwhite quail need at least  3  to 31/2 sq. ft. per bird in flight pens.

 

 Possible reasons for unsuccessful hatches:
The Feed
We believe that bobwhite quails need a well-balanced feed to ensure proper nutrition. Healthy feed makes healthy birds. Healthy birds lay healthy eggs. And healthy eggs make healthy  chicks, which makes stronger flight birds
in the end.

Water
Quails need clean drinking water at all times. Wash and refill water containers daily. Cleanliness is very
important.

 We believe disturbance is the main reason for poor hatcher
If quail breeders are disturbed constantly, the breeding stage will be affected. This causes infertile eggs, which is the main reason for poor hatches.  Quail breeders need to be kept in an isolated area away from all dogs, cats, and wild animals. Bobwhite quail are wild birds and dont breed as well in cages as in the wild. Gathering the  eggs, feeding, and watering should be the only times that these birds are disturbed. With auto feeders and waterers only gathering the eggs is necessary. This will help  during the breeding stage. Bobwhite quail will lay eggs regardless if there are cocks
around, but disturbance keeps them from breeding.
We have learned that with less disurbance you will get more fertile eggs.

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