We had our first crack at incubating and hatching quail eggs this fall! I just bought one of the cheap styrofoam incubators (it was $50 at TSC) and ordered the quail egg rotators off of Amazon ($50). I bought some quail eggs from a man up North so that I could vary the bloodlines. Quail take 18 days from set to hatch, with lock down at day 15. They are jumbo Coturnix and it was said to keep them around 99.9 to 100.5 degrees. We only had 7 hatch out of 18, but not bad for our first go.
Once they begin hatching, wait about 24 hours until opening the incubator and taking them out. Sometimes you will have some late hatchers. We made a homemade brooder that consisted of:
~very large Rubbermaid bin
~wire mesh or wood planks to support the heat lamp, that are strong enough to hold the light up – which also serves as some type of cover for the bin, as they grow they become flighty, and you don’t want them hopping out!
~small poultry water dish (put clear marbles in it so the chicks don’t drown), small food dish
~pine shavings (NOT cedar, they are toxic to small animals) also, make sure you get the larger shavings, if it is too fine, it can create respiratory issues for birds
This is a video of our set up.
We keep the heat at 99*F and decrease one degree every week until they are feathered out (5weeks) and ready for an outdoor coop! Make sure they have a space where they can get out of the heat lamp space if they are too hot.
We feed a combination of chick starter and game bird layer, processed through a grinder so that they can eat it without choking.
One more step to self sufficiency! Little by little we are learning and growing, taking small steps at a time! Have a great weekend everyone! 🐣