Incubating Quail Eggs Without An Incubator

I was sent a comment asking about how to incubate quail eggs without an incubator.

There are a number of options:

  • Get the quail hens to hatch to sit and hatch the eggs.
  • Use a broody hen to hatch the egg.
  • Build your own incubator using recycled material.

“hi I would like to hatch my 16 japenese quail eggs from 3 of my 11 month hen quail and my 2 year old cock bird without an incubator any ideas and by the way you gotta cool site” Junior

Hi Junior,
Thanks for your complimentary comment and my site it is appreciated when I get feedback. You could try getting your three quail hens to sit on them. They can probably sit on 5 or 6 eggs. If you keep the eggs in the hut with them it encourages them to sit. If that is not an option then finding someone with a broody hen, perhaps a silkie hen or a bantam who can sit on the eggs and would make a good mother. You could also make your own incubator using a cardboard box, wood or a polystyrene box and a heat lamp and making your own wet bulb for the humidity. Check out these links:       

Hope this information is useful. Let me know how you get on.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If anyone has any handy hints and tips for hatching quail eggs without an incubator then please leave a comment.

10 thoughts on “Incubating Quail Eggs Without An Incubator”

  1. hi sara . ive started breeding guail again , when the eggs in the incubater i used to squirt water in morning noon and night and they all hatched ok i also had a cup of water ive read on a site to never use humidity when hatching the eggs .im confused

  2. Hi Michelle,
    I wouldn’t put an egg with a cracked shell into the incubator as the egg might explode.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

  3. Hi Judith,
    Thanks for your question. I have not got experience of using a mini warmer to hatch eggs. What breed of quail are your eggs? Japanese quail eggs need to have a temperature in the incubator of 99.5-99.9 degrees fahrenheit and the humidity level (wet bulb thermometer) is is 84-88 degrees fahrenheit.

    Japanese quail eggs take 17 days to hatch and you need to be turning them 3-5 times a day until day 15.

    Hope this helps.
    Good luck with your hatch and let me know how you get on.

    Just to let you know that have a quail forum that is free and has info about quail and a place to ask question.

    kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  4. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for leaving a comment and letting me know about your incubating quail eggs without using an incubator. The lunch box and airing cupboard seem to be having a good success rate! thanks for sharing your experiences.
    kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  5. Hi in reply to incubation or the lack of it, I tried once to put my first ever quail eggs in a lunch box then put it in the airing cupboard on top of the boiler and to my surprice they hatched turned them twice daily now on the second batch and already have six hatched.

  6. Hi Carrie,
    Welcome to farmingfriends and thanks fo your comment. Pleased to hear that your quail are laying. They move the eggs as they are turning the eggs. I would try to make a nest. From experience my quail like to lay eggs in an indent in the soil and straw.
    The eggs maybe cracking as the shes might be fragile and the quail may need more grit and oyster shell.
    Quail also have a bad habit of egg eating so they will try to crack the eggs. One way to try to solve this is to add pebbles in te shape of their eggs to the nest which will put them off trying to crack the eggs. Also removing the eggs as soon as possible after lay will allieviate this problem unless you want them to sit on the eggs themselves.
    Hope this helps.
    I have recently set up a free forum about quail which may be interesting to you.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  7. my quail have recently laid eggs. but they seem to move the eggs around and most of them cracks. what should i do. i surpose to have 5 eggs but the quail have crack 3 of them. what is happening

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