Danielle’s Quail

Danielle contacted me about the quail eggs in her incubator:

Hi, I am incubating some Japanese quail for the first time, although I have hatched ducks before. It is now day 24, 3 chicks hatched 2 days ago and another 1 began to hatch yesterday but hasn’t come out yet so I started to take some of the shell off, but the membrane inside has bled a little so I have left it alone.

I know they are already really late and I don’t know whether to open the other eggs yet or what to do with the one that is hatching, any advice?

Also 2 of the chicks that have hatched are having a lot of trouble with standing up, although they can push quite hard against my hand, they don’t seem able to balance and fall onto their backs each time. Does anyone know what the problem could be because the other chick is fine so far? Danielle

I sent this reply;

Hi Danielle,
I hope that a few more of the eggs have hatched for you since you sent this comment. I am sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you.
Sometimes I help the chicks if the egg has been pipped for a while. Whilst you have to work fast you also have to be careful that they don’t bleed which is not easy when you are trying to keep them warm as well. I hope that this chick survived. I know that when I help the chicks hatch it is best to try to remove as much of the inner membrane as possible so that when the egg & chick are placed back in the incubator the membrane does not dry onto the chick making it even more difficult for the chick to hatch. I have also found that the best thing is to try to remove as much of the egg shell except around the bottom and then the membrane until their is just a cup shaped shell left where the chick will still be attached. i try to make sure that the head and legs are out of the shell making it easier for the chick to get out of the remaining egg when it is placed back in the incubator.
If I have opened the incubator I will sometimes top up the water to help the humidity as this can sometimes help a few more eggs to hatch.
When eggs go past the hatching date I tend to leave them in the incubator and don’t open the eggs unless one pips and is taking a long time to hatch.
The 2 chicks that are having trouble standing up. Do they have splayed legs? If they do then use a bandaid to straighten their legs again and this should help them to stand up. Here is a link http://www.farmingfriends.com/splayed-legs-in-quail/
Again I am sorry for the delay with this reply.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

I was delighted when Danielle got back to me:

Thanks for your reply. I got the chick out of it’s shell, unfortunately it died today, maybe because it’s toes never opened out and it seemed quite week and wobbly. The other 2 chicks with problems walking also died. I now only have 1 chick, this one appears to be health, it is eating, drinking and running around, It has grown quite a lot and hasn’t had any problems yet, so hopefully this one will survive.
I would really like to try hatching quail again, but hopefully with much more success. If you could give me any tips or suggestions on how to improve I would really appreciate it. Also will the remaining chick be ok on it’s own for a while or does it need urgent company?
Thank you for your advice.

Again I replied:

Hi Danielle,
I am so sorry that 3 of your quail chicks didn’t make it. It is always sad when they have such a hard time getting out into the world.
I hope that your survivor is doing well. Quail chicks love lettuce shredded up.I wonder whether the 2 quail that had problems walking may have had splayed legs which can sometimes happen if they slip on a surface. I don’t know what you have on the floor of the brooder but a litter such as corrugated cardboard with straw on the top or carpet is good so that they don’t slide around. I tend not to use sawdust straight away as they can sometimes mistake the sawdust for food.
I place marbles in the drinker so that they don’t fall into the water but it also allows me to have a big drinker in the brooder so that they don’t get dehydrated.
You asked if your chick needs company. Quail are quite territorial birds so I think that if it is possible to get some young quail or to hatch some more eggs then I would do this sooner rather than later so that they are more likely to mix together and your lone chick doesn’t become too dominant.
I look forward to hearing about your little quail. If you have any photos then I would love to see them.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Hi, thanks for your reply. The remaining quail chick is still doing fine and beginning to get a few feathers coming around it’s wings.

I kept the chicks on paper kitchen towel from hatching, I thought this would be ok as it was quite bumpy, not the flat slippy stuff. I then changed it to a teatowel just incase that would help. The chick is now on woodshavings as its bigger and doesn’t look quite so lost.

I have attached a couple of pics of the chick from about 2 days ago. Danielle

Here are the pictures of Danielle’s lovely 2 day old quail chick.

 Danielle’s Quail

Danielle's Quail Chick

Danielle’s Quail Chick

Danielle's Quail Chick

Danielle’s Quail Chick

Danielle's Quail Chick Feeding

Danielle’s Quail Chick Feeding

Danielle's Two Day Old Quail Chick

Danielle’s Two Day Old Quail Chick








I look forward to following the progress of Danielle’s quail.

If you have a hatching story and photos that you would like to share with farmingfriends then please leave a comment. Thanks.

1 thought on “Danielle’s Quail”

  1. I bought 12 Japanese quail eggs (online, via post), incubated them and got 2 chicks.One died and we were left with only 1. I tried again with another 24 eggs, and got 3 chicks, 1 died within 2 days as showed no interest in eating, the other two were strong but to my great sadness we had a power cut when there were about a week old and I came down at about 5 one morning and found them both just clinging on for life – so I tried warming them in my hands and re-started the lamp etc. but within an hour they were both dead.
    Anyway I’ve now got another 24 eggs and am trying again! The strong survivor from batch 1 is now 5 weeks and a lovely little thing – we’ve handled her lots as realised she would be lonely until we could hatch any more, and she goes to sleep on your lap etc. I have 3 questions:
    1. when we manage to hatch some more successfully, at what age could we try & put them together, as the oldest (we’re sure she’s a femail) is almost fully mature now
    2. I’ve kept No1 in an old rabbit hutch and kept the coop empty until I can put them all in together rather than let her settle and ‘own’ it. Will this help?
    2. It seems that the hatch rates are quite low (2 or less per dozen)- or is this typical for online/postal purchases? we don’t have an option to buy locally.
    Look forward to hearing from you!

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