Helping Quail Chicks

Do you have any advice on helping quail chicks hatch out? There is a lot of debate about whether you should help a quail chick or any chick out of their shell. I believe it is up to the individual to assess their own situation and decide if they are going to intervene or not. We have had an email about helping a quail out of the shell.

Hi, I have just had to help a Quail chick out of it’s shell. It had cracked a hole and I could see it’s beak, but then nothing else happened for a good 3-4 hours, and normally quail don’t take that long to hatch. I was worried it would dry out inside the shell so I carefully peeled back only half the shell, then it managed to wriggle out of the rest. It is now not walking properly and it’s feet are curled round, it is just lying on it’s side trying to move.

Have I caused this or will it get better?
Thanks Nicole x

Hi Nicole,
I hope that your quail chick is ok. It sounds like the chick could just be exhausted.
Chicks often wriggle about trying to move when they have been helped out. Let me know if
the chicks feet are still curled as you can help to uncurl them. Did any other chicks
hatch?
Just to let  you know that I have a free forum with a section on quail and incubating
http://farmingfriends.com/forums/ where members can chat and ask questions.
Hope all well with the chick.
Keep me posted.
Kind regards
sara @ farmingfriends

All the books and research says that you shouldn’t help chicks out of the shell and that opening the incubator can affect the rest of the eggs hatching.

I have not had to help quail hatch as they managed to all hatch at the same time and relatively easily.

I have however had to help many a guinea fowl and more recently ducks out of their shell. In fact I have 7 ducklings that are now 4 weeks old and if I hadn’t have helped them out of their shells then I would only have one. All the ducklings are growing well and are healthy.
From experience I have found that if a chick has not hatched itself within a few hours then I have found that they often die in the shell as the heat in the incubator dries up the shell and membrane and makes it difficult for the chicks to hatch.
If you do decide to help the chick out, remove the egg from the incubator quickly and cupping the egg in your hand to keep it warm carefully start to pick off the shell from where the egg has pipped as this is where the chicks beak is.

I have always had to work quickly although you have to be very careful that the blood vessels in the shell don?t bleed as this can kill the chick.

When I help a chick out I try to pick the shell off the head part first and work my way down. I never take all the shell off as the chick is attached to the shell at the base.

I usually take the top off and try to make sure that the chicks head, wings and body are free.

It is important to make sure that the chick can move about because once it goes back in the incubator the membrane and shell dry out and can get stuck to the chick.

I then put the chick and attached shell back in the incubator and let the chick wriggle free in it’s own time.
Sometimes the guinea fowl keets have made it and sometimes they have still died.
Another thing to consider is once you have opened the incubator the temperature and humidity will be affected and this could stop other chicks from hatching.
If you decide that you are going to open the incubator I would just check that you can see movement from the chick otherwise you will have affected the incubator conditions and the chick could already be dead.

Let us know if you have any tips for helping quail chicks out of the shell.

Signs That Incubated Quail Eggs Will Hatch

I have been asked how to tell if incubated quail egg will hatch.

Deana is looking for signs that her incubated quail eggs will hatch.

Hello, I was looking at your website and didnt find the answer to my question. I’m currently trying to hatch out 48 quail eggs its the 21st day of incubation and my question is how can you tell if they are hatching? I’ve been seeing little light spots in the egg shell that I havnt noticed before almost like they were trying to pick off the inside of the shell (that started on the 20th day) but since then its just stopped. Am I going insane waiting for them to hatch? Or did they try to hatch and die? Thank you! Deana

Things to look out for are:

* Look out for signs of pipping where the chick has broke through the shell with their beak.
* Cracks in the shell.
* Also hold the egg up to your ear and listen for cheeps.
* Look for movement of the eggs.

If you can’t candle the eggs and quail eggs are hard to candel then leave the eggs in the incbator for up to 7-10 days after the hatching date to see if they hatch late.
If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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Quail Flying

Quail keepers sometimes find that their quail will fly upwards and injure themselves or can fly out of a pen if the pen doesn’t have adequate roofing or even escape via the door of a hut.

Quail will demonstrate a vertical flight movement. This vertical flight can occur when quail are:

  • frightened or
  • startled by a noise, predator, human or intense light.

The quail demonstrate an upward flight movement which can injure or sometimes lead to death of the birds as they can hit their heads on the roof of the hut.

My problem is that i have been losing a couple of quails recently from them jumping out of the cage and flying free. I wanted to know is it worth clipping their wings? can you even clip quails wings? and if you can clip them, do i do both wings or just one so they lose balance when trying to take off?

You can use netting over the top of a run or in the roof of a hut to stop the quail escaping or inhuring their heads if they do fly upwards. You can get this from various places. Look under pen netting for partridges as this a cheap way of buying it.

If you clip the wings it is advisable to only do one wing however you need to consider that quail can do panic flights and if unbalanced may damage themselves.

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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Incubating Blue Scaled Quail Eggs

Blue scale quail eggs have light or dark brown spots on them.

Incubating Blue Scaled Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 22-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = Humidity: 82 to 84 degrees F wet bulb.

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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Incubating Calfornia Valley Quail Eggs

California Valley Quail are also known as Valley Quail and they are the state bird of California.

Incubating California Valley Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 22-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = 84 to 86 degrees F wet bulb

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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Incubating Gambel’s Quail Eggs

Gambel’s Quail are are found in arid areas of the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. The Gambel quail egg is a pale buff to white colour with moderate pink/brown spots.

Incubating Gambel’s Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 21-23 days
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F
Humidity = wet bulb of 83 F

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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If you would like to receive regular information about quail and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Mycoplasma In Quail

I suspect that my quail have mycoplasma which is like congunctivitis. It is an infection of the air passages and signs of the infection are:

  • swollen facial sinuses.

Other signs may include:

  • sneezing,
  • eye discharges,
  • breathing through a partly opened beak,
  • reduced growth,
  • reduction in appetite,
  • joints may also be affected and birds may become lame and
  • in laying birds there may be reduced egg production.

An anti-biotic treatment can be given in the water. Consultation with a vet is advised.

Mycoplasma can affect chickens, turkeys, and game birds including pheasants, chukar partridges and peafowl as well as  bobwhite quail and Japanese quail.
If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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How To Tell Difference Between Male & Female Chinese Painted Quail

There are a number of ways to tell the difference between a male and female chinese painted quail.

  • The chinese painted male quail have a white bib under their chin which the females don’t have.
  • The females are slightly larger than the males with a plumper body.
  • Mannerisms, the male tend to walk taller than the females.

This is a question I am often asked. If you have any tips on how to identify and distinguish male and female chinese painted quail then please leave a comment.

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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Books About Quail

Farming Friends is delighted to announce that we now have books about quail in stock. If you are a quail enthusiast, if you keep quail or are thinking of keeping quail then Quail Past & Present by Michael Roberts or Keeping Quail by Katie Thear are books that are sure to delight and inform you.

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Quail Egg Fertility Rate October 2009

When breeding quail and incubating their eggs it is important to keep a record of fertility and to calculate the percentage fertility because this will help in evaluating incubation  and breeding efficiency. I have recently incubated some quail eggs from quail that were hatched themselves in 2007, so two years on it is important to check their fertility. You can calculate fertility in the following way;

% fertility = number of fertile eggs/number of total eggs produced or set.

23 fertile quail eggs divided by 31 quail eggs in the incubator = 0.7419354 X 100 = 74% fertility.

This is a good  fertility rate for this time of the year as the male quail’s fertility is effected by cold temperatures, thus breeding quail in October when the weather is colder can effect the fertility rate of the eggs.

If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

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