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.
(UK Amazon Affiliate Link)

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.

[eshop_show_product id=’4302,4296′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

Quail Egg Hatch Rate October 2009

When breeding quail and incubating their eggs it is important to keep a record of the percentage of total eggs hatched because this will help in evaluating incubation and hatch efficiency. I have recently hatched some quail chicks and wanted to share the hatch rate with you. You can calculate hatch rate in the following way;

% hatch rate = number of eggs hatched out/number of eggs set in the incubator.

This October I placed 31 eggs in the incubator and 20 hatched out. So 20 divided by 31 equals 0.6451612 times by 100 equals 64.5% hatch rate.

Quail Chicks Hatching

I have found that a clutch of quail eggs usually hatch about the same time if the conditions are correct.

Hi Sara, I’m hatching quail and one hatched yesterday about 6 o’clock but I got up this morning and no more have hatched yet. Is this normal? The one chick is still sitting lonely in the incubator, should I leave him till the others hatch (if they do) or move him across to the brooder? Also should this be 12 hours before any others that may hatch? Geoff

Hi Geoff,

It is my understanding that quail have a tendency to all hatch at a similar time although I think that my recent hatch saw the first quail start to hatch at 7pm and then the last quail hatch the following morning. apparanently quail call to one another in their shells so as to synchronise their hatch.

I leave my quail in the incubator for 24 hours so they can dry out. they can last 24 hours without food and drink as they are still absorbing the yolk sac. I then move them to a brooder. Sometimes you need to move the first hatchlings out of the incubator whilst the rest of the eggs haven’t hatched out.

I hope that the rest of your eggs hatched ok and that your first quail chick is doing well.

I have a free forum with a section on quail where people can go to chat and ask questions. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/forum.php?id=3

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

What is your experience of hatching quail eggs and quail chicks?

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.

If you fancy having a go at incubating and hatching and if you live in the UK then I  have  quail eggs for hatching for sale.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this incubator or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Japanese Quail Eggs In Incubator

I filled my hovabator incubator with 42 Japanese quail eggs about 15 days ago. Japanese quail eggs take approximately 17 days to hatch. This morning I took the automatic egg turner out of the incubator and filled up the water trays to increase the humidity.

42 Japanese Quail Eggs In Incubator

42 Japanese Quail Eggs In Incubator

After lunch I thought I could hear some cheeping coming from the incubator and I even thought one of the eggs had pipped. When I looked later on I couldn’t see any sign of hatching.

I keep thinking I can hear cheeping and I have read that quail are supposed to call to each other whilst still in the egg in order to synchronise the hatch. I’ll keep you posted on the hatch.

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.

If you fancy having ago at incubating and hatching and if you live in the UK then I  have  quail eggs for hatching for sale.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this incubator or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Day Old Japanese Quail Chicks

I moved the day old quail chicks from the incubator after they had been hatched for 24 hours.

Day Old Chicks In Box To Go To Brooder

Day Old Chicks In Box To Go To Brooder

Quail chicks can survive without food and water in the incubator for at least 24 hours as they absorb the yolk sac just before they hatch which provides them with nutirents in the first 24 hours.

Day Old Japanese Quail Chick

Day Old Japanese Quail Chick

I put the quail chicks into a small box to move them to the brooder. The quail chicks are very tiny when they first hatch. They had time to dry off and fluff up in the incubator and once they had been hatched for 24 hours they were very lively indeed. It was difficult to pick them up as they kept trying to jump out of the incubator and my hand!

Japanese Quail Chicks In Brooder

Japanese Quail Chicks In Brooder

The brooder is an outdoor rabbit/guinea pig run and I have placed in on top of an old carpet outside and then put straw in it which will stop the chicks from getting a draught and from getting splayed legs. They have some chick crumbs to eat and a drinker with warm water in it and marbles around the edge to stop the chicks from drowning in the water. There is a heat lamp set up so that the chicks are kept warm enough.

Eight Japanese Quail Chicks

Eight Japanese Quail Chicks

Click on the book image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.


How Long Does It Take Quail Eggs To Hatch

I am often asked how long it takes quail eggs to hatch.

The incubation period for bobwhite quail eggs is 23-24 days. Here is a link to information on incubating bobwhite quail eggs http://www.farmingfriends.com/incubating-bobwhite-quail-eggs/
The incubation period for Coturnix (Japanese) quail eggs is 17 days. Here is a link for information about incubating japanese quail eggs. http://www.farmingfriends.com/incubating-coturnix-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.

[eshop_show_product id=’4302,4296,4368,4372′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

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

Should You Help Hatching Quail Out Of Their Shell?

There is alot 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.

I received a comment from Dave today asking if he should help the quail chick that had pipped the shell to hatch out.

Hi,

I am hatching some chinese painted quails in an incubator. The chick has broken the egg and its beek is peeking out, it’s been like this for about 12 hours… Should i help it out of the egg?

Thanks
Dave
(isle of man)

Hi Dave,
Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website and leaving this question.
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 appear to be 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.
You say that the chick has been like this for 12 hours. 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.
I hope this information helps you make the right decision for you and that your chick is ok.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

I am pleased to say that I have heard from Dave and the news is good.

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the e-mail.

The advice was good. I now have a young Chinese painted quail running
around the brooder. He’s the only one from 3 eggs (2 weren’t fertile) so
we’ve called him Uno.

I still got more eggs to hatch hopefully this weekend so he’ll have some
friends soon I hope.

Thanks again
Dave

Do you have an opinion about whether we should help to hatch out chicks then please leave a comment.

Quail Eggs Hatch Rate

If you are breeding quail and incubating their eggs it is important to keep a record of the percentage of total eggs hatched because this will help in evaluating incubation and hatch efficiency.

Calculating Hatch Rate

The percentage hatch rate is the percentage of total eggs hatched out.

% hatch rate = number of eggs hatched out/number of eggs set in the incubator.

Quail Eggs Hatch Rate November 2007

25 quail eggs hatched out divided by 42 quail eggs in the incubator = 59% hatch rate.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Quail, Past and Present (Gold Cockerel)

Quail Egg Hatchability Rate

If you are breeding quail and incubating their eggs it is important to keep a record of hatchability and to calculate the percentage hatchability because this will help in evaluating incubation and hatch efficiency.

Calculating Hatchability

The percentage of hatchability is the percentage of eggs which actually hatch out as live young.

% hatchability = number of eggs hatched out/number of fertile eggs.

Quail Hatchability November 2007

25 quail eggs hatched out divided by 27 fertile quail eggs = 93% hatchability.

This is a great hatchability rate for the first time we have incubated quail eggs.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.