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.

[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.

Age Of Maturity Of Male Birds

The age of maturity of male birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the males reach sexual maturity and will start breeding with their female partners.

Quail = about 60 days old.

Hen = about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = male grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old.

Ducks = about 8 months old.

Turkeys = about 8 months old.

Geese = about 8 months old.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop to browse through our collection of books on sale.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

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

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Age Of Maturity Of Female Birds

The age of maturity of female birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the females reach sexual maturity and will start laying eggs and breeding with their male partners.

Quail = about 50 days old (I have observed that female Japanese quail will start to lay eggs from about 6-8 weeks old.)

Hen =  about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = female grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old, however female guinea fowl can start to lay as early as from 16 weeks old.

Ducks = about 4 months old, generally domestic ducks will start to lay from 21 to 26 weeks of age. My khaki campbell ducks started to lay from about 20 weeks old.

Turkeys = about 7 months old.

Geese = about 7 months old.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop to browse through our collection of books on sale.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

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

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Male To Female Ratio For Keeping Different Varieties Of Poultry

Here is a rough guide to the male to female ratio for keeping different varieties of poultry together.

Quail = 1 male to every 3-4 females.

Hen = 1 males to every 6-10 females. (The Domestic Fowl Trust normally recommend 1 male to 6 females for breeding chickens.)

Partridges = 1 male to 1 female.

Pheasants = 1 male to every 6-7 females.

Guinea fowl = 1 male to every 2-3 females. Although best paired up.

Ducks = 1 male to every 4-6 females. (Debbie at South Yeo Farm normally puts 1 drake with min of 6 ducks and she says, “but some are more rampant than others!” I too have 1 drake to 6 ducks.)

Turkeys = 1 male to every 10 females.

Geese = 1 male to every 4 females.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop.

If you keep poultry, gamebirds or waterfowl or are thinking of keeping pouultry, gamebirds or waterfowl then join the free farmingfriends forum.

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

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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.

[eshop_show_product id=’4302,4296′ 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.

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Roast Quail Stuffed With Prunes

My friend “Mama” has sent me a recipe for roast quail stuffed with prunes that she says tastes delicious and is very simple to make.

Ingredients

  • 6 Quail
  • 12 half dried prunes soaked in a little armagnac.

Method

  1. Baste quail with a little olive oil.
  2. Put prunes that have been soaked in almanac into the body cavity.
  3. Roast in a shallow dish  at 200 degs for about 20 mins.
  4. Serve with a mixed green salad and dressing.

This dish can work well as either a starter or the main course of a meal.

Enjoy – let me know if you try this dish and I’ll pass on your thoughts to “Mama”.

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.

[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.

Incubating Mountain Quail Eggs

The Mountain Quail is one of the largest birds of the quail family. The eggs are a plain light beige colour, without any spots or patches.

Incubating Mountain Quail Eggs
Incubation period = 24-28 days – I have read that the eggs can hatch over three days.
Temperature = approximately 99.75 degrees F or 37.5ºC.
Humidity = Wet Bulb of 82 to 84 degrees F or a lowish humidity of about 50%.

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.

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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.

[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.

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