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Quails often do not hatch their own chicks, so they are hatched in an incubator. For successful hatching, you need not only to purchase a good incubator, but also to choose the right eggs and save them. Consider the rules for incubating quail eggs, how to maintain temperature and humidity, what stages to do, how to avoid common mistakes.
Quail families for hatching eggs consist of 1 male and 3-4 females. If there are more females, this will lead to a decrease in fertility and the number of chicks. For incubation at home, eggs are selected of medium size, regular oval shape, color characteristic of the quail breed, with a matte surface. The shell must be firm, without sagging, cracking. Too small and large should not be taken. All selected are checked on an ovoscope or by light. Transillumination can reveal hidden imperfections, such as incorrect size and position of the air chamber, blood inclusions, mixed whites and yolk.
Before being placed in the incubator, they can be stored for no more than 1-1.5 weeks at a temperature of 15 ° C; they must not be washed before storage and incubation. The water will wash away the protective film and bacteria will enter the eggs.
Before laying quail eggs in the incubator, it must be washed and disinfected. Then treat with an ultraviolet emitter for 5-8 minutes, keeping it at a distance of 0.4 m from the surfaces.
After preparation, adjust the temperature, put containers with water and leave for a couple of hours until it warms up.
Quail eggs should be laid vertically, with a blunt end up, in some models - horizontally. The term for hatching quail takes, on average, 17 days. If the incubation is carried out correctly, the quails are hatched together. But hatching can be delayed for 1-2 days, which is most likely due to a violation of the incubation regime or to the fact that the quality of the eggs was initially low.
Correct adherence to humidity
Humidity in the incubation of quails is not as important as when breeding ducks and geese, but still it must be maintained at a sufficient level. Dry air at the initial stage can lead to water starvation of the embryos, when the time for hatching comes - to dry out the shells under the shell, as a result of which the chicks cannot break through the shell.
Conversely, high humidity can help hatch, but during the period of embryo formation, it will be harmful - dampness increases the likelihood of developing bacterial infections and mold. From 1 to 15 days of incubation of quails, it is necessary to maintain a humidity of 50-60%, from 15 to 17 - 50%, when the chicks begin to hatch - 80-90%.
Temperature regime during incubation
A thermometer is installed in the incubator to control the temperature. It should be located at the level of the quail egg trays to record the temperature around them. During the entire incubation of quail eggs, the temperature changes little, only tenths of a degree.
For example, for the first 15 days, quail eggs should be kept at 37.5-37.7 ° C, the next 2 days - at 37.2-37.5 ° C, and upon hatching - at 37.0-37.2 ° C. This is recommended by most poultry farmers.
Incubation stages and day of hatching
Let us consider in detail for beginners what to do during the period of quail development. In addition to observing the temperature and humidity schedule, the eggs must be turned over, this is necessary so that the quail embryos inside do not stick to the shell. In addition to turning over, it is necessary, starting from the 3rd day of the incubation period, to spray them and ventilate the incubator. Airing is convenient when turning over if it is done manually. If automatically, then 2 times a day, morning and evening.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
When the eggs hatch, you do not need to move, the chicks will hatch without a coup. The airing time is set first for 2-3 minutes, then increases and lasts 5-7 minutes.
It is necessary to spray in such a way that they are slightly damp, but not wet, in this case, after closing the unit, condensation may appear. You need to start spraying not immediately after the incubator is open, but after a couple of minutes have passed and the quail eggs have cooled down.
Turning over, if you put quail eggs vertically, is carried out by tilting the trays 45 ° in one direction, and then in the other direction. When loaded vertically, the eggs are turned 90-180 ˚.
When the time for hatching approaches, the chicks will begin to peck at the shell. Removal may take 1-2 days. You cannot help the quails get out of the shell, they must do it themselves. The quail chicks that hatch from the eggs must be left in the incubator until they dry out, the fluff becomes fluffy. After that, they must be removed from the unit and placed in a brooder with a temperature of 32-35 35С.
To breed quail, you can use incubators of domestic or foreign production. In them it is possible to display not only quail, but also chickens, goslings, ducklings and chicks of other poultry. The main thing is that there are trays with depressions of the required size.
The following requirements are imposed on devices:
- ease of use;
- automated work, in order to do almost nothing manually;
- safety for quails;
- high hatchability rate;
- acceptable combination of cost and quality.
The incubators "Laying", "Teplusha", "Ryabushka", "Cinderella", "Ideal hen", "Blitz 48", "Comfort" are popular among poultry farmers. These are compact, small egg storage, simple and inexpensive devices that any poultry farmer can afford. According to poultry farmers, the best incubators are produced by South Korea, they are fully automated and work reliably. Of course, you will have to pay more for them.
Common beginner mistakes
The choice of an incubator is important, but you also need to know how to avoid potential mistakes. Each of them can lead to the death of chicks at any stage of development or during hatching.
First of all, this is a violation of the temperature or humidity regime, irregular overturning, improper spraying. Quail embryos can stick to the shell or suffocate during hatching from a lack of oxygen and an excess of carbon dioxide. This problem can be determined by the fact that the chick lies in the egg with its head towards the sharp end. This is often due to increased temperature, insufficient cooling. In such conditions, quails hatch ahead of time, they are small and painful, they can die in the first few days.
You can understand the mistakes if you evaluate the quail eggs that died in the eggs. With each subsequent bookmark, an understanding of what and how to do correctly will come.
Incubating quail eggs is often the only way to get quail eggs at home. To do this, you need to have a small incubator, fertilized eggs and know the rules for incubation.