Quail chick time again! I have lots of people interested in quail so I finally just filled the incubator to capacity with quail eggs, which is 120. Today was hatch day and 69 zippy little chicks were out and about and transferred to the brooder. Many more eggs have pipped so I won’t know the final count for a couple more days, but overall I’m very happy with the way this hatch has gone.
I’ve hatched quite a few batches of chicks thus far, so I know a little bit more about the conditions that are right for Coturnix. This time I had the incubator set a little bit lower, about at 36.5 to 37 degrees Celcius, while normally 37.5 degrees is recommended. I’ve noticed that when it gets a bit too warm in there I get a few chicks with problems like splay legs or bulging eyes. I had read somewhere that quail do best with it a bit cooler, and this has worked amazingly well. There are no sick chicks yet in this group and everyone hatched right on time except for a handful who hatched yesterday. I’ll keep the temperature lower from now on.
I have a very nice assortment of colors this time. Many A&M Whites of course, since my males right now are predominantly white; but also lots of Tuxedo, Tibetan, Silver and Pharaoh. Amazingly there were only two males that I know of hatched out of my last batch a few months ago, so those were the males I had to use to fertilize these eggs.
I’m hoping to get some more males this time (never thought I would say that!) with more variety of color so I can balance things out a bit. I enjoy all the colors but I prefer the wild type/Pharaoh as they can be easily sexed by plumage color quite early on. Every other color (except Italian) can only be sexed once the males begin to crow. No way I would attempt vent sexing on such tiny birds.