Yesterday I hatched 5 baby coturnix quail. It was an experience I would highly recommend to anyone interested in birds, farming, or educational experiences. The eggs were so tiny when they arrived and I had originally started off with a homemade incubator. Lets just say that was a learning experience and if you have a busted thermometer your not going to hatch anything. I got a new batch of eggs from a local coturnix quail farmer I found on our local classified ads. If you live near the Okanagan and are interested in getting some farm animals this is where you should look: Castanet Farm Ads. I also rented an incubator from a local farmer who does educational hatch a chick programs around town: Quality Farms.
Here is some useful information about hatching coturnix quail:
Incubation of eggs
*Incubation period is 16-18 days
*Turn eggs 3 times a day
*Stop turning 3 days before eggs are due to hatch
*Keep the temps in between 99.5F and 101F. Keep humidity in the 40's until hatch time then raise it to 60%
Kids love counting down the days and reading the thermometer. There is many things to learn about hatching and kids enjoy every aspect of it.
Once your babies hatch they go into a brooder and will turn active and fluffy with in a few hours. They begin eating and drinking the day they are born so make sure they have food (I use turkey starter) and fresh water. When they are first placed in the brooder dip their beaks in the water to show them where it is. I did this a few times per chick to ensure they found the water supply. They can drown quite easily so be sure to fill your water dish with rocks, marbles, or just get the same water supply I have below, I got mine for under $5 at our local farm supplies store.
Quail are adorable, and they are useful! You can raise them for eggs, meat, pets, retrieval training, and they are a very useful educational tool. Here are some great pics I have taken the past two days!