Incubation and Hatching – Japanese Quails

Incubation and hatching The incubation period for quail is 17–18 days, depending on the strain and the incubation procedures. Successful hatches depend upon a good understanding of incubator controls; study the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully, and save them for further reference. The two types of incubators generally available are fan-ventilated (forced-draft) and still-air machines. A forced-draft incubator is preferable, but a still-air machine works well if carefully operated. Some models are designed especially for quail. Japanese quail eggs can be incubated in any chicken-egg type of incubator, although the egg trays in some machines may need modifying. Eggs should be placed large end up in the setting tray. Fan-ventilated (forced-draught) incubators Forced-draft incubators should maintain an incubating temperature of 37.5° ± 0.3°C (99.5° ± 0.5°F) and a relative humidity of 60% wet bulb reading of 30° ± 0.5°C (86° ± 1.0°F) until the 14th day of incubation. Eggs should be turned every 2–4 hours to prevent embryos from sticking to the shell. On the 14th day, candle and remove any cracked eggs, infertiles and dead embryos. Transfer the eggs to hatching trays and stop turning. A separate hatcher should be operated at 37.2°C (99°F) and a relative humidity of 70% wet bulb 32.2°C (90°F). If the incubator is a combined setter and hatcher, it should be operated at a temperature of 37.5°C (99.5°F), but the relative humidity should be increased to 70% wet bulb 32.2°C (90°F) during hatching.

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