INCUBATING EGGS: by Garrie P. Landry
Incubator temperature is set at 99.5 degrees F.
If you are interested in raising baby Buttons, either with the use of an incubator or by allowing the female to incubate the eggs, it can be a simple process. There are some do's and dont's to be aware of. You can provide a nesting site for the hen, such as a small flower pot turned on side, or any type of box with a large opening. They will use them to hide in. Many quail will choose to nest in an open corner of the cage or aviary with little or no cover, using only the nesting material around her to build a nest. Although Button Quail hens frequently attempt to hatch their eggs, many do not. These just continue to lay with no concern. Normally the average clutch is 6-10 eggs. The female should begin setting towards the end of the clutch cycle. If she constructs a nest out of available nesting material she is serious. No nest usually means she's not interested. If a hen produces an excess of 10 eggs and has not begun incubating them, she will likely not do so on this clutch. Remove the eggs and either incubate them artificially or cook them. Some people prefer to remove the male when the hen begins incubating. This is probably a wise precaution. Sometimes males can be impatient and disturb the incubating female, or even kill the young when they hatch, and yet other times both sexes may share in parental duties. They are unpredictable about parenthood.
We prefer to incubate all of the eggs using both large and small incubators. The economical small Turn-X Incubator is one of the nicest for home use. Its small size allows you to place it just about anywhere. It holds a large number of eggs and it hatches Button Quail very well. You can get an automatic egg turning device added to this incubator, but we recommend that it not be used. If it is operating when eggs are hatching, chicks quickly become caught in its movement and may be killed. Button Quail eggs take only 16 days to hatch. The eggs can be treated just as a chicken or any other quail egg. The eggs are very easy to hatched. We turn the eggs by hand 2,3 or 4 times daily. It is not necessary to do it more often. The humidity requirements for these quail eggs are not critical until near the time of hatching. During the last 24 hours we often increase the humidity in the incubator by spraying the walls or door with a fine mist of warm water to replace the lost humid air. This is done each time we open the incubator to check the egg. By doing so at this stage it enables the chick to more easily break free of the shell. We only practice this during the hatching period. Too much humidity during the 16 day incubation will result in not enough moisture loss from the egg and the chicks will die in the shell shortly before hatching. Fully formed dead in the shell chicks are often the result of improper humidity and/or poor ventilation within the incubator. If there is any doubt as to the amount of humidity in your incubator, I would recommend to little rather than too much. During humid periods in Louisiana, I have often incubated quail eggs with no supplemental water in the incubator and had good hatches.
This information is published here with permission from Garrie P. Landry. He has been breeding the quail for 25+ years and has written a book which this information was taken called
'The Button Quail--Their Care, Breeding & Genetics.'
He has provided some important information to us in regards to the care and breeding of our quail.
Garrie P. Landry
Garrys web site ZebraFinch.com
[ GO BACK ]
Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.