Keeping Up With The Quails (5/6/21 - 5/11/21)
We're diving into another new adventure! Since we now have a good reliable egg incubator, I decided to try something that has been on my list for a couple of years, now. I bought some quail eggs!
Now, I am trying to do a better job of keeping records on everything I'm doing around the farm. I think it would be helpful to be able to look back and find trends that may help me be more successful in my garden or elsewhere around the farm. I am keeping a pen-and-paper journal, but I would also like to keep a public ledger of my farm endeavors, and this is the perfect venue. So, I think I will title this series "Keeping Up With The Quails.
The quail farm had a nice setup. There were large stalls to contain large quantities of adult birds. Layers were kept in stacked hutches with slide-out bottom trays to collect eggs and a watering system of jugs on top and rubber tubing going to each hutch.
The owner seemed very cool. He also gave me a lot of advice about how to hatch and raise quail. Apparently, he sells quite a few birds and eggs.
He had just sold about 500 eggs, and his now sparsely populated stalls were apparently overflowing just a couple of months ago.
The Coturnix quail that I bought are not generally sought after by hunters (as Bobwhite quail are) because they don't tend to flush when spooked. In fact, he stepped into one of the stalls and scooped up one of the Coturnix quail in his hand. Meanwhile, the Bobwhite in the next stall were flying up to he ceiling.
As for hatching, he recommended a temperature of ~98.5 F at ~ 45% humidity. He usually locks down on day 14 and raises humidity to ~55%. He usually gets eggs hatching around day 17 (as early as day 14 if the incubator is running hot; as late as day 20 if the incubator is running cool).
I set the thermostat to 99.5 F/ I read multiple sources that recommended a temp of 100 F, so I chose a temp in between there and the 98.5 that Circle C Farms recommended. I allowed the incubator to heat up and find an equilibrium on humidity. I found that filling the secondary water trough with both air plugs installed at 99.5 F brought the humidity up to ~37%, so I added a little water into the primary trough to bring the humidity up to the 45% - 47% range.
I set up my Brinno TLC200 Pro Time Lapse Camera to capture the entire process. The camera is set to take a shot every 5 minutes for 30 FPS playback.
I also bough a cheap condiment squirt bottle to add water into the troughs without having to open the lid of the incubator. I was looking for a turkey baster, but I couldn't find one. This condiment bottle seems to work fine, though.
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