Quail eggs incubation conditions: schedule, period

In the process of breeding quails, the issue of incubating quail eggs is very acute for each farmer. For timely replenishment and increase in quail productivity, it is necessary to ensure the regular hatching of young stock. It is economically unprofitable to purchase material for incubation. Therefore, every farmer should be able to independently incubate.

To obtain full-fledged offspring, it is important to comply with all the rules and regulations of incubation. And in the process of this simple, but troublesome event, a number of important questions arise: which quail eggs are suitable for incubation, and which are not, what temperature regime must be observed, is it necessary to turn the quail eggs during incubation? After all, any deviation from the norm leads to a decrease in the number of hatched chicks and obtaining a weak, incapable of reproduction, offspring.

Benefits of home incubation

Over the past half century, quail breeding has reached incredible proportions. A large role in this was played by the early maturity of the bird and the undoubted useful properties of eggs and tender quail meat.

But in the process of domestication of quail and the further development of this branch, the bird has lost the ability to independently breed. Therefore, poultry farmers, wishing to ensure a regular increase in livestock, often resort to artificial incubation of quail eggs at home. What are the pros and cons of home incubation?

The advantages of hatching chicks at home are as follows:

  • Elimination of financial costs for the purchase of material for subsequent incubation.
  • There is no 100% guarantee that you will get really high quality eggs from healthy quails.
  • To obtain full-fledged and ready-to-reproduce offspring, it is important to select eggs only from young, healthy individuals.
  • Incubating eggs at home is important when breeding quail of different breeds.
  • Regular replenishment of young stock in order to continuously obtain products.
  • Incubation allows poultry farmers to increase the quail population by at least 10-12 times per year.

However, the incubation of quail eggs is not only about placing the selected material in the incubator. Preparatory measures are also of great importance, the implementation of which guarantees a high percentage of hatching healthy chicks:

  • formation and proper maintenance of the parent flock;
  • collection, storage and selection of quail eggs;
  • processing of the incubator and eggs before setting;
  • laying the material in the incubator.

The only drawback with incubation is the fact that the process of hatching chicks is a rather troublesome process, and at first even experienced farmers can make mistakes. Therefore, the key to a positive result is the collection of information on the rules for incubating quail eggs at home.

What incubators exist

When choosing incubators, poultry farmers are guided by the number of eggs laid. For small batches (20-30 pieces), you can use homemade incubators. The collection of such a simple mini-incubator does not take much time and does not require large financial investments. But home incubators are well worth the cost.

When hatching, they will quail in large batches, from 40 to 100 pieces, often use universal incubators such as "Nestka" or "Cinderella", which are designed to hatch eggs of any poultry.

There are a lot of varieties of such small incubators. And they often differ according to the following criteria:

  • maximum load, that is, how many eggs can be placed in the incubator in one bookmark;
  • the accuracy of the maintained temperature;
  • the ability to control and regulate the microclimate inside the incubator;
  • the possibility of incubation of chicken, quail, goose eggs and other poultry;
  • the presence or absence of an automatic egg turning function;
  • the presence or absence of water tanks to regulate the humidity in the incubator;
  • the presence or absence of ventilation holes;
  • the presence or absence of a thermometer, its type (electronic or analog).

Modern incubators for hatching young animals are equipped with a built-in automatic egg turning function or a special grate for incubating quail eggs. But professionals note that this function is underdeveloped by manufacturers. The flip turns out to be sharp, not soft and smooth.

During incubation, each quail egg must be turned over regularly. It is almost impossible to control the automatic flipping process in the presence of a large number of copies.

Throughout the entire incubation period, the eggs must be not only turned over, but also changed every day: those that are on the edge must be shifted to the center, and vice versa. This need is due to the fact that in the center of the incubator the temperature is slightly higher than at the edges.

During incubation, each egg must be turned over very carefully, taking care not to violate the integrity of the shell. This is exactly the case when even the most modern technology cannot replace a person. Therefore, it is advisable to turn the incubation material manually during incubation.

Advice! If you are not using the incubator at full capacity, that is, using less material for incubation, cover them around the edges with cotton wool or a soft, cotton cloth so that the eggs do not roll over the entire grate.

Summing up all of the above, we can say that whichever incubator you choose, you will have to do most of the work by hand to ensure that you get healthy and full-fledged chicks.

How to properly form a parent flock

Before incubating quail eggs at home, you need to properly form the parent flock. Indeed, the quality of the offspring obtained subsequently depends on how competently you approach this process.

To obtain incubation material, the parent stock is formed exclusively from healthy and young individuals. Quails are planted in separate cages at the rate of 60-70 pieces. per m². A denser planting of the bird is not recommended. Remember that the fewer quails there are in one cage, the easier it is to care for them and monitor the feed intake. An important factor in keeping any bird is good air exchange.

The breeder flock should be kept as close to ideal conditions as possible. Cleanliness in cages, clean water, clean, not musty air and an abundance of properly balanced feed are prerequisites for keeping.

Experienced farmers pay great attention to the age of the birds. Quails and cockerels are picked up at the age of 2 - 8 months. When females reach the age of 9 - 10 months, they are discarded. They are no longer suitable for reproduction.

Males should be changed regularly. Upon reaching 4-5 months of age, they are planted, and young, 2-3-month-old cockerels can be planted with the quails. In this case, the receipt of a healthier and stronger young is noted.

Attention! In the initial period of oviposition, eggs are most often small, the percentage of hatchability of such material is very low.

The egg production of a bird is preserved even after 6-8 months of age, however, the quality of the incubation material is significantly reduced.

To obtain healthy offspring, the ratio of females to males of quails should be 3-4: 1. That is, no more than 5 quails can be planted to 15 quails. Material for subsequent incubation can only be collected 7-10 days after the formation of the parent flock.

When forming a parent flock, please note that quails are very sensitive to closely related mating. Try to select females and males in such a way as to exclude the possibility of related mating. In most cases, a low percentage of hatching of chicks and a very high percentage of death of young animals were noted in the first 2-3 days after hatching.

Correct, balanced in vitamins and minerals, feeding of the parent flock of quails is the key to obtaining healthy young stock. Therefore, it is not worth saving on feed, because not only the health of the poultry and the indicators of hatching of chickens depend on this, but also the high resistance of their fragile organism, as well as their reproductive functions in the future.

How to select and store the right material

The next stage in the hatching of quails is the correct selection and storage of material suitable for incubation.

Freshness and storage conditions

Only fresh quail eggs collected no more than 5-8 days before being placed in the incubator are suitable for incubation. Freshly harvested material for subsequent incubation must be stored in a shaded, well-ventilated room at a temperature of + 10˚C + 15˚C and an air humidity of 55-70%, placing them in a special tray vertically, with the sharp end down.

Advice! To comply with the humidity indicators within the normal range when storing quail eggs for incubation, you can put a container with water in the room.

It is strictly forbidden to store the material for subsequent incubation in a tightly closed container, plastic bags or buckets. The lack of access to fresh air reduces the quality of quail eggs intended for hatching several times, and, accordingly, the possibility of obtaining viable offspring.

Analysis and selection

Each egg must undergo a thorough sensory evaluation prior to setting in the incubator. When selecting, great attention is paid to the size, shape, weight of each specimen, as well as the strength and color of the eggshell.

Shape, size and weight

Even if all the standards for keeping and feeding poultry are observed, the shape and size of eggs laid by a quail can vary significantly. Each egg selected for setting in the incubator must have the correct shape, without the slightest flaw. Round or elongated specimens must be removed immediately.

You should also set aside material that is non-standard in size. Too small specimens will produce weak and small offspring. Chicks hatched from small eggs are characterized by low resistance, are more likely to get sick and are practically unable to reproduce. According to the data recorded by farmers, in this case, there were high rates of chick mortality in the first three days after hatching.

Important! Do not wipe or wash quail eggs before incubation! Therefore, try to select only clean copies.

Often there are so-called dwarf eggs, which differ not only in their small size, but also in the absence of yolk. Naturally, it makes no sense to wait for chicks from such material.

A large egg often contains not one, but two yolks. From two-yolk eggs, as a rule, it will not work to get healthy offspring: the chickens die in the embryo phase or hatch with genetic mutations (the so-called "freaks").

When selecting, special attention should be paid to the weight of the material. For each breed of bird and the direction of its productivity, there are certain standards. For quail breeds of meat direction, the norm is an egg mass in the range of 12-16 grams, and for egg breeds this figure is slightly lower - from 9 to 11 grams.

These indicators may vary slightly depending on the breed of the bird and the conditions of detention. Incubation material with any deviations towards increased or decreased weight should be discarded.

Shell strength

The strength of the shell is of great importance in the selection of quail eggs for subsequent setting in the incubator. Specimens with an uneven surface, roughness, calcareous plaques, microcracks, chips and dents on the surface are discarded.

The fact that the shell is too thick is indicated by limescale, which, in turn, indicates an excess of calcium in the feed. Such specimens are unsuitable for breeding: it is extremely difficult for a chick to pierce a strong shell, which causes a large number of suffocations.

Professionals specializing in quail breeding note a direct relationship between improper pigmentation and shell strength. Incorrect pigmentation is considered to be too dark or almost white color of the shell.

A lack of coloration or an irregular color indicates that the shell is too thin. At the slightest pressure, the shell is squeezed and the integrity of the shell is broken. The shelf life of such material is very short.

Farmers who are faced with the problem of thin and fragile quail eggshells are advised to add finely ground shell, chalk or meat and bone meal to poultry feed. Feed with a high content of calcium and phosphorus should be no more than three days. With a longer feeding with mineral supplements, the quails will begin to lay eggs with a lime deposit.


You can more thoroughly evaluate the quality of eggs intended for incubation at home using an ovoscope. It allows you to "look inside" the testicle and promptly discard unusable specimens.

At the moment, a large number of ovoscopes of various prices and quality are provided on the market. But you can also make an X-ray at home.

To do this, you need to pick up a cylinder, the diameter of which is a few millimeters smaller than the egg. It is desirable that the material from which the cylinder is made does not transmit light. From below, light is directed from a light bulb or flashlight. An egg is placed on the upper end.

With the help of an ovoscope, you can see the following flaws:

  • the presence of two yolks or their absence;
  • the presence of blood stains in the yolk or protein;
  • mixed yolk and white;
  • cracks and chips in the shell;
  • the presence of air chambers at the sharp end or side;
  • if the yolk is at the sharp end or "stuck" to the shell.

Such specimens are also unsuitable for incubation and must be discarded.

Quail eggs are also subjected to ovoscopy during incubation to determine how smoothly the embryo develops. In the process of hatching chicks, it makes no sense to view all the testicles on an ovoscope, and this procedure will take a lot of time. Therefore, 4-5 copies are selected from each grate and viewed on an ovoscope.

Eggs are also shone through on an ovoscope if there is a low percentage of hatching of chicks, in order to find out the reason at which stage the embryos have stopped developing.

This is what the ovoscopy of quail eggs looks like in different periods of incubation in the photo.

Placement of material in the incubator

Before laying quail eggs in the incubator, both the device and the material for incubation must be subject to mandatory processing.

Preliminary preparation of the incubator

The incubator should be rinsed with warm, clean water. If desired, you can add a little potassium permanganate to the water to make the solution light pink. Dry the device well and proceed to the next stage of preparation - mandatory processing before incubation.

You can process incubators before laying:

  • formaldehyde vapors - minimum processing time 40 minutes, after which the device should be left for a day for airing;
  • chloramine solution. Dissolve ten tablets in a liter of water and spray liberally from the spray bottle to the walls, bottom and lid of the incubator. Leave the device in this state for 30-40 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with clean water;
  • quartz lamp for 30-40 minutes.

After these manipulations, the incubator must be dried again. The instrument is now ready for use.

If your incubator has water containers, fill them.If your device does not have such a function, pick up a small container that easily fits into the incubator by volume and pour water into it.

Immediately before laying the material, the incubator must be warmed up for 2-3 hours and make sure it is working properly.

Material placement methods

It is impossible to wash, wipe eggs intended for incubation. You even need to take the testicles gently, with two fingers, behind a blunt and sharp end. Try not to break the shell, which protects the shell and the embryo from microbial penetration.

Advice! At the moment, a wide range of disinfectants for the treatment of incubators and incubation material, both in liquid and solid form, and in aerosol cans, is presented on the market.

Before laying, the material must be processed in order to destroy germs and microorganisms that could settle on the shell. There are several ways of processing:

  • disinfection with an ultraviolet lamp for 15-20 minutes;
  • spraying with Monclavit, Virosan, Virotsid, Brovadez, etc .;
  • hold the eggs in a weak solution of potassium permanganate (solution temperature 35-37˚С) for 15-20 minutes, put on a towel, dry;
  • processing with formaldehyde vapor for 20-30 minutes.

There are two methods of setting eggs in the incubator - horizontal and vertical.

The difference between bookmarking methods is as follows. Firstly, with vertical laying, the percentage of hatching of chicks is slightly higher. If on average the percentage of quail hatching is 70-75%, then with a vertical tab this figure increases the percentage of hatching by 5-7%.

When laying horizontally, much fewer eggs are placed on the wire shelf than when laying vertically. Moreover, during incubation, quail eggs need to be turned regularly. When laying horizontally by 180˚, with vertical - by 30-40˚.

Some poultry farmers are practicing a new method of incubating quail eggs without flipping. In this case, a vertical tab is applied. The percentage of hatching quail with this method of hatching reaches 78-82%.

Important! Before laying the incubator, quail eggs must be kept at room temperature for 4-6 hours to warm up.

When laying horizontally, the eggs are simply laid out on the net. But for vertical laying, you need to prepare special trays, since it is difficult to put eggs in the right position. If your incubator does not have special trays suitable for vertical incubation, you can make one yourself.

Take the usual carriages for quail eggs, make small holes at the bottom (pierce the holes with a hot nail). Eggs should be placed in trays with a blunt end up.

Incubation periods

The whole process of incubating quail eggs at home lasts 16-17 days and is conditionally divided into three periods:

  • warming up;
  • main;
  • output.

However, the incubation period for quail eggs may vary slightly. With short power outages, the embryos retain their viability. But even with a slight delay, the withdrawal period for quail can be delayed by a day, a maximum of one and a half.

The main parameters of the microclimate and the activities that need to be carried out at each stage are shown in the table.

Table: modes of incubation of quail eggs.


Duration, number of days

Recommended temperature in the incubator, ˚С


Number of turns per day


1. Warming up

1 to 3

37,5 – 37,7



Not required

2. Main

4 to 13



4-6, that is, every 6-8 hours

Not required

3. Output

14 to 16 (17)



Not required


Important! In no case should the temperature regime of incubating quail eggs at home be exceeded! Embryos die at the initial stage of development, and the percentage of hatching decreases to 30-40%.

Now let's dwell on each mode in a little more detail.

Warming up

The duration of the first, warm-up period of incubation of quail eggs is three days. The temperature in the incubator should vary between 37.5-37.7˚С. A thermometer for measuring temperature is installed at a height of 1.5-2 cm above the quail eggs.

In the first three days, you need to turn the eggs regularly, 3-4 times a day.

There is no need to ventilate the incubator and spray the material. At this stage, the most important thing is to observe the recommended temperature regime for incubating quail eggs (see table).

Please note that within 2-3 hours after laying and connecting the incubator, you need to monitor the temperature. At the initial stage of incubation, quail eggs warm up and the temperature can change.

Second period

The second period starts from the fourth and ends on the 13th day of incubation of quail eggs.

At this stage, it is important to observe the temperature regime and regularly turn the eggs so that the embryos do not stick to the shell. Humidity also needs to be kept within the recommended limits.

The temperature of incubation of quail eggs at home in the second period should be strictly at around 37.7˚С. Even a slight excess of this indicator threatens to reduce the number of bred quails.

Third period

The third period of incubation of quail eggs is the most troublesome and laborious. From the 14th day of incubation, quail eggs must be ventilated. Airing is necessary for quails so that they receive sufficient oxygen.

Airing quail eggs during incubation should be done in the morning and evening for 5-7 minutes. Subsequently, the airing time can be increased to 10-15 minutes.

Also, in the third period, from the first day, you need to stop turning the eggs.

The incubation temperature of quail eggs is 37.7 ° C (see table), but the humidity needs to be slightly increased - up to 70-75%. First of all, it is necessary for embryos so that the exit is massive and problem-free. Otherwise, the quails simply will not have enough strength to peck the shell.

Spraying eggs is used only if you do not have a moisture meter. Eggs can be sprayed twice a day when the incubator is ventilated. Please note that the incubated material must not be sprayed immediately after opening the device! Wait for the eggs to cool slightly.

You do not need to spray the eggs too abundantly. Spray some moisture lightly over the surface. Wait 2 minutes, and only then close the incubator. The spray water must be clean and warm.

Compliance with the temperature regime during the incubation of quail eggs is a guarantee of obtaining healthy and full-fledged young animals.

Mass hatching of chicks

The hatching of chicks during the incubation of quail eggs at home begins, on average, on the 16th day. Quails hatch en masse, in just 3-4 hours. At this point, it is very important to let the quails dry and take care of a special brooder for the young.

In the first 4-5 days, the quail should be soldered with Baytril (5%) or a weak solution of potassium permanganate as a prophylaxis for various diseases. You need to change the solution 2 times a day.

But what if the quail was not withdrawn in due time? In this case, you need to wait 3-4 days. Do not turn off the incubator. If after this time the chicks have not hatched, then you need to look for the reason why the incubation of quail eggs at home was unsuccessful.

Errors made when incubating quail eggs can be as follows:

  • incorrectly matched parental herd;
  • the rules of feeding and keeping the parent herd have been violated;
  • non-observance of the conditions for collecting and storing material for subsequent incubation;
  • non-compliance with the recommendations when preparing quail eggs for incubation;
  • non-observance of the temperature regime during incubation;
  • neglect of the recommendations of experienced poultry farmers regarding the frequency of egg overturns, humidity, ventilation.

To find out at what stage you made a mistake, ovoscopy of quail eggs will help. Analyze each period carefully to find out the reason for the failed incubation.

The author of the video will share his secrets of incubating quail eggs with you


The fluffy, little quails feel so good! Anyone who masters the incubation of quail eggs can rightfully consider himself a fairly experienced poultry breeder. Indeed, despite the apparent simplicity, this business has its own secrets. We will be glad if you share with us your quail breeding tricks.

Watch the video: Candling Our Eggs Day 15 (December 2021).

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos