Alright, so the incubator is filled with 6 quail eggs for this fall hatch. I started with a small amount as a test run to see if the eggs were fertile, if I stored and turned them properly, and if the incubator is working. So far, my storing of the eggs and turning them 5 times a day was almost perfect. My incubator’s thermometer is calibrated using an analog thermometer. Here’s to hoping the eggs were fertile to begin with!
Are you interested in hatching your own quail eggs? You don’t necessarily have to own quail to hatch out your own. For backyard homesteaders who don’t own their own quail, they can always turn to the internet and purchase a set of quail hatching eggs. The last time I checked on eBay, 20 fertile quail eggs will sell for about $18 plus shipping. Eggs ordered online can take about 2 days to get to you. Remember, these eggs are perishable and need to be placed in your incubator once delivered. I personally sell my hatching eggs at a $1 a piece and will meet you half way for deliveries. So, if you’re interested, compare prices online and don’t be afraid to reach out to local quail farmers and ask for their prices as well.
Your incubator can also be purchased online but buyer beware. While some incubators seem great for their price, double-check the reviews and also the location of where the incubator was built. Some incubators are cheap because they are knock-off brands but that doesn’t necessarily mean that these machines work as well as the branded incubators. Further, you don’t have to go for super expensive incubators either. After doing my research, I found that I had the budget of about $100 to spend on my incubator. I did months of research and settled on a still-air incubator based on maintenance, amount of eggs it could hold vs space it takes up, and how easy it was to set up. Also, I waited until the unit was on sale and kinder to my budget. Some folks are happy with more expensive machines because the better quality increases the hatch rate of the eggs. Consider these qualities as well.
Some folks also use broody chicken hens to hatch out eggs. Larger breeds of chicken are best for hatching out not only chicken but also duck and guinea eggs. Quail eggs are much too small to be put under say a Rhode Island Red. However, if you have a smaller breed chicken like a silkie chicken, your success in hatching out quail eggs may increase. Silkie chickens are known for their small size, docile temperament, and increased chances to go broody compared to other chicken breeds. Silkies have been used to hatch out all types of eggs so of course, I bought three of them. I will be experimenting with quail eggs to see if my silkie hens will hatch them this coming spring. Stay tuned!
Keep an eye out as we keep exploring this new world of egg incubation. We’ll be sharing all the knowledge we can as we learn alongside with you. As always, continue to be kind and tender to one another.