Incubating Abandoned Quail Eggs

MaximumRide14

So this was rather spontaneous. A friend texted me about a king snake they had seen around a quail nest. She told me the mom had been gone for a little over a week and hadn't been back. I have a reptile incubator, and I looked it up to see if it would work for quail eggs. I went over to her house (keeping a safe distance since this is the first time I've been out in about a month) and now I've got 16 eggs. They had scared the snake away and hoped he didn't eat too many, and now I've got lots of eggs. We tried to tell if they were fertilized or still viable with a light, but it was hard to tell. Nevertheless, I set up the incubator. Hopefully, they are still viable and can hatch, but I'm not too sure what to expect. Since I'm home, I'll be able to turn them multiple times a day (thinking 9AM, 1PM, 5PM, and 9PM) and keep their temp around 99 with a humidity of 25-40%. If by day 15 they don't hatch, I'll be setting them on a flat tray to see if they hatch. If they don't after a couple of days, I'm probably going to assume they are unfertilized/beyond saving. I'm an absolute beginner at this, so if anyone has any experience please give me some advice!
By the way, the incubator is still warming up so it says its at 88. I'll adjust the temp if it's inaccurate though, and its warmer than it is outside (currently 70 degrees). While its not quite high enough for eggs, they were really tucked away in the nest, and I have hope that some are still viable.

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SM1199

"A Chick Called Albert" on Youtube has videos on raising quail eggs. I have exactly 0 bird experience, so I can't help you directly, but I hope the best for you! A week is a long time for those eggs to be left alone... But I also know that some people have hatched out non-refrigerated supermarket quail eggs, so it seems they are more resistant to temperatures being low for a good period of time. Good luck!
 

MaximumRide14

"A Chick Called Albert" on Youtube has videos on raising quail eggs. I have exactly 0 bird experience, so I can't help you directly, but I hope the best for you! A week is a long time for those eggs to be left alone... But I also know that some people have hatched out non-refrigerated supermarket quail eggs, so it seems they are more resistant to temperatures being low for a good period of time. Good luck!
Thank you! I'll definetely be checking out that channel. I thought the same about them being left alone for that long, but I'm hoping that there's a chance that a few are still viable. I read a post somewhere about it being one week until the overall success was less than 100%, so maybe it doesn't mean that all of them are a lost cause.
 

MaximumRide14

I did a bit more research and I'm going to keep the humidity in the 45-60% range. Right now its at 50%. I'm still figuring out how much water to add so it'll be experimental in the first couple of days. I did try candling them once I got home but I thought it would be better for them to be in the incubator since they've been left out for so long. Anyways, I only tried to eggs, and they were pretty dark, so I'm guessing they were fertilized and are either still alive or died when they were abandoned. Tomorrow I'll candle each one of them gradually over the day (so the incubator isn't open for too long) so I can see if any are a lost cause.
 

MaximumRide14

While turning them today I decided to candle them again. I know I'm not 100% accurate, but I think there's about 7 that are fertile. There were about 5 that were a little darker, and they had this red looking "C" that moved when I turned the egg. I'm still not sure if there's an actual embryo in those though. The other 4 definitely didn't look fertile. I had to do half, then wait a little for the others because the humidity tanks every time I open the incubator. I moved the eggs out of the perite into egg cartons. The humidity won't stay constant but at least the eggs are warm enough now. I'm leaving the unfertilized ones in there just in case. Since I don't know how old the eggs are, I don't know when to start lockdown. I think after a week I'll keep the humidity higher and stop turning them so often.
 

MaximumRide14

After candling two of the eggs I am almost certain that some of the eggs are fertilized, now I just wait to see if any survived being alone for a week. I've heard of some people being successful by simply dry hatching eggs (no incubator), so I'm hoping they still have a chance. If any of them make it, I'm thinking of contacting a quail rescue in the state. But, I'm still staying at home and I'm not even sure if they're open since there's very limited information about the rescue. In the case that eggs do hatch, I'd be able to care for them until they're old enough to be released back into the wild. However, I'm still doing research to see if there's a process to getting them used to living on their own.
 

MaximumRide14

I haven't updated this in a week, but the eggs are still incubating. I checked one egg today and I see movement, so that's pretty exciting! I have the equipment for a brooder, so I only need to get the food. I'll wait on that until they're hatching though. I'm already planning on when to start reintroducing them to the outdoors once they're old enough. But hopefully I get some chicks first lol
 

AZWolffman

I haven't updated this in a week, but the eggs are still incubating. I checked one egg today and I see movement, so that's pretty exciting! I have the equipment for a brooder, so I only need to get the food. I'll wait on that until they're hatching though. I'm already planning on when to start reintroducing them to the outdoors once they're old enough. But hopefully I get some chicks first lol

Any more updates? I’m excited to know if any hatched.
 

FishMommer

Wow! What is the plan if/as they hatch?
 

jkkgron2

Yeah! Did any hatch?
 

MaximumRide14

Any more updates? I’m excited to know if any hatched.
Wow! What is the plan if/as they hatch?
Yeah! Did any hatch?
One of them did! He was not in the correct position in the egg though, so I had to help him out. Two of the eggs were unfortunately shrink wrapped because the humidity wasn't high enough (I was on another forum and someone told me humidity didn't really matter, but I guess it did). The other eggs were either unfertilized or died after being abandoned. I named the one chick Fred, and after a week of caring for him I gave him to Liberty Wildlife. I would have kept him longer because I have all the proper equipment, but I thought he'd be happier with more buddies to grow up with. I also had finals to study for, and it was difficult with his constant chirping if I wasn't giving him constant attention lol. Here's a few pics of him!

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mimo91088

So cool! Adorable.
 

FishMommer

Precious.
 

AZWolffman

One of them did! He was not in the correct position in the egg though, so I had to help him out. Two of the eggs were unfortunately shrink wrapped because the humidity wasn't high enough (I was on another forum and someone told me humidity didn't really matter, but I guess it did). The other eggs were either unfertilized or died after being abandoned. I named the one chick Fred, and after a week of caring for him I gave him to Liberty Wildlife. I would have kept him longer because I have all the proper equipment, but I thought he'd be happier with more buddies to grow up with. I also had finals to study for, and it was difficult with his constant chirping if I wasn't giving him constant attention lol. Here's a few pics of him!

IMG_6048 (1).JPG
IMG_6055.JPG
IMG_6061.PNG
That’s so cool! Thanks for sharing. I have 3 eggs that were left in the nest after the momma took of with the roost. I have them sitting under a heat lamp and I’m going to put a humidifier next to them today to keep the humidity up.
 

MaximumRide14

That’s so cool! Thanks for sharing. I have 3 eggs that were left in the nest after the momma took of with the roost. I have them sitting under a heat lamp and I’m going to put a humidifier next to them today to keep the humidity up.
Good luck! How long were they left alone?
 

AZWolffman

From what it looked it was maybe a day or two. I candled them yesterday and didn’t see an embryo or movement so I decided to call it quits. Two of the eggs weren’t fertilized, and the third had a very immature embryo that had died before I picked up the eggs. I buried the little guy in my garden.
 

MaximumRide14

From what it looked it was maybe a day or two. I candled them yesterday and didn’t see an embryo or movement so I decided to call it quits. Two of the eggs weren’t fertilized, and the third had a very immature embryo that had died before I picked up the eggs. I buried the little guy in my garden.
Aww sorry to hear that. Seems like the hatch rate is almost nonexistant after being abandoned.
 

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