How To Build An Aviary

Winter is FINALLY over! I ended up with 10 quail after a long brutal winter. Thanks to the surviving females I have 28 eggs in the incubator. With my normal 50% hatch rate I hope to have 10+ new additions to the flock.

I have a cheap low end styrofoam incubator. Last year I got a digital thermometer and it shows the temp range (hi/low) and this thing varies wildly which is why I think I get such a low hatch rate. I am thinking I will need to see what I can do it better insulate it and see if I can get it into a narrower temp range. Thoughts?

4 Responses to “Spring 2014 – Backyard Quail update”

  • Zee says:

    Hi. I noticed every time I looked at the temp on my incubator, the temp was varying by two degrees or so. I kept tinkering with it because I was worried about that too. I finally sat down and watched it for a while. The temperature would drop down to 99, the heat would kick on until about 101 then shut off. Rinse and repeat. I then thought to check the hi/low and get an average temp which has been dead on 100 degrees (chicken eggs). Do you mean the temperature on the thermometer keeps changing and not staying steady? Is the high and low range staying about the same each time you reset it? The temp is going to fluctuate, but it should keep a steady average. It takes a lot longer for the temp inside the eggs to change as opposed to the air temp. Well, unless you are using one of the fake egg thermometers.

    • byqadmin says:

      The range seems to vary from a couple of degrees to 5+ degrees on the low side. I do not have the fake egg type thermometer, but I do try to keep the sensor at egg level. I think I really need to just look at where I keep the incubator to rule out wild swings in exterior temps and ways to better insulate to keep down the internal temp swings.

  • Zee says:

    Well, I have successfully hatched 20 of 27 and counting. I had really wild temperature swings. My incubator is in my living room near a window. We have left the window open since it hasn’t gotten too warm yet, but the temperature has varied by around 20 degrees some days. I did notice I had to keep backing the thermostat down as the chicks developed. I don’t really understand how that works… Seems like you shouldn’t have to do that. Oh well, it worked anyway. My incubator is the Hovabator 1602 with the egg turner, and I added a pc fan. I’m looking at about an 82% hatch rate. One egg was infertile, and another chick died during hatch. It appears it was turned to the opposite side from its pip, so I think it suffocated. I know you aren’t “supposed” to, but I removed all the live chicks to stop them from knocking the eggs around. The humidity went back up quickly, so I don’t see any harm done. I had another five hatch afterwards and three more working on it. I’m going to set some quail this weekend, so wish me luck! I wonder if they are more picky than chickens?

  • Nadeerah says:

    I have had great success by adding a digital thermostat controller to my cheap Styrofoam incubator. My last two hatches of quail were near perfect thanks to this addition. They can be purchased on ebay for about $8 with shipping. The instructions on how to install it are here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoVNSfSt-_E&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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