Quail Hatching Guide: Everything About Natural & Artificial Hatching

If you are planning to hatch quail bird eggs and want to learn about the whole procedure. Here, is a complete Quail hatching guide for beginners who want to start including quails eggs.

Quail’s egg hatch hatching process can be divided into two. The first one is the natural method where the mother quail sits on its own egg and hatches. The second one is breeding baby quails using an artificial incubator. Both processes are simple, once you made a setup. However, maintaining temperature, humidity and environment is troublesome.

Here, in this article, we are about to explore those two methods and how to outperform problems to gain success. 

Let’s begin,

The Perfect Quail Hatching Guide

These birds are also known as game birds. It has about 95 species all over the world. Moreover, Found in two different families under the Galliformes. Old world quails belong to the Phasianidae family. However, the new world (The American Species- California quail and bobwhite quail ) belongs to the Odontophoridae family.

These small birds are very popular worldwide. People rise them for meat and eggs. For this reason, producing quail chicks are profitable. Moreover, we have a complete guide on quail farming.

Now look: 

Before going to explore hatching processes, there are some additional things you must know. Like, as reconciling an egg is fertile or not or hatching rate, etc.

Hatch-able Eggs: Find Out the Fertile Eggs

quail egg
A fertile quail egg

The simplest and most used technique to determine if an egg is fertilized is called candling the egg. It is actually holding the egg up to a lighted candle or small flashlight. If you are not able to see through, probably the egg is fertile.

If the egg aspires transparent, you can mark that as infertile.

The fertile ones are hatch-able means they can be used for reproducing new quails birds (also known as “check”).

Finding a fertile egg is easy. Still, if you are thinking about starting a hatchery, you must create an infallible source of eggs.

Hatching Rate: Measuring Success

The hatching rate refers to the percentage of rebirth. It can be calculated by dividing the number of newborns by the number of eggs used.  In the case of these birds, a 90%+ hatch rate is appreciatable. If you can achieve that you can mark that as a success.


Moving on to the actual topics, let’s find out the process of hatching.

Quail Egg Incubation Methods

Before collecting eggs, we recommend first choosing and setting up the hatching system. You may notice that we have divided the hatching process into two,

  1. Natural hatching: Hatching without an incubator
  2. Hatching with an incubator

Natural Hatching Using Quails or Broody Hens (Poultry)

This is the ancient method. Where a quails hen is used to sit on fertile eggs and hatch them. However, if you don’t have a quail hen you can use other poultry birds to hatch them. But, as the eggs are small not every poultry can handle them.  In such circumstances, broody hens are more suitable.

Natural Hatching Environment:

When a quail (a hen) get broody, it will stay in its habitat for 24 hours. However, you will need to encourage them to extend the period. Normally, this is done by leaving artificial eggs in the nest. It helps the hen to get broody and set on eggs in a nesting box.

Now look:

The nesting box or sitting places need to be set in a tranquil place, under a shade. Nonetheless, you need to make sure fresh air. It is significant to increase the hatching rate and healthy environment. A 5.0 x 8.0 inches box is perfect for one broody hen. However, we will recommend 8.5 x 11.0 in or even bigger boxes. It allows the bird to comfort egg movements (rotation).


To grow a microscopic embryo in an egg, it is ought to maintain the ideal temperature at 100 °Fahrenheit (roughly 38°C).  Still, a slight deflection (+/- 2 °Fahrenheit) of Warmth is acceptable.  As time passes, when the embryo grows its size broody quails lower the temperature.

But, maintaining the moisture at 60-80% is troublesome.  However, control the fresh air and spray water to control the humidity. Or you can leave it as it is to the mother birds. However, you ought to control the temperature as mentioned earlier.

Hatching with an incubator

Homemade Quail Egg Incubator

This artificial quailing technology is suitable for any purpose. Normally, if you are likely to hatch more than 10- 1000 eggs a month, you can find a proper device for that.

We have an article reviewing the [ Read: ] 7 Best Quail Incubator Review and Buying Guide.

This artificial hatching does not quail broody hens. But, as it is unnatural, inspecting the environment is a must. You, need to inspect the warmth, humidity, and egg movement (turning). Besides, at the very end of the hatching, you need to look for sprouts.

Now, let’s begin from the start:

After collecting eggs for the incubator, the process should be-

Step one: Setting up Incubator and eggs

  1. Find out the fertile eggs,
  2. Clean the incubator,
  3. Run it and take a measurement.
  4. If it provides the accurate temperature and humidity (as there is no egg inside it may provide greater values).

Step Two: Maintaining and Tweaking Incubator Parameters

Check and maintain this: –

Temperature: First set at,100 +- 2 °Fahrenheit,  Lower temperature 5 ° -10 ° at the last week.

Humidity: Of the first two weeks, 45- 55% and the last week at 50%- 65%.

Auto/ Manual Movement(Rotation): 3 times a day, repeat until 2 days before total including period. As the fetus becomes active.

Now Note: 

The chart of different breeds of quails eggs hatching periods.

Quail VarietiesTotal Period/DaysTurn Off After Auto Tuning /Days
Elegant quail (Benson)2220
Blue Scaled (Cottontop)2321
Bobwhite/ Virginia / Northern bobwhite22-2320
Buttonquail or hemipodes 1614
California quail (Cal Valley)22-2320
Coturnix (Most Common One)16-1814
Gambel’s quail (Callipepla Gambelii)2220
Montezuma quail (Mearns)24-2523
Mountain quail24-2523

Emerge Them Into to Brooder

When most of the eggs become hatched, move the chicks into the brooder. The babies are unable to regulate temperature. That is why,

Make sure before you put them in the brooder, that it is warmed at 98 ° F (37° C).

Hence read our guide on brooding quail chick temperature management and the caring process.

One other thing must mention here, Spraddle leg problems can arise in a brooder. Therefore, we suggest you use paper towels or wooden powder on the floor.

Tips for Marvelous Quail Egg Incubation:

The best practices

  • Always check temperature and humidity.
  • If the temperature rise or lower, adjust it.
  • On the other hand, If the humidity rise, spray water (very little) into the incubator.
  • However, if it gets lower than that, you can 1) Do nothing, (let it adjust). Or, increase temperature +2° F (At your own risk).


  • Set fewer eggs to hatch,
  • Mix several varieties of eggs,
  • Put excessive water at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quails Hatching

If you’re a beginner to quail hatching or newly brought an incubator, there will be lots of questions pop up in your mind. Here we will answer those questions.

There is a branch of common questions that we were asked over the period. Here, we will try to solve hatching-related problems and answer them one by one.

How long can newborn baby quail stay in the incubator?

Baby quails can stay inside for up to 24 hours. But, our suggestion is, if the brooder is ready, transfer it ASAP. Because the temperature inside can cause death.

How long does it take for a quail egg to hatch?

It will take 17 to 19 days to hatch, to learn more: The chart of different quails eggs hatching time

How long do baby quail need a heat lamp?

The newborn quail will need to be kept at a controlled temperature for four weeks to six weeks, So, it will need a heat lamp till that period ends.

How do you float a quail egg test?

This is quite easy and straightforward. Pure the eggs into a bucket full of water. If the egg floats, the egg is not fertile, and if it down it’s fertile. Read more here: Hatch-able Eggs: Find Out the Fertile Eggs

Can you hatch quail eggs without incubators?

Definitely, yes. Quails can hatch their own eggs.  Moreover. quail eggs are easy to hatch.

When to feed and provide water to the newly hatched chick?

A newly born chick can leave for up to 3 days depending on the circumstances. However, provide some edible feed and water in a pot. So, when they are strong enough they can eat.

Can I open the incubator during hatching?

Yes, but not recommended without a region.

[Using Incubator] How long does it take for a chick to hatch after the first crack?

It will take 10-16 hours. However, try to transfer babies into a brooder in 12 hours. Learn more about brooders:

Can you incubate chicken and quail eggs together?

Yes, but not recommended.

How do you know if quail eggs are fertile?

There are two methods for checking, one using candles second one os a floating test. Both of these methods are reliable. Read more here:

  • How do you float a quail egg test?
  • Hatch-able Eggs: Find Out the Fertile Eggs

What is the best incubator for quails?

There are many incubators, we had reviewed seven of them. Read here: Best quails incubator.

How to tell whether an egg is fertile or not?

There are some popular methods of doing that, we have answered it here: read more about partial eggs.

The bottom line

At the end of our quail hatching guide, we would like to remind you to take notes. I hope, this answers all of your questions. If you have other questions you can ask them directly in the comment below.

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