Bobwhite quail make excellent starter birds for incubating and hatching. Eggs should be large and clean with no visible cracks or discoloration. Collecting eggs should be done several times per day to avoid harmful bacteria from the cage adhering to the egg.
Embryonic development begins when the internal egg temperature reaches 75 degrees. Because of this most eggs are cooled to prevent embryo development before incubation. For proper development, the incubator should be set to 99.5 degrees.
The ideal relative humidity level for hatching bobwhite quail is 60 percent.
Bobwhite quail eggs must be turned a minimum of three times per day. Automatic egg turners are best for large quantities of eggs. If hand turning, drawing an X on one side of the egg in pencil can help ensure a half turn is completed.
The incubation period for bob white quail is 23 to 24 days. Eggs should be moved from the incubator to the hatcher after 20 days.
Failure to turn the eggs properly, incorrect temperatures or humidity and fluctuating temperatures are common reasons for lack of embryo development. Eggs can be candled at five to seven days to check for embryo viability.