Incubating Quail Eggs Days 21- 24

— Written By Denise Sherrill
en Español / em Português

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Our Bobwhite quail chicks have been pipping and hatching in schools and homes of teachers and 4-H volunteers. A chick “pips” when it uses its beak to poke through the membrane and shell. Below is a drawing of a “pip” created by one of our second grade students. The chick often pokes through the membrane the day before it hatches. You can hear it cheap before it hatches, because it is breathing air from the air cell. The chicks have a tough “egg tooth” on the end of their beaks that helps them break through the shell. The egg tooth is only there for 24 hours.

Several of the teachers are also hatching chicken eggs. Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch, and Bobwhite quail take 23 days to hatch. Notice how all of the chicks hatch in the same way. They use their egg tooth to “unzip” the egg. It is important to leave the chicks in the incubator until they are dry and fluffy. The last thing they do before they hatch is ingest the yolk into their bodies through their umbilical cords. They can live off the nutrition from this yolk for 1-2 days. Once they are dry and fluffy they are moved to brooder boxes with a light for heat. Brooder boxes have shavings on the bottom, so the babies’ new little feet won’t slip around. We also provide food, water, and toys for the chicks.


Drawing by second grader of a chick pipping

egg tooth

The chick’s egg tooth is only there 24 hours. It strengthen’s the chick’s beak, so it can break through the shell.


Notice the little “pips” on these eggs.


The eggs always hatch in the same way.


child near incubatorchildren near incubator


Baby quail in incubator

childbaby quail child holding baby quailbaby quail hatchlings

Below are some videos created by Ms. Mebane at FernLeaf Charter School:

Note:  this is the continuation of the “Incubating Quail Eggs” Story.