My Gambel quail are kept in a large flight pen. I have approximately 45 breeding pairs. The eggs are gathered daily and kept in a cooler until they are ready to ship or incubate. Quail eggs are shipped on a first come, first served basis. This is a small operation and I can ONLY handle orders of up to 100 eggs (only 25 eggs so far in2017 because this is a rebuild year) and still provide very hatchable eggs in a timely manner.
All eggs are shipped USPS Priority Mail. Orders will ship on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. That way the eggs do not get stuck in a Post Office over a weekend.
INCUBATION AND HATCHING TIPS:
Incubation time for Gambel quail eggs is 23-24 days, sometimes even 25-26.
I use a 100 degree temperature and low 40's percent relative humidity. Constant humidity is critical. The eggs must be turned at least a couple times a day to keep the yoke from sticking to the shell. An automatic egg turner is highly recommended.
Eggs are not disturbed while they are incubating. When the eggs are moved from the incubator to the hatcher the eggs are candled for fertility.
Hatch rates by are determined by dividing the eggs hatched by the total eggs placed in the incubator. My hatch rate percentage for Gambel eggs is consistently in the 80's.
During a hatch, hatched baby chicks are moved to a brooder once a day. Temps in the brooder are set at 95 degrees for starters. Temperature is lowered 5 degrees each week until it reaches about 80 degrees, then the supplemental temp is turned off. You'll be able to tell if the temp in the brooder is OK by the way the chicks react to the heat source. If they're huddled under the heater, it's too cold. If they're out at the extremes of the brooder gasping for air, it's too hot. If they're evenly spaced in the brooder, the temp is just right.
For the first several days the chicks are kept on blue paper shop towels. Buy the paper at an auto parts store, Walmart, or in quantity at Costco. That particular paper is textured enough to support young legs and feet and fairly absorbent. Sprinkle finely ground food right on the paper. The towel paper is changed every day. Provide water in a shallow and narrow waterer. After a week the chicks go to wire. At this point their feet are large enough not to drop through the 1/2 " spaced wire mesh. Check their feet as they go on the wire to make sure they haven't accumulated a lot of feces in their toes from the paper. It's easily knocked off if you find some.
Continue to grind their food for another week. Place the food in some sort of container and place it in the brooder.
Keeping lots of food and water available is important. Young chicks will fight if they feel either is not readily available. I'm finding that a limited light environment seems to keep the chicks calmer which translates into less fighting. I use a low wattage blue light in their brooder and minimize the amount of natural light.
After a few weeks in the brooder, move the quail to to some sort of grow out pen (the bigger the better) until they are six weeks old. After six weeks they are ready for an even larger space I move them to a flight pen at this point. The young birds and the adults have always gotten along really well. They seem to love the added space of the flight pen and are flying full length in just no time.
Email me with questions. I will try to help.