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Protips for egg production?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any "protips" to increase egg production? My quail will lay at almost 1 egg per day per bird, then drop down to only half laying. They go back and forth. I already-
Use 28% gamebird starter- same feed always
Freshen water daily (and water has acv)
Give them a sandbox for dusting (with oyster shell I add daily)
Give them protection areas from wind for when they need it.
Give them areas of hay and areas with tree branches to "hide"
Give them a few hours extra light
Oldest birds are 6ish months old. Youngest are 9 weeks, several ages in between.

I just got several orders for eggs and the little farts went down to 50% production! One week I got 300 eggs and this week I'm on track to maybe get 140. I need
post #2 of 9
Are presators or rodents bothering the cages at night? 99% of the time they dont lay, stress is the reason.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I don't think so! We have cameras around the property (yeah- were THOSE people) and I've never seen anything bothering them. The wind/rain was high for a couple days but that was a week ago and I feel like they should have gotten over it by now. They all have hardware cloth so I know nothing can get in and I haven't seen any animal or signs of animals around. They all have boxes/shelters too, but I've noticed they'd rather sit in the rain than use them. So I tarp them in the rain, or walk them over to our porch to cover.

That's good to know about stress. They've all seeemed ok in their cages but I might try spreading them out a bit more too.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoandhelp View Post

I don't think so! We have cameras around the property (yeah- were THOSE people) and I've never seen anything bothering them. The wind/rain was high for a couple days but that was a week ago and I feel like they should have gotten over it by now. They all have hardware cloth so I know nothing can get in and I haven't seen any animal or signs of animals around. They all have boxes/shelters too, but I've noticed they'd rather sit in the rain than use them. So I tarp them in the rain, or walk them over to our porch to cover.

That's good to know about stress. They've all seeemed ok in their cages but I might try spreading them out a bit more too.

You tarp them when it rains then take the tarp off?  You actually move their entire enclosure? That right there can stress the quail.  Try to find a way to keep the rain off and don't change it.  They can stress over the strangest things.  Also, list your location in your siggy so we can better help you.  Are you in a warm climate?  Southern hemisphere?  I live in one of the hottest places on earth so I don't sweat it most of the year if they get wet, they love the water.  If you live where it's cold protect them from getting wet.


Edited by Sill - 3/1/16 at 11:07am
post #5 of 9

Are you offering them oyster shell or some other calcium source free choice 24-7?  Their egg shell quality will start to suffer if they don't have it.  Game bird starter does not have enough calcium for active layers.

post #6 of 9

I think Sill's right about the tarps and moving them.  They need to be set up and left alone.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok- we have them in a sheltered spot for now but we are hoping to build a more permanent cover. I don't think about the tarps being the issue. We have built a couple new pens that will be more protective of wind/rain so we will slowly phase those in. There been in the same spot for 5 days and egg production has almost doubled despite rain and wind so yall are probably right- the tarps and moving them too far. They don't have a problem when I move them just a couple feet to fertilize new ground but now that I think about it, i had moved them quite a bit before the rain.

I put oyster shell in their sandbox and I add more every other day and that has stopped all but one (I had four) soft shelled eggs. That one girl may lay soft shells no matter what. I wish I could figure out who it is.
post #8 of 9
Quail see more colors than our eyes are able to pick up so it can be something they see or hear bothering them. Things like running water in a fountain make good noise buffers if youre in a loud area but the same running water will drive quail insane (literally) if there is no other sound. Ive found over the years tarps that flap in the wind really bother them.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's a good idea. I had trouble getting my tarps tight at first which is why we aren't using them this time.

But you made me think of another interesting idea- what you said about their eyes and hearing- I've heard that too. I've also heard their body temp is higher, that the cholesterol in their eggs is only the good kind and that they have a huge amount of iron compared to chicken eggs. Wikipedia hasn't given much info like that and I can't find anything with citations but I want to be able to tell people mostly about the eggs- and be able to back it up. Are there any books that have that kind of info?
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