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thought these were females but now not sure

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Got quail eggs in November and they hatched in early December.  I fed them wild game bird starter as chicks and since they were about a month old I have had them on chick starter.  I was hoping they would start laying around 8 weeks but they never did and I was starting to wonder if it was because of the longer nights and shorter days of winter, but in the last few weeks my chickens have started up laying like crazy again but still nothing from my quail.  I am a beginner with quail and watched a bunch of youtube videos on how to tell male from female Coturnix quail apart and put 5 "females" in with 1 male.  I have another pen with about 5 "males" in it.  I have noticed I can get the foamy stuff from the one I thought was a male and none from any of the ones with him that I thought were females.


Here are pics of my supposed females:













Here are pics from a few in my group of "males" that I still can't get any foam to come out of.  The rest from that pen of "males" I was able to get the foam








From what I had read I thought you could tell the males from the females based on the color of the breast and based on the presence or lack of spots on the breast.  That is why I thought these last 2 were males, but I can't get any foam out of them.


I appreciate any and all advice on sexing these quail and also on ideas about why they aren't laying.  I got these for meat but don't want to eat any until I have some fertilized eggs to replenish my numbers with.

Edited by kaywould - 3/2/16 at 7:14am
post #2 of 7
The last two are roosters and the white bird cant be sexed by looking at its feathers. The rest are hens. If you arent running a light a few extra hours a day they arent going to lay until spring time.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I've read that the same thing that influences hens to lay is the same thing that induces the males to make that foam. So if that is true and I still have a few males not making that foam then I guess I can still be patient and wait for the days to get a little longer. Or put some light out there.
post #4 of 7
Quail will take long time to mature in the cold winter, also they will not lay in the winter without extra light.
post #5 of 7

The foam test isn't reliable.  Males won't make any foam if they're not ready to reproduce and they won't without sufficient light.  12-14 hours of light is needed for both sexes for reproduction to start.


I'd also hatch out a batch before I graduated those.  In fact, I'd keep them for 6 months or so and keep the best from the hatches.  Cull the rest and your original birds when they get to 6-8 months.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Finally got a few eggs.
post #7 of 7

I have 4- 2.5 week old coturnix quails that have chest feathers coming in well.  Three look like they may be males and I am lost on the fourth....I'm hoping I have it wrong with at least one of the first three, as I would love 1 to 2 females.  Any help in identifying them would be appreciated!  


 bird 1   

bird 2


bird 3


bird 3 againbird 4


Thanks for any help in identifying these lovely birds : )

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