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My Quail Stopped Laying

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

About a month ago I bought three Coturnix quail. Two females and one male. They laid eggs for two days and then stopped. I thought it may have been caused by the relocation to a new environment, but now I wondering if it may be something else. It is a possibility that I am worrying myself over nothing. Though I figured since this is my first time raising quail that I would get a more experienced opinion. 

post #2 of 4

Three main causes for quail to stop laying:

1) Stress

2) Improper diet

3) Too little light


I'd be more strange if they continued to lay after being moved, as that is one thing that is almost certain to stress them. However, it seems they usually start laying again about 3 weeks after being moved, if that is the only problem. So either your quail are just about to start laying again, or there is some other cause why they don't.

If they get ~14 hours of daylight, lack of light is not likely to be the cause. So, for the diet - are they getting something with at least 24% protein? Do they get extra calcium? Are there vitamins in their feed? Do they always have water? If the answer to all of these is 'yes', let's go back to other things that cause stress.

One thing could be your male to female ratio. Usually people say 3 or 4 to 7 females for each male. Lower number of females can cause over breeding. If they have very much room - like, if they live in an aviary or such - 2 females for a male might be fine. But if they only have the usual 1-2 square feet per bird, it's probably not ideal. Other causes of stress could be predators around their cage, parasites and similar. 

post #3 of 4

Yes what DK said.  Looking for sources of stress for quail can be difficult.  Lots of things can stress them out.  Moving them or moving things outside of their enclosure can stress them.  Are they located where there is lots of activity or foot traffic?  Animals that could be staring at them?  A tarp flapping in the wind like the wings of a predator?  Owls hooting at night keeping them awake?  Is your male constantly chasing the hens?  Do they have hiding spots to get out of his line of sight for a while?


Also how old are your quail?  If they were older birds a move would stress them more than chicks or juveniles.


It's too bad someone sold you only two hens with that rooster.  It's not good for the hens.  I would not sell less than four hens, three would be minimum, but with four you would still have three if something happened to one of the hens. Two hens is not enough unless as DK says they have an aviary situation with lots of room and hiding places, but even then they will all be happier with more hens to share the love.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

All of my birds have plenty of space and hiding areas. And I haven't noticed the male breed them at all now that I think about it. As I said it is more likely that I am over reacting and they are about to start laying. Their enclosure is in a secluded part of my yard so I doubt that anything is bothering them. They are older birds so from what you all said I believe the likely cause is that they are just stressed because of the move. 

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