How to encourage Japanese Coturnix quail to brood their eggs - Page 3
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I have had a female Japanese quail hatch out and rear her own young. It happened more than 10 years ago, and I am sorry I don't have any photos... but here is the description of what I did.
I had 2 females and one male living in the bottom of my finch aviary.
The aviary floor was covered in a thick layer of wood chips.
The back and one side of the aviary were totally enclosed.. being made of wood.
Quails had a pop hole at groud level to go in and out of the shelter.
The aviary roof was covered in clear plastic roofing... so no rain got in.
The outdoor aviary section was planted up with lots of bushy plants in pots.. also tufts of ornamental grasses. There was a big log with thick branches in the middle from a dead tree.
I made small shelters inside the aviary shelter for the quail from upturned cardboard boxes stuffed with hay and a hole cut in the side of them as a door. They loved to use there to relax in and lay eggs. And they were good shelter in the winter months to keep warm.
They had a big metal pan filled with sand as a dust bath.
There were fed chick crumbs and dry budgie egg rearing food.. together with mealworms, some seed spilt by the finches, millet and vegetables. Also grit and oystershell, egg shells and treats of hard boiled egg.
I clipped their wings and allowed them to free range in my small garden several days a week. They were very tame. Only let them out when I was there was sit in the garden with them.. otherwise cats would get them.
One female 'vanished' from the aviary one day... I found her in the outdoor area.. thought she was sick as she was hiding under a clump of dead grass.. but when I moved her I saw she had made a secret nest which was filled with a huge pile of eggs.
She felt very hot underneath her body.. like chickens get when they are broody.. and she was really lethargic and fluffed up.
I put her back on the nest and covered her up with the dead grass plant.
I left her to it... the other 2 quail did not bother her. I removed a lot of her eggs and just left her with 10.... because her body would not cover the huge pile.
A few times I saw her off the nest for a long time.. and thought she gave up.. but she would go back.. I thought the eggs would have chilled.
The happy result was that in the end she hatched out 7 chicks from her 10 eggs. They did really well and grew really fast. Again I was worried the other quail would kill the chicks.. but they did not bother them.. in fact they all used to go around in a group and sleep in a pile in the corner of the aviary.
Sadly 2 chicks drowned in the water.. so I filled it with pebbles. One chick got sick and died for no apparent reason.. So in the end I got 4 to grow to be adults.. and they were all male!!!!
The next year she tried again... but no eggs hatched even through she still brooded them.. and then she died a few months later from old age.
I changed my aviary to keep budgies.. and I sold my finches and remaing quail.
I have only had that one time breeding the Japanese quail. I did not realise how lucky I was then! They were to golden variety.
I have got the button quail (Chinese painted quail) to brood and rias their own chicks many times.. but maybe that is because they are not as domesticated as the Japanese ones? All they need is to be kept in pairs and have secure small nest boxes and lots of privacy and quiet.. with nothing to distract them form coming off the nests to see whats happening around. them.. this includes being out of sight of other quails.
I think cover and privacy are the main things you need to provide if you want to try breeding the Japanese quail too. I don't think they would brood their own eggs in a cage or indoors.. or in an aviary filled with many more quail or bigger noisy birds.
Good luck and keep trying!
Edited by jak2002003 - 11/18/15 at 7:37pm