10 week old quail haven't started to lay...

Ruby Rogue

Free Ranging
Mar 31, 2020
2,614
7,537
536
Atlantic Canada
I'm getting 3 eggs per day from a pen of 8 white/tuxedo/italian quail, mostly unable to sex other than watching their breeding. In a separate pen I have 7 wild type with at least a few females, however none of the birds in this pen have begun to lay.

My first egg was about a month ago and I expected all females to be laying by now.

They are getting around 12-14 hours of light per day. I'm feeding 23% protein and have crushed oyster shell on the side. No treats. Are they ever going to lay?
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
3,526
7,125
441
I would increase the light to at least 14 hours every day. That may increase your numbers. If you have too many boys it can cause stress that will hinder egg laying. Count your boys and keep it one male for ever 5-6 hens.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
720
1,548
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Honolulu, HI
Mine didn't lay until about 10 or so weeks. Then, they only started once they started receiving mealworms. They also get about 14 hours of light a day, some of it artificial. Now that I've cut the light hours down to 12, they're still laying.

As the guy at the feed store told me, "They'll start laying when they start laying." I guess it's a little like waiting for your kid to say their first word.
 

Captain Quark

Songster
Apr 29, 2020
104
240
158
Ontario, Canada
I don't follow the rules of regular quail feeding and I wonder if that's why I've got my first egg at six weeks old. I supplement with some wild bird seed and dried mealworms. A bit of wheatgrass as it grows from left over seed. I would have added in super worms but my breeding of them is still learning in progress. They are on natural bedding indoors and have caught a few worms (red wigglers and earth worms) starting around just under three weeks old. I had to put grit in really early once they started digging up the worms. I just switched them over to fermented feed over the past four days and now an early egg. I wonder if it's light, temperature, food, happiness level or all of the above!
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,271
59,708
1,046
Sonoma County, CA
I don't follow the rules of regular quail feeding and I wonder if that's why I've got my first egg at six weeks old. I supplement with some wild bird seed and dried mealworms. A bit of wheatgrass as it grows from left over seed. I would have added in super worms but my breeding of them is still learning in progress. They are on natural bedding indoors and have caught a few worms (red wigglers and earth worms) starting around just under three weeks old. I had to put grit in really early once they started digging up the worms. I just switched them over to fermented feed over the past four days and now an early egg. I wonder if it's light, temperature, food, happiness level or all of the above!
Each quail is different. I've had hens start laying at 5.5 weeks, I've had them not start until they were 14 weeks. I'll admit, it's unusual for them to start laying young in the winter.
 

Quail 66

Songster
Nov 18, 2020
201
294
133
Thessaloniki, Greece
Mine didn't lay until about 10 or so weeks. Then, they only started once they started receiving mealworms. They also get about 14 hours of light a day, some of it artificial. Now that I've cut the light hours down to 12, they're still laying.

As the guy at the feed store told me, "They'll start laying when they start laying." I guess it's a little like waiting for your kid to say their first word.
Your guy reminds me of my guy😕. I have the opposite problem. One quail won't stop laying. It's winter here but the weather is great. Less than 12 h light but a bit noicy outside. Is it because she is the only one still mating with the male? I'm worried she will get tired by spring. And an other thing. Her eggs don't seem fertilized. Even after days they don't have that ring. This is a new male and I'm worried. I hope it is because it's winter.
 

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