8 healthy hens, but only 1 egg per day total?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by RobPS, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. RobPS

    RobPS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2017
    As the subject suggests... I have a pen with 8 coturnix quail, all from the same litter, and all about 8 weeks old. The pen exceeds the recommended 1 cu ft per bird--I have room for 10-12 birds according to that physical space requirement.

    I purchased these birds from a local breeder at age "about 5 weeks" three weeks ago, and this is my first time with quail (or any other backyard egg layer). So by my estimate they are approximately 8 weeks old, though some surely hatched a few days before the others. And all of them are female, per the breeder, and my assessment of their plumage. Although they are roughly the same age, some are larger than the others, but all are "adult" size.

    Egg laying began a week or so after I had them acclimated in my coop, and I got 3 eggs in a row (one per day), but then the temperatures dropped to sub-freezing, and I guess the stress of the temperature extremes was enough to stop egg production for a couple of weeks. Laying started again 5 days ago, and I get one egg daily. The eggs are on the large size (not the "fairy" eggs that new layers start out with sometimes).

    My question is... why with 8 birds am I only getting one egg total per day? I expected them all to start laying about an egg per day per bird. They all seem to be healthy and happy, and share the same food, water and living conditions.

    Do quail establish some sort of hormonal pecking order in all-female flocks, where only one bird rises to the "laying" status? Or is this just coincidence, and eventually all of these females will start to lay eggs for me?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  2. robdog

    robdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Its the transitioning from winter to spring. The hours of daylight do not coincides with the ample amount of light needed for their systems to lay eggs.
    OR

    If they are jumbo they take longer to lay.
     
  3. RobPS

    RobPS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2017
    Thanks robdog. I suspected as much, but since I only seem to have (can't confirm or deny it) one active laying hen, and I'm so new at this, the though occurred to me that maybe there is some sort of "flock" dynamics that nature sets up--like the alpha dog in a pack.

    These birds are really pretty darn cute. They "greet" me every morning and evening when I check on them for food and water.
     
  4. RobPS

    RobPS Out Of The Brooder

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    While this thread didn't get many views, in case anyone is curious... yesterday we pulled 3 eggs from the hutch, so apparently a couple other quail started laying. I'm gonna assume that one of these birds is from a different set of eggs, and thus a couple of weeks older than the rest of them.
     
  5. jenni wren

    jenni wren Just Hatched

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    Hey there rob, I'm new to quail so although I read your message I couldn't give any advice. Glad to hear your other girls have started laying, I'm looking forward to that myself.
    Take care and enjoy.
     
  6. Poultry4Life

    Poultry4Life Just Hatched

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    My layers are sometimes stunted when there are extreme weather changes. If you are also admitting new livestock to your flock the pecking order may be out of wack and will stress your poultry out, causing less laying.
     
  7. RobPS

    RobPS Out Of The Brooder

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    Copy that Jenni. That's why I replied--so us newbies can share our knowlege! I'm still at the office today, but my kid texted me that we have 3 new eggs again today. Wohoo!
     
  8. RobPS

    RobPS Out Of The Brooder

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    No new birds being introduced, and they're all experiencing the same weather fluctuation. Given the update from yesterday (3 eggs!) I gather it's just an age thing, and there was some age variability among this little flock.
     
  9. RobPS

    RobPS Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, my earlier concerns were certainly due to immaturity. I've been getting a steady increase in production, and today I found this! [​IMG]

    Yup-8 quail and 9 eggs. Someone's an overachiever today!
     
  10. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hahaha grats!!! Enjoy them ^^ lots of delicious recipes for them online like sunny side up in a mushroom xD
     

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