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8 week old quails not laying yet and now molting

Discussion in 'Quail' started by henri123, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. henri123

    henri123 New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2016
    Hi. We've 14 quail at least 8 weeks old who haven't laid yet but now appear to be molting....would this stop their first lay? Not having much luck sexing them either...two are white Texas a &m, two cinnamon coloured, two big, dark and speckled and the rest Japanese. Fed on marriages quail pellets with mealworms added in. They have a grit bath but no other additional calcium etc. Light for about 12 hours a day, Kent in uk. Any advice would be great...especially about sexing! Also they live in a rabbit hitch with an attached sealed up bed area which is on grass and moved around every few days but when they are in bed so shouldn't cause them undue stress - they don;t seem stressed at all despite warnings they might be all the time. Just trying to think of all options why none of them have layed yet. Hoping that all 14 can;t be males, by their colourings anyway
     
  2. Pawpaws Aviary

    Pawpaws Aviary Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2016
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    I am no expert. Have had only 1 hatching under our belt. 11 button quail, first one didn't lay until 9'weeks old and last female laid at 13 weeks old. Hope this helps some.
     
  3. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peyton, CO
    Many don't even start to lay until 8 weeks so I wouldn't be too concerned. You might have too many males and the females are getting stressed from over mating.

    The pharaoh type are easy to sex by color. Males will have a rusty red chest, females have no red and spots. The best way to sex the other types is by vent sexing. Here is a good video.

    Also, if it crows it's a male.
     
  4. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2016
    Melting can cause them to stop laying. The bigger question is why they are melting at that age.
     
  5. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe they aren't molting. Maybe they are fighting.
     
  6. pkhunter

    pkhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had coturnix start laying as early as 6 weeks and as late as 12 weeks. That being said yours are probably stressed out with 14 birds you need no more than 2 roosters and they should be in separate cages. I keep mine 1 to 5 or 1 to 6. If they are molting they will stop laying or slow down and usually takes them a couple weeks to start laying again. Also I would increase the light to 14 hours a day.

    Sexing the Japanese at 8 weeks should be easy hens have a spotted breast and roosters have a solid rust colored breast. The rest I would try to catch them crowing. If you can catch 1 crowing put him in a cage next to them. Once he starts crowing at the girls the rest will join in with him. At 8 weeks I either sell off my extra roosters are they go to freezer camp. Hope this helps some and good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. henri123

    henri123 New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2016
    The problem we have is that we watched them from
    afar without them realising and they don't ever seem to fight, they seem to be the calmest quails ever. only one has crowed so far which is a cotirnix with a sepsrate coloured head so we think that's a male. The others just cheep sometimes and one of the White a & m's cheeps that sounds like a frog lol. At night they get put away, scrabble around for a few minutes and go quiet until the morning so we don't think they are fighting then either. I agree we want to reduce the number but don't want too until we know definitely which are males and females. The run they are in is about 5 ft x 3 ft so I don't think they are squished in compared to some cages which have 5 or six in and no space to run, jump, play in a tunnel or up a ramp like ours have. Just want to make sure they are ok as first time owners
     
  8. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it crows it's definitely a boy. By 8 weeks you should see mating too, depending on how long you're watching. Are you positive of the age?

    Vent sexing is still your best bet. It's pretty easy and as long as you are gentle you won't hurt them.
     
  9. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2016
    If you dont know what you're looking for, a freshly bred hen can give a false positive when vent sexing.
     

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