Are quail able to tell apart siblings from their friends?


7 Years
Oct 10, 2012
I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I'm still just wondering --
I have 30 eggs in the incubator, I believe half or more are fertile (I don't know which ones are and aren't so I chucked them all in and see which ones grow), and I know which eggs belong to which hen due to one always (pretty much) laying purple tinted eggs, whilst the other lay regular coturnix eggs. The eggs [if they hatch] will probably hatch when I'm not home (such as if I'm at school or occupied by another task, but they'd still be supervised) it'd be hard to tell which chick belongs to which egg shell if they hatch at close times, if you get what I mean.

When they grow up (If they hatch, hopefully
) and mature, and well, mating occurs, will they be able to tell apart their siblings from their friends? Or would incest occur?
Because I'd like to try and separate them into breeding groups with a roo and two or more females. . .
I know incest isn't the best for animals, hence why I want to try and avoid it.

As far as the chicks are concerned, any baby growing up with each other will be siblings. They can not distinguish color differences, breed or anything else. And yes, birds kept together will inter breed.
Thanks for the replies;
Will the eggs still be fertile and have the possibility of hatching under an incubator from a sibling couple?
Let's put it this way: We got 2 doves for our atrium when I was about 6. By the time we moved out 7 years later, there were 13 adult birds there plus a few juveniles (all healthy). They can go a lot of generations with no ill effects but it would still be a good idea to introduce new blood to the flock every couple years.
Well... there won't be any OBVIOUS health issues...
You are more likely to see recessive health disorders and higher rates of fetal death (lower viable egg hatch rates) within just a few generations of inbreeding. Just because an animal looks healthy doesn't necessarily mean it is.
Look at all the crazy problems purebred dogs and cats have: seizures, brain disorders, eye and nerve problems, behavioral disorders, tumors, etc. To look at them, you'd assume they're fine.
Thank you, you two for the information. I'll try my best to keep a close eye on which chick hatches out of which egg (I've marked which egg belongs to which hen), and try to remember that.

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