Barking and fighting dogs Affect Quail Laying?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ManitobaQuail, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. ManitobaQuail

    ManitobaQuail In the Brooder

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    Hi, I have about ten 8 to 15 week old hens but only 2 are laying at the moment (4 were laying just 3 weeks ago). I first thought it was because of the lack of lights, but it's been over 3 weeks since I added lights in their hutches and still, only 2 are laying.

    We do have 2 dogs that (play) fight a lot in the yard, sometimes quite aggressive-sounding:barnie. They (the beagle and st bernard) also go smell the hutches once so often. The hutch is lifted about 5 ft off the ground.

    Just wondering what's up...if you can share your experience or opinion I'd really appreciate it! :)
     
  2. 007Sean

    007Sean Enabler

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    I could be that the dogs are stressing them out. Not sure how you could keep your dogs from doing the rough housing around the cage.
    My neighbors dogs would come over and try and get or see what was in the pen I had some quail in about 5ft. above the ground. They stopped laying until the stress level went back down to normal.

    Hope you can figure something out to keep your dogs away from their cage.
     
  3. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    My dog barks a lot (sorry neighbors) and likes to sit and watch the birds, but only one of my quail even seems to notice. Could you post some pictures of your setup? Yours might just be more sensitive to the noise and/or aggression. They also might need more shelter/cover to make them feel safe from predators.
     
    AlderCreekFarms and jimcheng9122 like this.
  4. ManitobaQuail

    ManitobaQuail In the Brooder

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    Sure, here's a picture of one of the hutches, the other one is in the shed. Slightly bigger than this one, but same "model". My beagle is the one making all the noises, and they usually play not super close to this hutch, maybe 15~20 ft away.

    Also just to mention that I used to let my quails free roam in my yard, and the dogs only bothered them the first couple days. It did not stop them from laying... I stopped letting them out mostly because I don't have the time to. IMG_3803.jpg
     

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  5. ManitobaQuail

    ManitobaQuail In the Brooder

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    This hutch (above) currently hosts 13 or birds. And to mention all the factors, it's been chilly lately at around 12 C during the day and 3 degree C overnight in Manitoba (Canada). They're on quail layer feed with enough protein and calcium.

    I did just introduce 6 new birds from a different hutch to this group about 2 weeks ago. Hopefully there's enough facts here for you all to investigate...:bow
     
  6. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    It might be as simple as the artificial lights not being enough/not being in the right spots. Those birds might also be feeling exposed; no barrier in front, none on the bottom. Little grass huts/cut branches/sheets of bark could provide extra shelter in the wire side.

    How many roos/hens do you have? Too many boys can stress the girls out enough to stop laying.
     
    jimcheng9122 and Sara L like this.
  7. ManitobaQuail

    ManitobaQuail In the Brooder

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    Here's more pics of the hutch. They can actually go inside the solid-wall area - there's sand inside but no lights, could that be the issue? There's 10 or 11 hens and 2 or 3 roos, not super sure whether a particular one is a rooster or a hen.

    Would you guys recommend that I add some light in the sand area too? These are just solar powered decorative lights. Provides about 4 extra hours of lighting right now and bring the total hours of light to 15-16 hours/day.

    (And the second photo is when we were away for 2 days so we loaded up the food and water for them just in case) 4.jpg IMG_3904.JPG
     
    le_bwah likes this.
  8. ManitobaQuail

    ManitobaQuail In the Brooder

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    And yes I will add some branches or leaves and stuff in the hutch today. Great idea! :thumbsup
     
    le_bwah likes this.
  9. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    The lights being outside is probably only an issue if they spend a lot of time in the covered portion. You might want to get a good grasp of exactly how many of each sex you have, if only to be sure you have as many hens as you think you do.

    Branches are a good plan; wait a week after adding new things for them to settle down, the non-layers could resolve themselves by then.
     
    AlderCreekFarms likes this.
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging

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    In a cage that size I'd only keep one male. Too many males harrassing the females, and them having nowhere to hide from the males attentions, will stress the females out and stop them laying. Males need enough space to create their own territories so I'd only keep multiple males in a really big cage. Also I'd do some observing to ensure that there isn't one female being overly aggressive to the others as it only takes one bird (whether male or female) making trouble to upset everyone.
     

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