Calies, Bobwhites & Japanese not laying :(

Discussion in 'Quail' started by DavidFromGlenEden, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. DavidFromGlenEden

    DavidFromGlenEden Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2017
    Hi all,

    It's spring here in New Zealand, the daylight hours are around 13 hours a day, I've nested hay in ice cream containers for the hens to feel at home, I've got 10 large cages/hutches with either California or bobwhite trio about 8 square feet per bird space allocated, my female only Japanese quails have 2 square feet, my feed is 22% protein, sub urban area on a quarter acre block, corner and remote location away from the driveway walking traffic, quiet place, a few cats around but they're not bothered with the cages, mulch flooring with coffee ground, bobwhite and California quails are 1 year old from 2 different breeders, the Japanese are 3 months old.

    All my bobwhite, California and Japanese quails have not laid a single egg! Every other birds advertised in the area have either hatched or laid.

    Where did I go wrong?

    Many thanks

    David
     
    BaJa likes this.
  2. Nyla

    Nyla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are your quails? Mine didn't start laying until they were 7-9 months old.
    How tall are their cages? Mine had to have at the minimum 2 ft high with branches to climb on.
    What are your temps?
    Do you provide a source of calcium for egg production?
    Do you have them in pairs?
    How many males to females do you have?
    My blue scales, bobwhites, valley, gambel, and chukar had to be separated into their own paired up cages to properly lay.
     
  3. DavidFromGlenEden

    DavidFromGlenEden Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2017
    Hey Nyla,
    My Californian and bobwhites are 1 year and 10 months respectively. My Japaneses are 3 months old.
    The height of the cages are 3 to 4 feet tall. They all have perches or a mezzanine floor for them to fly onto.
    Max temperature are 64f (18c).
    No added oyster grit as they haven't laid their first egg yet. Am I right to assume this? Or shall I feed them oyster grit even if they haven't laid?
    Each cages have either a pair or a trio in them. I have 10 cages for 10 pairs or trios.

    Thanks Nyla, I hope we can find and answer!

    David
     
  4. Nyla

    Nyla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How I got mine to start laying was to give them Oyster shells, but I also had heat lamps inside their in-closer and they had a "hide away" box that the females would lay in. I also used wood shavings that were more so dust. Not actual dust but really soft. They would barrow inside it and make a nest and covering themselves up in it.
     
  5. DavidFromGlenEden

    DavidFromGlenEden Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2017
    Thanks for the swift response Nyla, guess what's on the menu tomorrow, oyster grit! Do you grind the shells or do you give it as they are to the quails? The shells tends to be 0.2 inch (0.5cm), aren't they a bit big for their mouths?

    Hideaway place is a yes, my cages have them. It tends to be dark in there so the quails don't really go there.

    I use hay in an ice-cream container as a surrogate nest, yes wood shaving would be softer for the quails.

    I have 10 outdoor cages so it might be hard and costly to insert a heater each.

    The problem is that it affects 3 different breed of quails even the super hardy Japanese ones. The Japanese hutch is facing the sun almost all day.

    I'll start with the oyster grit, thanks for the advice Nyla :)

    David
     
  6. Nyla

    Nyla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your very welcome! And yes I do grind up the oyster shells in a blender. Instead of using hay, you can try shredded paper? I tried hay on mine buy they didn't like it. They much more preferred the soft bedding so they can cover themselves in it. Are your cages outside? There could also be a predator disturbing them or maybe loud noises? I once had a squirrel trying to get into one breeding pen for food. I couldn't find out why they stopped laying until I caught the squirrel in action. I caught him in a live animal trap and released him miles away. Within a week or 2 they stated laying again.
     
  7. DavidFromGlenEden

    DavidFromGlenEden Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2017
    hey Nyla,
    Yes all my cages are outside, there are rats and possums around.it's a bit hard to know what's happening at night, there are no traces of scratches on the hutch, the possum live trap was laid for a year, I never caught anything in it. The bait was apple cinnamon, apple peanut butter, unfertilized raw quail egg, left over steak, slimy organic raw chicken egg, even quail cracked stillborn quail eggs (chicks that died because they were too weak to open their shells). Nothing got caught. My rat traps caught nothing either, the bait was peanut butter cheese. I live in a sub urban area, we've seen one foot long rat and a possum before but they must be food snobs! One of my cages has no bottom mesh, there are no tunnels dug by rats. Predators must have way easier prey. Even the neighbour cats just walk through without paying attention, they don't stare at them like a gold fish in a tank!
    What's your trick recipe on bait?

    Another question is what is the difference between grit and oyster shells. I thought oyster shells could act as a grit?

    Thanks Nyla,

    David
     
  8. Nyla

    Nyla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oyster shells is ground up oysters that help a laying animal produce egg shells easier and faster, grit is tiny gravel used to help break down food for digestion.
     
  9. DavidFromGlenEden

    DavidFromGlenEden Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks Nyla for the info, an odd question please, are ground oyster shells strong enough to act as a grit?

    Is poultry layer feed soft enough for the quails to eat without grit? The quail could also eat veggie scrap ie soft enough not to use grit. I understand grit is needed to crack seeds. Where I'm getting at is is grit compulsory for domesticated quails fed on seedless poultry layer feed? An analogy (how ever bad it sounds) would be does a granny needs her fake teeth to eat her mash potatoes?

    Thanks for your support Nyla :)
     
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi from NZ! My Japanese quail have recently started laying. Are you sure your girls haven't hidden them away somewhere in the enclosure? Sometimes they bury them, or carve out a nest which is hard to see.

    I've had rats eat through wire to get to my quail (they've even had a go at the galvanised wire they aren't supposed to be able to break) so keep an eye on it. We have a storm water culvert down the back of our property and many huge rats.

    Oyster shell grit is soluble, the grit for digestion is insoluble. If you give them sand in their dustbaths or give them some good old dirt from the garden they'll find their own grit to help them grind up food. You can get caged bird sized oyster shell from the pet shop that your quail will eat it just fine.

    Hopefully you'll be getting some eggs soon.
     
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