California Quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Guineagang, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Guineagang

    Guineagang Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2014
    Hello! I have had pair of California Quail for a few weeks now and what is the likelihood of the female laying eggs? Will it take a few months for them to start laying like my buttons? Is it likely that the female sits on the eggs or will I have to put them in the incubator. They live in a medium cage. They have a little elevated house with shavings in and the rest of the cage is grass and of course their food and water. They also have plentiful branches that they always hop and climb on. Any help or info is helpful! thanks!
     
  2. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 27, 2012
    If it was hatched last year in the spring, it should start laying eggs in a few months. In regards to egg laying, try not to see them as domesticated birds like buttons, coturnix, and chickens. Try to see them like the song birds that you see in your yard. And like those birds in your yard, none of them lay eggs in the fall/winter (even though they are fully mature) but will only do so in the spring. Since their cage is small, there's a good chance that they'll not sit and so you can put their eggs in the incubator.
     
  3. Guineagang

    Guineagang Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2014
    Ok thanks!! I live in the tropics so I don't think the same egg laying rules apply. Here, most birds only lay in the rainy season.
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you are in the southern hemisphere it they should lay sometime between december and feburary. They won't lay until the days are appx 14-16 hours long. They need to be at least 30 weeks old, at the beginning of the laying season to lay. If they are less than 30 weeks at the start of this laying season (appx 5-6 months old) they will not lay until spring next year.
     
  5. Guineagang

    Guineagang Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2014
    Even though I do live in the Southern hemisphere, I live very close to the equator and we get approx. 12 hours of sunlight all year round and we only have the dry and rainy seasons.
     
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    In that case you should be able to pretty much choose when you want their "spring time" to be. I would choose the 3 months with the fairest weather. It would be good to know the approximate age of the birds so that you don't waste your time lighting birds up that are far too young to lay. If the age cannot be determined then you may want to do a 3 month 14-16 hour light cycle followed by a 3 month intermission until the birds actually do lay. Keep in mind that if they are going to lay, it will be at least 2-3 weeks after you start using the artificial lights before you see any eggs. Messing with lights in such a way, you are very likely to trigger a molt, so be watchful for an excess of feathers around the cage. If you do trigger a molt don't change anything you are doing until it is finished, lest you trigger a second molt. Molting birds will not lay.
     

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