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Can a chicken brood quail eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Iceblink, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    I have been reading on the quail section, and I would really love to try raising quail. I don't have an incubator, but eventually I will have a broody hen.

    Can a chicken brood quail eggs? Will she smoosh them when they hatch? Could she raise them or will they be too small? I assume I would have to rig up seperate feeders for chicken and quail food, something like a creep feeder, has anyone done this?

  2. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Chickens can hatch quail. The hen will do fine on gamebird crumbles the same as the little ones. If you need to you can leave out oystershell to supplement the missing calcium for laying. The quail chicks can't eat it anyway. The hen does have to be confined though. The quail may go missing if she isn't and as soon as they are a little more mature quail will take off and not return.
  3. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    Thank you. They will be able to hatch under her without being squished?
  4. Cason

    Cason Songster

    I'm interested in trying this also- I've been on the lookout for a few banty hens. [​IMG]
  5. Tn Gamebirds

    Tn Gamebirds Songster

    It will have to be SMALL hens. And as said before keep them in a good cage with very small holes in the wire or the quail will escape and not return.
    But it can be done
  6. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I have no experience, or opinion hatching quail under hen, but common sense tells me that a bantam hen should handle and hatch quail eggs.

    I had great success hatching both coturnix and bobwhite quail in incubator.

    Even on shipped eggs my hatching rate was about 75%.
    Once they hatch they are very tough, easy to raise little birds.

    I never lost one to illness or natural causes.
  7. My game hen (3 lbs) hatched 5 out of 6 quail eggs. Three of them got squashed by the hen before I realized they had hatched. I removed the remaining 2 and raised them in a brooder. Seems that even small hens are too heavy to know they are stepping on quail chicks. Hens under a pond may be successful.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009

  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Yes , but use clean leg banty hen like oegb. also dont forget they will drown in normal chicken waterers
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    The chinese used silkie hens for hatching quail. I wouldn't set something like button quail under a hen. Those eggs are very fragile!!

    A very small bantam hen, like oegb, dutch, silki, or serama, would be good with coturnix quail chicks and eggs. These quail babies aren't much smaller than a bantam chick, at least not the ones I have hatched!

    But like stated above, you would need to have them in a cage with 1/2" hardware cloth for the sides.

    You wouldn't need oyster shell, as the hen wouldn't be laying at that time anyway. You can feed mama and the babies both game bird crumbles. If you can't find that, flock raiser would work. You would need to supplement some extra protein though.

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