Can I breed broodyness back in? Inky poroblem to...

Discussion in 'Quail' started by GD91, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Jumbo Coturnix. I understand few of these birds ever go broody.

    If I selectively breed for broodyness will that work?

    Is there anyone else who has tried or is trying to do this?

    I think its a bit sad that they rarely go broody to reproduce. Yes, I have incubators, but I'd much prefer chick to be raised by their own mothers.


    Also I've had an issue with an incubator

    [​IMG]

    this above! I don't think its a brand.

    My last hatch of chicken chicks, all died just before they pipped or after except one. The one that hatched had to hatch outside of the incubator before it seemed to be very lethargic. It died at 4 days old.

    Now out of 24 quail eggs I've had only 3 hatch.

    3 More pipped & died in the incubator with their beaks at the holes, no visible cause why. 1 pipped, zipped & bled to death. 3 hatched, one died. One of these hatches was 2 days later. It had to be moved to the brinsea eco because again it seemed lethargic. I'm suspecting lack of ventilation, there is one hole in the top of the inky. As of yet the others are still in the incubator & nearly a week late, They will be being thrown away soon. I found a lot of embryo's dead in the shell that had died during lockdown.

    At first I suspected the temp, but have gone to lengths to ensure it cannot dramatically increase or decrease.

    All the eggs were postal.

    I've always had good hatches in the brinsea, This inky's terrible & I've lost about 3 hatches & only had 2 that were successful & all weak chicks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  2. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, the problem with your incubator. The ventilation may be an issue, but I'm wondering if there isn't something else you are missing. What is your humidity? I see the digital readout on the top, but is it accurate? Is there a way you could see a small thermometer through the plastic to verify the temperature? Having that many hit and miss hatches doesn't seem right... I'm also curious as to how long are you opening the incubator. Doing so for long periods of time will allow the humidity out and "shrink wrap" the chicks inside the egg. A week long is a bit too long for a hatch.

    Secondly, I'm just curious as to how you would selectively breed for broodiness? The coturnix has been in captivity for so long, the instinct to sit on their eggs has been all but lost. If you watch your quail, the hens will will lay an egg where ever they are; when eating, drinking or just standing around. They don't make nests, nor do they use nesting boxes, so there is really no way to selectively breed for broodiness. There are some members who have had their quail go broody, but most times they only lasted a few days.
    I hope you are able to work the issues for your incubator; if not, replace it.
    James
     
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Build or buy a better bator or figure out why this one is playing shenanigans vs trying to breed broodiness back in. We have been breeding cots in captivity for more than a thousand years, so figure to spend about the same amount of time trying to breed broodiness back in. And that would be assuming you could find a broody hen that actually hatched her eggs. Coturnix even when they go broody still usually don't know how to incubate chicks, ie how many days to sit on them, to roll the eggs, etc.

    As James pointed out when you don't get a lot of pips or you get pips and they can't get out humidity is usually the problem. Put multiple thermometers and hygrometers to verify your readings. If they are all accurate then you may need more ventilation. Did you open the door at all during the last days? That could also play a role.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Sounds like a humidity and or ventilation issue. Vents need to wide open and humidity needs to up enough that the chicks don't stick to the shell. Temp is not the issues here.

    As for breeding broodiness into them. Broodiness is triggered by hormones and environment. So the best thing you can do is give them a VERY natural environment that they might have in the wild. I would recommend an aviary setting, lots of foliage, only one pair of birds in this environment. No stress, no noise, no messing with them. Lots of sun, places to bathe, hay for making nests, brush piles, ect...Hens do go broody occasionally and can in cages. But the hen needs to feel that her area is a good safe place to raise her brood.

    I keep my birds in aviaries and I have seen males and females incubate eggs for a few days, however for what ever reason, they give up. Broodiness is just rare in captive quail.
     
  5. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, first thankyou for your replies!

    The incubator:
    The lid was only opened to remove hatched chicks. Non of the eggs I examined were shrinkwrapped. The humidity may well have been too high. I'm going to run a test with the thermometor from the brinsea, I'm going to tape it to the inside of the digital & see if I can see a reading. I'll get back to you all in 2 hours.

    Breeding for broodyness:

    1000 years is a bit to long for me [​IMG] I was thinking more what above wrote. Give them a natural enviroment etc & see what happens. The hens which exhibit broodyness, well, even if they are not full length broody, I could still hatch chicks with the genes, right?
    Then breed those chicks to other chicks that are unrelated. I know I have to get very lucky on this.
    I just want to see if its possible. After all, we don't know how many generations it took to breed out broodyness, but when you look at chickens, it doesn't take long. I've got about 60 years to experiment on that.

    I'll write back soon guys x
     
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  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Breeding certain traits into birds is done by taking a male and female with the qualities you are looking for and breeding them. Their offspring should carry these traits. Broodiness may or may not fall into this catagory. Environment, you can alter. Hormones you can not. And much of broodiness is hormone driven. But it is worth a try! I hope it works out for you. And keep us posted on any successes you have with this! :)
     
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  7. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've found the glass thermometer from the brinsea reads not even 35oC, when the digital display was reading 37.5oC in that incubator.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Luck. I have heard mothering as a trait with animals so I would think you might be able to breed it in. I would try!
     
  9. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most likely that was your problem, but check they hygrometer too if you haven't.
     
  10. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I've been doing some research on coturnix quail - in the wild they are supposed to be "monogamous " . Apparently its been proven with captive shrews kept in monogamous pairs that they have a much higher successful parenting rate than being kept in groups.

    But those are shrews!

    With coturnix, fertility is increased, but the intent to parent is reduced due to lack of privacy & lack of space when kept in groups, which is the traditional coturnix keeping method. Those two things are what mainly trigger coturnix brooding. [​IMG]

    I've got 2 males & 2 hens. I'm going to separate them into breeding pairs in spacious pens with plenty of enrichment, resist collecting eggs (if they ever start laying! Its winter & they are on natural light) too much & just research & observe.

    Note: this is a pet project, I'm not mass producing quail. [​IMG] Just thought I'd head that off, I'm afraid to say I've seen some nasty posts on the broody coturnix subject.

    I'll update when the girls start laying.

    Wish me a hell of a lot of luck. It probably won't work, I'm just curious. I won't be disappointed if it doesn't [​IMG]
     

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