Coturnix hens not laying


6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
Mesa, AZ
I have 7 coturnix hens that are 8 months old that I hatched in August last year. Only 2 of them have started laying 3 months ago, and strangely enough was during a bad cold spell here in Phoenix. The other 5 simply have not laid a single egg. I raised them from eggs, there have been no new introductions, there have been not changes that come to mind. They are getting plenty of light and access to high protein feed that I have fed all of my past excellent layers. I separated the 2 currently laying from the other 5 this week so I know the other 5 are not laying at all. They have a large coop with plenty of room and clean water. I don't think light is the issue, I've never seen this and have consistently had good production from my older birds even throughout the winter.

I have been raising coturnix for 3 years and have never come across this, but I did buy the eggs from a new breeder so maybe it's just the specific family lines. Does anyone have any ideas? I may have to sell them as meat birds, or maybe a change in environment would promote egg laying?

Thanks for any response!
Welcome to BYC and the quail forums!

Are you sure these potential layers are females? Also offering up Oyster shell on the side?

I would only move these quail if you think they are being disturbed where they are currently located. Moving them will only make things worse.

Stress, health, genetics, age and time of year effect egg laying. Since age is not a factor and spring time is here, it could one of these other factors. Stress greatly effects the egg layers and if they don't feel comfortable laying, they won't. Health of the bird also has a great impact on laying. If they are lacking something in their diet or they are carrying some genetic trait from the parent birds, they may not be good layers either. Internal worms and external tiny livestock, (mites) will also halt the egg laying.

You could try adding things to the environment to comfy them up a bit. Cut some branches from a tree outback and prop them up in the corner with the leafy side down to the floor. They will find comfort in having hidey places and feel more secure. You can also add some hay for nest building. This can stimulate the egg laying.

Make sure they have a place for dust bathing to keep their skin and feathers in good condition. You might add some vitamins to their water to spice up the immune response. Also, offer up some greens, veggies, quartered fruit and other goodies that will not only add to their physical health, but their mental health.

Give the birds a physical. Check them from beak to toes for any signs of anything, mites or otherwise. Check the snares of the beak for dampness, the condition of the skin and the vent for cleanliness. If they do have any bugs, then they probably also have internal worms.

It is possible that you did get some bad eggs as well.

Good luck!
Thank you for your ideas. I will try adding some areas to hide in the coop. Maybe some vitamins to the water too. Other than that they are in good shape. Though, they are more shy than other blood lines I've had in the past.

I just purchased some eggs from a different breeder and they are incubating incase my current hens continue to be egg-less.

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