Coturnix Quail hatching their own?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Karen Sal, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    Hi everyone! I'm a newbie and I obtained my Jumbo Pharoah Cots on April 15.

    I keep seeing info that coturnix quail rarely hatch their own chicks, hence the need for incubators.
    I have 5 birds, 4 hens and a rooster that are now 13 weeks old. I am enjoying them so much that, on May 31, I began collecting eggs to put in the incubator. (I should have a new coop built by the time they are out of the brooder, if they hatch.) On June 1, in the evening after collecting that day's lay, I put 8 eggs (yes that's 2 days lay, I'm starting very small) in the incubator. The birds were very upset at my taking the eggs, so I let them keep their lay from June 2. The hens laid all their eggs in one nest. One of the hens was making clucking noises like a chicken when she laid her egg, so funny.) They and the roo then proceeded to bury the eggs in the straw nest they made. They appear to be taking turns checking on the eggs and sitting on them. Even the roo is participating. This morning, they uncovered the eggs and the roo was moving them around in the nest. The birds are taking turns sitting on the nest today. I get the feeling that my birds are participating in a community hatch attempt. My girls lay their eggs in the evening, so I don't know what they are going to do with today's lay. I haven't seen anything like this in my limited research. Anybody have any thoughts on what they are up to?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  2. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    My hens and roo kicked one of the eggs out of the nest they made and buried the rest under the straw for the night. I brought that egg in. They usually lay their eggs in the evening. So far, only one other egg was laid today. It was on the other side of the coop. I brought that in too, since they were ignoring it.
     
  3. Dani xxx

    Dani xxx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you search broody corturnix quail a few stories come up it is pretty rare that they will sit on them till they hatch most give up. There was a story a few months ago where they did hatch their own.
     
  4. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    This morning they are still "guarding" their egg nest. The male "Rudy" does a lot of the sitting by the nest. He's stopped bothering the girls so much too. I wonder if they will give me a full complement of eggs tonight or just one or none. I think they are waiting on what will happen with their eggs too! This is all just an experiment. We will see what we will see. They are just so darn cute!

    In the meantime, I am concerned that my homemade incubator may be running too hot. I have a 15 watt bulb in an styrofoam shipping box that I have had to put bookoo holes in to keep the temp down. I just do not trust my thermometers. One says 97, the other says 103 and a meat thermometer stuck thru the top and hanging in the box shows 102. Oh well! I put an old dimmer switch on the cord to try cutting back on the light to keep the temp on one thermometer from reading 106.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  5. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    I was wrong. They didn't kick one of the 4 eggs out. Which means I had only 2 eggs laid yesterevening. Today, they waited until afternoon to uncover their 4 eggs from their nest. They kicked 2 of the eggs to the side. About 3 hours later they put all 4 eggs back together. It's hot today, in the 90's. They are still guarding their community nest and taking turns sitting on the eggs. . . For those who have noticed, you are supposed to turn your incubator eggs several times a day. I just watched my Rudy vibrate his group's 4 eggs. He stuck his beak in the middle of the eggs and vibrated them. It was so funny. I am sure they are working as a group to hatch these eggs. The next 3 weeks are going to be interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  6. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    Last night, after the nightly egg collection, I caught Rudy on the nest again. One of the eggs had been kicked out of the nest. He rolled back in under himself.

    They broke one of their nest eggs today and I had to dispose of it. They are still guarding the other 3. At least they are still laying. I only got 3 eggs last night. Rudy is still very much keeping an eye on the nest. . . when he's not chasing the girls around.

    They are sneaky. I have a plastic cheeseball bottle from Sam's with a 3" diam hold cut out of the side and the lid off filled with straw set on its side in the coop. They love running in and out of it. The 3 nested eggs were just outside the bottle. This evening, I went to collect the days lay and collected 2 eggs laid in the bottle. The day hit about 98 here and the 3 nest eggs were unburied and laying on the straw. I just went out to collect what I expected would be the last 2 eggs of the day and the kids had put all the eggs in the bottle. Aargh! I hadn't marked the eggs to tell them apart. Now I have 5 nest eggs! I marked them with pencil this time. Rudy is very careful about looking after the eggs. He covers them if he thinks they may get too cold and he uncovers them when the heat comes up. He was the one in the bottle with eggs again. It's a good thing I am working on a new coop to hold a new family group. If my gut is right, I will be seeing and increase in my flock, between the incubator (assuming I haven't messed that up) and the birds own hatching.

    We will see what happens around Father's Day!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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  7. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    Today is another scorcher. Temps have hit 97 with a wee bit of a breeze. My kids have rolled all their eggs out of the bottle nest and are keeping them separated. the poor dears are panting up a storm. They are loving my lightly misting them every now and then. Changed out their hot water for fresh cooler water. I have finally got control of the temp on my incubator. I got upset and punched a bunch of new holes in the box and now the temp is staying constant. Sheesh! you can see the light thru all the holes I punched in the sides and top. I'm using a 15 watt bulb dimmed back a bit. That styrofoam really holds the heat!

    I am trying to find and info on Coturnix flock dynamics and have been unable too. Can anyone help with the search? A few good search terms would help.
     
  8. vasher

    vasher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We went on vacation for a week and a half, came back to one quail guarding her clutch of twelve or so (non-fertile) eggs all piled up in in a depression she'd scratched out. Switched them out for some fertile exotic variety eggs: 17 days later, baby chicks, woo! The other quail in the pen with her kept trying to lay her eggs in the same depression over the course of this, but (to-be) mother quail turned into kind of a peckingly aggressive jerk, and we separated them. I don't know what would happen if you had friendlier coturnix--a communal nest?
     
    Thangbom likes this.
  9. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    In a natural situation a male and female will pair off and nest together becoming aggressive towards other quail. This lady has experienced her quail nesting and has lots of information on her website. This is the contents page - just scroll down to the quail section: https://holistic-hen.blogspot.co.nz/
     
    Karen Sal likes this.
  10. Karen Sal

    Karen Sal Just Hatched

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    Today is June 11. Good grief! I let time go by. The days have been scorchers here. I periodically mist the birds to help them with heat. The poor dears have been panting so much. Just a few spray mists. They seem to like it.

    I really don't think my incubated eggs are going to hatch. I'm pretty sure, either the eggs weren't fertile or I screwed up on the heat in the thing. We will see, lock down is scheduled for this coming Friday.

    The nested eggs are still being coddled and protected by all the hens AND the roo. I've watched "Rudy" turn the eggs on occasion. They've stopped kicking them out of the nest and then rolling them back in. Until Thursday, the hens were still laying all their daily lay, in the "community" nest. Friday, one of the hens, laid her egg on the opposite side of the coop and has done so for the last three days. I don't think she likes Rudy.

    Yesterday, one of the hens decided that my hand was something that she wanted to attack. Whenever I put my hand near the wire where she is, she pecks at me. All the others just run away.

    Rudy very rarely crows, in fact, he's only done it twice that I know of. They coo SOOO quietly. The neighborhood dove are louder them this group.

    I'm in the process of building a new coop that is divided in two sections. It will include a getaway nesting box that I have a door to and a second level platform for the dust boxes. One of my hens loves to get on top of the current box and sit in the dust box on top of it. The divider that I have incorporated is removable, so I can isolate one or more birds if need be. I have decided to use the new coop for by breeders and I am planning to reconfigure the old coop for just the laying hens.
     

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