Does Cockerel Size Matter?


In the Brooder
May 8, 2017
United States, FL
Sorry I couldn't resist. Anyway, I just went through all of the cortunix quail eggs I am incubating and it is day 14 right now. I tried to candle them and out of 24 eggs, I have ONE that MAY be viable. My cock to hen ratio is 1:4. I am positive there is nothing in the others because I cut them open and checked to make sure that I was candling them right. There was literally not even a hint of blood vessels anywhere and my hens have feathers missing on the backs of their necks from him mounting them so much and I frequently find "Quail Foam" all over the cage. I have one hen that is noticeably bigger than the rest, I suppose she's a jumbo? Anyway, I've seen him have a hard time having a successful breeding with her, because she is big enough to just throw him off of her, but the other 3 cooperate okay.

That being said, he is still a bit on the small side. Only the smallest hen matches his size. Is it possible that he is sterile, my hens are infertile, or he is simply not big enough to mate with them successfully?


7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
Any of the three options you mentioned are possible. However, I would lean toward him being infertile or the hens being too large, with the former being most likely. I would find it unlikely that all three hens would be infertile/incapable of laying fertile eggs. At least with chickens (not quail, but similar), some males may be too small to successfully breed larger females. This is not very common, though, as the males try very hard and hens will usually be cooperative.

Infertility, on the other hand, is not overly rare. I'm having a problem right now with a Dutch bantam male which appears infertile. I've tried him with different females, provided vitamins, and collected several batches of eggs, still with no favorable results.

Do you have any other males that you could try with the females? If so, I would give it a try and see if the new male produces fertilized eggs.

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