Has my Bobwhite stopped laying?


7 Years
Jul 18, 2012
Some of you might remember I just put my male back in with my female "Slow Poke" last week. She had been laying every other day, then when I put the male back in they were mating constantly. Sunday through Wednesday last week she laid every day, then stopped. We haven't had an egg since Wednesday. They are still mating, but no eggs. Is she over for the year or will she possibly lay again?
Bobwhites are seasonal layers and stop laying this time of year. The eggs will start back up in the spring.
Ya, I thought maybe she might keep laying longer because of being indoors with lights on...but she only laid one since my last post. I guess I won't be getting any fertilized eggs. :( I am thinking I might order some Snowflake Bobwhite eggs and incubate them instead.

Can Snowflake Bobwhites be in the same cage with the other Bobwhites? I think the ones I have already are just the normal the way nature made it variety of Bobwhites.
You can keep different types of Bobs together in the same cage, but always keep an eye out for any aggression. You probably either have the standard Northern Bob or the Butler Bob, both are a bit more aggressive than the Snowflake. But it all depends on your birds personality. Try keeping them together to see how it goes. And of course they may interbreed as well.
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Thanks again. I have another question for you TwoCrowsRanch....

I have been contemplating building and indoor aviary for the quail. I am planning on using this design


I will section off some of it to give breeding pairs their own space, and it will be very flexible where I can section it off. I can also section it off for the Snowflakes if I need to. I will put some branches in for perches, which I noticed in some of the Bobwhite videos they actually will use if the branch is thick enough. I can put shelves in for them to hop on too, they really like the shelves I have in their cage now. This will give them some height to jump to also, instead of boinking on the top of a cage.

Any suggestions on improving the design or concerns?

I will put plexiglass on the bottom sections, I figured that way they can throw sand around all they want.
Cute little kit! I think the height is good as Bobs need space to flush up. Use a soft material for the roof/ceiling. They will appreciate branches with leaves, not only for perching on, but to hide under. I use fake christmas trees in my outdoor aviary along with natural wooden branches. (Got tired of cutting real branches and also found that the real stuff carried in leg scale mites.) They love the brushy feeling of a plant like setting and can hide under the fake foliage. You might want to add some grass hay for making nests during breeding season. You can also use over turned 3 gallon water buckets with a "mouse hole" cut in at the bottom which they love to make nests in.

A pair caged during breeding season within the aviary...

A nest made from grass hay...

Being that you are building an indoor aviary will make it simple to build and work with, not having to turn it into "Fort Knox" to keep the night time critters out. I think you will enjoy it!
Thanks for your input. I like the overturned bucket idea...I was using cardboard boxes originally and they liked it. I am defintely going to figure out something similar. Right now I have some fake ficus tree branches in their cages and Mama (Slow Poke) loves to hide in the branches. The other females aren't really interested in hiding in the branch I put in their cage, but they do hide under the shelf I built inside the cage frequently, which probably is a little like hiding in a bush. I have the two fake ficus trees right next to their cages so they can feel all cozy from those too. Probably feels like being in between bushes. They are next to a window, but I quickly found out they would freak out when they saw the wild birds flying around outside, so I keep the blinds only slightly open.

I won't be able to do the grass hay, my son's grass allergies are catastrophic. Do you have another material I could use? Right now they are on bedding pellets I got from the feed store, but I also use pine shavings. The shavings were just too messy, so this time when I changed the cage, I put in just pine pellets. It is definitely less messy, but when I build the aviary, the plexiglass on the bottom should greatly reduce the mess, so I will be able to try different materials.

Also, I was wondering if you knew of an organic feed? I am using Starteena, and I originally used Manna Pro...but I don't think either are organic. I would really prefer to use organic.

Also, another question about Slow Poke and Little Chicky, my breeding pair....Slow Poke seemed really happy at first to have Little Chicky back in with her. She was laying every other day before he went in back with her, then for the first three or four days he was in there she laid every day, then she went to laying only two or three eggs in one week, I think. This is probably entirely due to the laying season being over, but I am wondering if it may also be due to stress. They are still mating every day, but Slow Poke is getting freaked out again, she is a really anxious bird (she was the one who got pecked to death before, and the one I had to pick out of the shell). She is frequently trying to fly up away from the male. All of sudden she will freak out hopping up over and over, making a racket. I think she is getting tired of his advances. Should I take him out and put him back with the other two females? Slow Poke seems calmer when she is by herself, but they were calling back and forth frequently when they were separated and pacing a lot. The cages are side by side, so they can see each other and even touch beaks if they want.

Thanks again, you are the greatest!
As far as another type of bedding...dirt, sand, shavings, pellets, hay, straw, leaves...I can't think of anything else you could use. My aviary is dirt with a thin layer of grass hay on it. Sometimes shavings when I feel like using them. But I have found that dirt works really well, similar to sand. They love to bathe in it and it is free, if you have a large yard that you don't mind digging in. LOL

It is impossible to say why your female is freaking out. Bobwhites can be skittish to begin with and some have neurological issues. Being that you helped her out of the egg, it is possible she has some brain issue and that causes her to be more stressed than others. If she were mine, I would do all I could to calm her down with branches to hide in, quiet area with no dogs, human traffic or loud noises. I always remove the more aggressive bird when 2 are together and one is not comfortable with them. Always keep everybody in view of one another of course when separated. And yes, breeding season is about done. At this point, you can mix and match certain birds that might get along, even if you have to keep the boys on one side and the girls on the other. They need to be paired during breeding season, but off season, they enjoy others company more. Are these Bobs indoors right now? If they are, I would allow for natural lighting to diminish, just as it would outside and allow the area to cool down as well. This will keep their systems in a natural pattern. Being inside may confuse them and cause more mental stress not knowing what season they should be in.

I live in such a rural area that I don't have many feeds available to me. So I can not help you with any organic feeds. I have NO idea. LOL You may have to go on line here and search some out.

Good luck with your Bobs!
Yes, they are indoors. I live in a mobile home park and they do not allow us to have any animals kept outside. I can't even have a dog house, even though I have a full sized back yard.

The only place I have room for them is in my dining room, but I do not turn the light on in that room, however it is near the kitchen and the light is usually on until after 10 pm.

Our house gets cold during the winter, we wear lots of sweaters...propane is too expensive to put the heater on very much, so it will cool down in here. Plus they are right in front of a window.

She has branches to hide in, which she does often, and ficus trees right next to the cages. The other cage has branches too, they just don't really seem interested in hiding in them.

I will take the male out, but she will be by herself again. I was thinking that I could keep her alone for a week, then put her in with the others and see if they will covey up, then if there is a problem, just put her back in alone again. What do you think?
I think taking the male out is the best idea. Moving her around too much, taking her out of her environment, will stress her out more. And sometimes removing a male will calm him down so that he is happier being with the group and not annoying the others. I have a male that occasionally I cage by himself. He annoys the others and sometimes needs a "reset" being with the rest of the group.

We live in a mobile home as well and know how cold they can get. LOL. But that is good for those Bobs. Kind of like a flowering plant, they do need to get colder and see less light in the winter to keep their internal system running with out hormone confusion. If I were you, I would mimic the sun light that you have in your area. When the sun comes up, let light in. When it goes down, keep the light down or even cover the cage with a dark cloth so that they adjust to it being winter time.

Keep them on a good diet. I have a few older females that are not able to absorb vitamins and minerals as easy as when they were young. One of the girls, I believe, had a stroke this past summer and completely freaked out. She had panic attacks and hid in the corner like something was coming to kill her. Her eyes glazed over and at one point, I thought she was going to pass. Well, I am not sure if this did the trick or not, but I added a high potency supplement to the water...vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omega's, pro and prebiotics, etc...and you know, she got better. I kept them in the water for one month and still occasionally add them. So if your girl starts acting really really bizarre, you could try what I did and see if it doesn't calm her down. This same supplement also worked for a girl that had West Nile Virus and high doses of these vitamins eased the symptoms of the brain encephalitis.

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