Hatching quail & chicken eggs together under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sunny Side Up, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    While at the feed store this morning someone gave my kids a fresh egg from the quail pen. They said it's probably fertile since she has both male & female quail in the pen. We have a bantam hen at home that just went broody that we were going to set with some standard-sized chicken eggs.

    Can we have her incubate the quail egg too?

    When should we place the quail egg under her so it will hatch along with the chicken chicks?

    Will the quail egg stay viable until that time?

    Please let me know what you think, thank you!

  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    The standard size chicken eggs might damage the quail eggs. If you you really want to hatch it, you can set it 3 days after the chicken eggs are set. But as soon as the chick has hatched it must be removed from the hen, as quail dont stay with their 'parents'. Whatever you decide to do, good luck! [​IMG]
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The reason I was going to try & hatch it along with some chicken eggs is so the quail chick would have company. Could I leave it with the hen & chicks or must I take it away after it hatches? And would it be content to be an only quail if raised in a brooder alone?
  4. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    It must be taken away. They will fly away once old enough. Plus they are tiny. Is it possible to get a few more eggs?

  5. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
    Are you sure you would want to do that? I know that Coturnix hatch at least a week earlier; that could throw mama hen off kilter; you never know! [​IMG]
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I've never kept quail before so I don't know what to expect. Do you have to keep them confined inside a cage to keep them from flying away? I really don't want to add a bird to my flock that requires a whole new type of care. I hoped that if it hatched it would hang out with its chicken nestmates and be cared for by its Mama hen.

    This is all just a whim, we just happened to be at the feed store this morning and one of the staff who knows my boys thought they'd be interested in an egg their quail just laid. And since we just discovered a broody hen last night I was wondering if I could include it in her clutch.

    The hen is in a small space behind the duck house. Tonight I squeezed back there to remove the bantam eggs and give her standard sized eggs instead. I don't want to hatch more bantams right now, and especially don't want more bantam roos. I found 23 bantam eggs under this hen! She was doing her best to spread herself over as many of them as she could. I removed them all & gave her just 4 standard sized eggs instead.

    There's still time to add the quail egg, in 3 days or whenever y'all think it would be best. Let me know what you think, I wouldn't mind giving it a try.
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I've never raised quail, but I did think about it for a while, and it certainly seems like they need very different care. It looks like they are always kept in cages, and that they will fly away if not kept trimmed. They don't seem to have the same "home" instinct that keeps chickens and ducks close to home even when free ranged. I don't know whether you could keep them in a tractor. All the cages I've seen have been similar to rabbit hutches. I did visit a pheasant operation recently that had runs similar to my duck runs, all completely enclosed but basically made from dog kennels with smaller-size wire lining.

    Anyway, I think it's likely the quail is going to need radically different management from your chickens. However, it's also my understanding that they are very easy to care for. A breeding set of one male to three females can be kept in a space 2' by 2', and they eat simple foods & drink water, and just don't need that much to be content. Their eggs hatch really easily, apparently.

    Hopefully, someone with actual experience will come on and tell you more. If your son is set on hatching it, maybe you could find a quail operation close by that would be willing to take the baby when it hatches. Or perhaps your son would like to obtain a rabbit hutch and raise his own little batch of quail? The eggs, I've heard, are quite tasty and of course the meat is delicious.

    Good luck, whatever you do!

  8. Highland Moongazer

    Highland Moongazer Songster

    Jul 9, 2009
    Marshall, NC
    I know at least one person who has a pet quail who lives with her and is very happy, so you can definitely tame the normally flighty instinct of them with lots of one on one attention.

    I have a feeling the egg will get smooshed surrounded by bigger eggs with harder shells, but really, what's to lose?

    My quail live in groups of 3 or 4 in 2'x2' Havahart rabbit cages, eat a rabbit's hopper-style feeder full of food and drink a liter of water ever 2 or 3 days. They're quite, stay out of the way, and usually prefer to have their own little quiet routine.
  9. Chef

    Chef Chicken Connoisseur

    Dec 16, 2008

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