Help! How to increase the fertility of California quails

Discussion in 'Quail' started by luludaxia, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the past year I bought several pair of California quails from different breeders. In the beginning I kept them as pairs in cages, I fed them game bird feed or sometimes chicken layers if the game bird feed run out of stock. They seem to be happy and healthy and were laying eggs almost everyday. But then I found the fertility rate of the eggs were very low, usually only one or two hatched in a dozen. I did some research on the internet and found that California quails are better kept in flock and on solid ground. So I found a large closet in the house, built a wired door and kept them there altogether. However, this doesn't seem to increase their fertility rate at all and after a while they began to kill each other. I don't think it's disease because they died very suddenly with no signs of diarrhea or lethargic or respiratory signs, and they are well nutrition. Now half of the birds I put inside were gone. I don't know what to do with them. Does anybody have more experience with California quails?
     
  2. robdog

    robdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Curious.. Whats your male to female ratio?
     
  3. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2016
    1:1.
     
  4. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please note that the things I am about to mention are just things to take into consideration because everyone has different experiences. California quail are normally skittish and so if they do not feel comfortable (meaning having a place to hide from you - i.e. well planted aviary with bushy grasses), they may be less inclined to mate because they are just running all over the place. Plus, very skittish means they have stress and stress can have an impact on fertility. Wild birds tend to have a not-so-good hatch in an incubator. Next up, are you sure they are healthy? Some birds might look healthy in your eyes but in reality they might not be. If you know how to pick out the initial signs of sickness, then perhaps you're set. And, the normal diet of adult California quail in the wild is mostly of plant origin (leaves, seeds, fruit) and so don't feed them as if they are coturnix. The only time protein is important is when the female is laying eggs in the spring. Finally, feel free to keep them in groups, but in the wild, the birds pair up and tend to stay away from other pairs in the spring. Good luck with breeding come spring time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your reply. So can you give me some suggestions? Do they need to hide from human or each other. So what should I put into their closet? Boxes or something else in which they can hide? And what do you usually feed to the California quails?
     
  6. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well first off, they should be given lots of space to stretch and run around in. They shouldn't be living in a closet and they are not birds of close quarters. Give them something that they are naturally familiar (instinctual) with to hide, like a dead christmas tree. I do not think they can easily associate with boxes as something they would hide in. For my California quails, I give them birds seeds as their main diet. I let mines roam my backyard (primary feathers cut) and so they also have grass, insects, etc. to supplement on. They like to sunbathe and they like dust bathes.

    I recommend you build them a well-planted aviary outside for them to live in.
     
  7. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much for your reply. The problem is that I am in Canada, and the winters are very cold here. Now it is almost zero during the night, so I don't think I can leave them outside, they'll be frozen to death in the winter. Maybe next summer I'll build them a place outside, but still I need to take them back before the winter.
     
  8. Tukamen

    Tukamen Just Hatched

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    If they killing each other, they need vitamins, you can put in the water, and give more seeds, more grass. This is what i have experience with birds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  9. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! What kind of vitamin are you giving them?
     
  10. Tukamen

    Tukamen Just Hatched

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