Hen hatching eggs question.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Almi, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Almi

    Almi Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    So after obtaining 15 button quail total, so that I can choose the colors/genders I want to keep and rehome the rest (got some chicks from the fair and such), I go on vacation for a week.

    I come back from vacation (August 2nd), and my oldest female (just turned a year), Kiwi, has decided to become a mommy and is laying on eggs.

    Yesterday morning I woke up to peeping in the big tank (my babies and I are currently sleeping in the livingroom with the quails due to pharaoh ants in our bedroom...sigh), and sure enough, there were little fuzzy babies waddling around. So I removed the other adults from the cage and put them with my younger adults...in a bin half the size of the big tank (55 gallon).

    I have done quail introductions before, so I knew some tricks to get them all to get along, and it worked for all of them...except two nasty little pied girls I have that I suspect have been plucking another male and female that were with them in the big tank (the male is the father of the babies that are just hatched). One is worse than the other, but in any case, I had some wounded little birdies this morning, and after removing the two naughty ones, peace is restored...

    So anyway, back to Kiwi. So far there are 10 babies that all hatched at around the same time, and she is still sitting on 4-6 eggs. Yesterday she kicked one out of the nest and has ignored it since, so today I decided to open it up to see if maybe it would give me a clue as to whether the remaining eggs are viable or not. This egg was very cold and has been neglected for at least 24 hours...and had a live baby inside. It wasn't a "full term" baby though, so it only lived a few minutes. I felt very bad. However, I now believe that the eggs she is sitting on will probably indeed hatch.

    I really want to move Kiwi and her babies to a smaller tank so she can do her mommy thing and the other quails can have the big tank, as they are quite unhappy right now. But I don't want to upset everything so that she stops sitting on the eggs or stops taking care of her babies. A breeder (much younger than my 22 years) told me to just take the eggs away and move her, that if they hatched, they would just slow the other chicks down, and that my female didn't have time to sit on eggs and take care of babies. But she has never had a hen hatch eggs before, and as far as I know has only been breeding button quails for a year (she obtained some from the same breeder I got chicks from at the fair). So I'm not sure if I should do that or not, especially when I would prefer that the rest of the eggs hatched.

    Any opinions?? I also have a few buttons I'd like a color ID on, if possible...will be getting some single photographs of them if needed, but I'll post the group of 14 if anyone wants to give it a shot at all of them.

    I'm pretty sure that I have them all sexed correctly. Males: 1 red breasted (black throat), 1 red breasted, 2 silver red breasted, 1 cinnamon red breasted, 2 cinnamon tuxedos. Females: 1 red breasted, 2 normal, 1 silver, 2 pied, 1 normal tuxedo, and 1 ???. Feel free to correct me on any of these.

    Here is the group, the ??? is the one sitting in the purple food dish.
    [​IMG]

    The silver female is looking in the purple food dish here, she's beside a silver male, is there any reason they look different, or is it because they are different genders?
    [​IMG]

    Better pic of the silver female. Silver red breasted?
    [​IMG]

    Here are my two cinnamon tuxedo males. Can anyone tell me why they look different? It isn't the lighting, that is how they look, the one in front is lighter and has more gray.
    [​IMG]

    One more pic.
    [​IMG]


    Btw this is my original group from the big tank. All are females except the obvious male. The one on the far left is Kiwi.
    [​IMG]

    Here are a few hatchlings. Think the yellow one is a white??
    [​IMG]

    And is this one a red breasted?
    [​IMG]

    Sorry about the filthy cage, it had already gone a week or two before I went on vacation, and I was really scared to put my hand around her nest too much and disturb her.



    Thanks for reading my long post...and for anyone that can help me on what to do and/or with color ID'ing.
     
  2. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    Are you going to pair up the birds eventually? Since they are monogamous ? Button quail don't really make good parents, so watch the babies closely, you may need to take them eventually.

    In your "colony" pen there is a golden pearl on the far left, splash, black face red breasted male, two blue breasted hens (wild-type) and a white

    The one in the food dish is a red breasted hen.
     
  3. Almi

    Almi Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Eventually I plan on having a 1:2 or 2:3 ratio of males to females, and I will be attempting to keep them as a group. If it fails, I have many extra tanks and bins laying around from when I used to breed hamsters until I can rehome some. I used to just have a male and a female, but the female just got overbred all the time and was constantly bald and stressed. It was also interesting to me that she finally decided to sit on some eggs once put in a group situation. I also have a hard time believing that they are truly monogamous, since at one point I had a trio, and the male mated with them both. I think before Kiwi parked herself upon her eggs, he was mating with at least three of the females (I don't think he mated with the pieds, which so far are homosexual with each other, I thought one was a male).

    So far Kiwi is a great mom. It is really adorable to watch. She calls to them if one even strays a few inches from the nest and always rounds them up after they go out for a feed. She always has them under her. How long do you think I should wait with moving her and the babies, or do you think she'd sit on eggs after I moved them??

    Okay so Kiwi is a golden pearl? Btw that one isn't a white (I thought she was too, and in that pic I don't think she had any color yet), she has a black spot on her head, which you can see in the first photo I posted. [​IMG]

    Ah, okay, I wasn't sure how much color is considered pied and splashed. So I have two splash hens?


    Can anyone shed any light on my other color questions? Or, more importantly, what to do about moving/not moving Kiwi and her babies/eggs?
     
  4. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    It is just how it is, colonies are not recommended for cbbq. You may want to study upon them more. These are the most misunderstood little quail and proper housing helps them live their fullest.

    For colors: In the first photo:
    In the front, you have a normal red breasted or blue breasted male. In both photos he is only showing his back. In the dish, a red breasted hen, behind her a tuxedo pied, and some silvers, and then a splash (I see the dot on the head now). Behind the splash a blue breasted female (wild-type), and from the butts looks like two cinnamon red breasted males, another splash, in front of the splash another tuxedo pied, and then a silver red breasted.

    Not all tuxedo pieds look the same. Pieds will vary on markings. This is the same as splash. Also with color.

    It's up to you what you want to do about the babies. I have my birds all housed in pairs and they have raised their babies nicely. Colonies, I have heard horror stories, but then most people switched to pairing like they should be for best breeding and health of birds.
     
  5. Almi

    Almi Out Of The Brooder

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    I see. I have read that you can keep them in pairs or groups, and that if you keep them in groups, to have more females. Mine were not thriving as a pair. =/ Don't worry too much, I am a SAHM, and I spend a lot of time in my livingroom where the quails reside, so if there are any problems I can intervene.

    Tuxedo pieds? Lol, confusing. So what does just a regular tuxedo look like? What's the difference between splash and pied? So the two cinnamon tuxedo pieds look different in color just because of the fact they're tuxedo pieds? They're still considered the same color then, right? I mean, you can have two cinnamons look different, for instance, if one is a blue-faced and one is a red breasted? Sorry, still trying to understand all of this.

    The male you can only see the back of has the black and white bib. [​IMG]

    Thank you for all of your help on the colors. I am just wondering if I have all red breasted silvers? The female, as a chick, was yellow with gray stripes, and the males as chicks were just a gray color, with darker beaks and whatnot. Are they two different types of silvers, or is it just because of their genders?

    So is it common for your hens to hatch their own eggs? Do they typically have some eggs that take a few days longer to hatch, or should I give up on these? I'm not concerned about the mom and babies if I move them so much as I am the eggs. I don't want to move them if the eggs have a chance of hatching.
     
  6. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    I am seeing that you do have silver red breast hens. A male would have the bib and a pink breast [​IMG] tuxedo and tuxedo pieds are the same in terms. Pied is the general term, tuxedo pied when they look like penguins. Splash and pied are just two different variations in color patterns. Cinnamon splash is another color I see splashed occassionally. Mainly white with a blotch on the head designates as splash. Tuxedo pied is normally used as the cbbq with the black backs and then cinnamon tuxedo pied (which you have), and silver tuxedo pied. It is normal for a cbbq to be broody and hatch her own young. Mine will collect 7 eggs but sit on them from day one so some will hatch earlier than others. I take the others and then stick them in my bator. I let the hen take care of her chicks until she kicks them away (around 7 weeks) for them to find their own mates. If they stay in the cage, fighting occurs for territory.

    I do have a bachelor pen for males not paired up and they do ok until there is a bald back male... I then hurry up with pairing.

    There are tons of color variations by breeding different color pairs together.
     
  7. Almi

    Almi Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Ah okay, so they are all red breasted, but look different because of male/female?

    I actually have two silver boys, one of them just hasn't gotten his bib and such yet, and the other one is finally getting his and he's over two months old. I know because I did vent sex them (took this noob a long time and many harassed quails to figure out).

    Well, I think I will let her be for another day, if those eggs aren't pipped or anything by tomorrow then I'll just move her + babies + eggs and if she sits on them, she sits on them.

    Thanks for all of the input on the colors. It'll take me a while to recognize them all, but hopefully I get used to it.

    Btw this is random and my husband brought it up - I know people eat coturnix and other quails, but do people eat button quails?? I made the point that it's more worth it to sell them as pets, but how would you even prepare one? Lol. I've eaten their eggs before, and those were tiny enough!
     

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