hens stopped laying and it's Spring!

Dec 8, 2017
My two quail hens stopped laying about a week ago. I'm in New Zealand, so it's halfway through Spring here! They are about 9 months old. They slowed down a little over Winter but never really stopped - though I didn't give then artificial light or anything. I think they each at different times went through a molt and stopped laying for a week or so. But up until now they have been their usual once a day egg machines since Spring started. Then the both stopped so suddenly? They are eating, drinking, toileting normally. Behaving pretty normally. One's been chasing the other around a bit, but nothing major or overly aggressive. Should I be worried? Oh yeah, a few days ago I did find one of those weird eggs with basically no shell around it, just membrane. Other than that, nothing.


Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Oct 25, 2015
South Central Texas
If you keep getting shell-less eggs, then I would be concerned. An occasional one is usually nothing to worry about. It could be they are being disturbed by something? and the egg is being passed before it's had enough time in the egg shell pouch of the reproductive system.
Dec 8, 2017
We're getting about 13.5 hrs from sunrise to sunset right now. Just the one shell-less egg, the rest has been just laying nothing. And now I think on it, it's been closer to two weeks!


Sep 29, 2018
SW Louisiana
What protein content is their feed and have you moved them recently? Is there something scaring them at night like a rodent? These could all be reasons for the sudden stop in egg laying. After they recover it can take up to two weeks for them to start laying again. And the Shell less egg can also occur because of any of these.
Dec 8, 2017
This morning one of the hens has swollen tissue at the top of the beak, just above the nostrils. I swear she didn't look like that yesterday. The swollen area is symetrical, not red or hot. There's no discharge from nostrils, eyes, etc. and she's breathing normally. I had a quick inside her mouth and it looks okay. The other hen looks fine. Some kind of sinus infection? These are my first quails and I don't know what to do. Should I take her to the vets? btw she's the one getting a little bit picked on by the other - not seriously, as far as I can tell.
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8 Years
Dec 30, 2013
Could be something stressing them out, and the days are getting longer so light shouldn't be an issue. What you describe could be an injury from being pecked, so I'd just keep an eye on it. If you make sure they're getting adequate nutrition, they should start up again. 9 months is too early to quit, but they will slow down.

With only two birds, it's hard to tell if what you're seeing is a pattern with a cause or just an off couple of weeks for those two individuals.

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