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Hi questions about quail sitting on eggs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by amandria1, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. amandria1

    amandria1 Just Hatched

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    Hi there I have a button quail sitting on eggs hers and others noticed 2 days ago how long should I wait see if she hatches them. They are button quail. Thanks
     
  2. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure she is in something that will hold newly hatched quail. They are very precocious and literally hit the ground at a dead run. A friend of mine used broody bantam and put nest in metal bucket so chicks couldn't get away.
     
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Donna is right about the cage needing to be suitable for the chicks, but DO NOT disturb a broody quail more than you really need to. If at all possible, I wouldn't make any changes to the cage before the chicks actually hatch, as the mother might leave the nest otherwise.
    It's supposed to take 16 days, my buttons usually take 18 though and I could swear at one occasion I even had one that was broody for 21 days before getting chicks. Make sure the chicks can't get wet in the water dish and start observing closely at day 16!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  4. amandria1

    amandria1 Just Hatched

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    I am super new to this, started this by accident kind of. Bought a quail for granddaughter and then mom didn't want it so I have it. Thought it was a girl, it was making such a racket someone told me think you have a boy. So I bought him companions.

    I read that button quail don't do well brooding/this is laying on eggs? That is why I asked these questions. She is sitting or appears to be sitting on everyone's eggs, there are 2 more hens in the group.

    I noticed 2 days ago when I went in to feed/change water that one of them appears to be on the eggs. Due to them supposedly not being great at it I wrote to all of you as I don't know if I should of taken them or if she really wants to sit on eggs. I had a batch of 12 eggs we sad under light for about 16 days and nothing.

    So I ought to wait 21 days from day I noticed her sitting till I call it quits? Super NEwbie
     
  5. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I'd give her 21 days. What kind of enclosure do you keep them in?
    I have some in large-ish cages, and whereas they do go broody, they have left the nest in less than a week every time (3 times this far). But I also have two smallish aviaries with buttons and imo they seem to be even better at hatching their own chicks than chickens are.
    I just got 9 in one of the aviaries yesterday, have 6 that are about 6 weeks old from the other aviary already. They almost breed like rats ^^ But not many people seem to share that experience.
    Usually people say they don't go broody with any kind of regularity, are bad at incubating the eggs and sometimes even worse as parents.. Well, not so in my aviaries. I also have multiple hens in the aviaries and even the ones that didn't actually hatch the chicks, help raising them! Apparently the chicks can't tell mom and dad from aunt and when they hide under the other hens, their instincts just kick in and they let them stay.
    Do keep an eye on them, though, should any chicks come - on one occasion I separated a hen for about a week due to her pecking at the toes of the chicks. She didn't want to hurt them, she just thought they looked like food and I separated her till the chicks got a little bigger so they wouldn't get hurt. And also, other people have experienced even the parents of the chicks attacking them, so as this is the first time, you don't know how yours will respond, so don't assume everything will be okay just because I say mine are great parents :)

    If you are still unsure of the sexes of your birds, you can try posting some pictures. As long as the bird is not white in the vent area, it can usually be sexed by color. Males have a rust red - or, in dilute varieties like silver, pink-ish - hue to the feathers around their vent, which females don't have.

    Make sure you have a proper feed for them. Grown birds can survive on poor diets like budgie seed for a while but chicks need something with much more protein. I use a game bird starter with 24.4% protein for adults and chicks alike and supplement the adults with ground up oyster shell as a calcium supplement for egg laying in a separate dish, so they can take as much as they need.
     
  6. amandria1

    amandria1 Just Hatched

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    Thank you for your response. I have a picture on my phone but not on the computer of them. I didn't sex them but I am confident that my original white button was a boy as I asked a couple of bird folks and they asked if he crowed/actually sounds like a cool hawk, and yes he did it often and no eggs.

    I found a gentlemen who sold me 3 hens and I think this is correct as there are 3 eggs everyday. That was the other thing I wondered, this hen is sitting on everyone's eggs, is this good normal? No big deal.

    I am so new I so appreciate your advice. Oh as for the cage they aren't in a cage they are in an aquarium 100 gallons and my husband had made a little area out of a plastic jar covered it up and the male used to go in it to hide. Now I go in in the evening and 2 are in the jar where the eggs are the male and the one my grandkids named chopsticks, and the 2 other hands are huddled together in the dusting area in the evening.

    They are indoors and the window is directly in there view close, its a warm room and they wake and sleep with the light. I even noticed one day of total rain and grey only one laid and egg the other 2 didn't. The eggs look like the girls themselves to me. One has large speckles the other smaller speckles and the other all grey and their eggs looks the same.

    I will leave her alone this time and if she hatches them great, then someone will have to show me how to care for them but I don't want crowded quarters for them and I want to keep it small and just have their eggs.

    I got the hens to make my roo happy but honestly I have always wanted chickens and this is close enough for me as my neighborhood doesn't allow them.

    If I have babies then I will really need to learn how to sex them to keep us from being overwhelmed.

    THanks for writing me back,

    Adreanna
     
  7. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you actually see your roo mating with the hens? If he is a roo, you probably should. They do it quite a few times a day. If your hen doesn't get any chicks, you can try candling the eggs for signs of development before you toss them.
    It is normal that a hen doesn't distinguish between her own eggs and other eggs placed in the same nest, but it can cause problems if the other hens keep laying eggs in her nest. If there are more than 12-ish eggs, she will have trouble covering all eggs and they are likely to go cold in turns and you will get few if any chicks.
    One of my hens does a really aggressive chirp if anyone (including the roo) approaches her nest while she is broody. This keeps the other hens away from her nest, and in turn she has a very high success rate.
    I sell most of my chicks, kept 3 hens last year (which was my first year with buttons) to establish 2 new breeding groups.
    When I run out of places to keep them, I just build a new cage ^^
    I separate parents and offspring when the chicks are about 6 weeks old. For the wild colored ones, it's getting quite hard to tell the female chicks from the adult hens at this point. I don't keep any chicks with the parents, but that's because I want them to breed and don't want to inbreed.
     
  8. amandria1

    amandria1 Just Hatched

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    Hey there Overrun,

    I only think I have a rooster because of his sounds and more expereinced people telling me so. Since I got the hens he has really calmed down with all the noise. How do I keep the eggs to less then 12? And how will I know the new from the older one's?

    I had a local bird person who fixes my birds beaks 3x we went to him to trim the beaks, on Button(roos)Chopsticks(hen) he told me to have babies but when I asked if he could sell them for me he said he couldn't .

    I wouldn't mind having babies but I don't want overcrowding. Mine are indoors, I am in S.E. Florida in a suburban neighborhood that doesn't allow chickens. I have 1 time eaten the eggs and I really thought they were great and mostly think that is what I want. I would love to be like a chicken owner who takes care of them and eats there eggs.

    I change there food and water everyday, I read on here to add crushed eggs for calcium. I have 3 kinds of food mixed finch food, wildbird food, and starter chick feed that we bought when we purchased the hens got a baby but it didn't live. I also give them meal worms a few times a week. I sterlize the chicken eggs before I crush and feed them to the quails.
     
  9. amandria1

    amandria1 Just Hatched

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    I forgot to answer a question of do I see them mating, no I have never seen them mating. The only thing I noticed is he went from a crowing like crazy to very little of anything, he is much calmer but went I go in the room they all run to a corner away from me and seem very on edge except when I have worms and they come closer to me.
     
  10. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I find it very hard to tell the sounds my females make, from the sound my males make.
    If the sound you refer to as crowing, is the loud pee-peeee-peew sound, females do that to. Apparently there are sounds which only males make, but I've never had to sound sex one of my birds, so I haven't really paid attention ^^.
    One thing my males do pretty consistently, and which I've never seen a female do though, is picking feed up in the beak and offering it to the others. This usually happens when I give them bugs or millet (which I only do as a treat, as it doesn't have enough protein). The male will pick something up, turn its head slightly sideways, keeping it near the ground while looking for the females, and then he does a low calling sound, sometimes while walking backwards. If your male never does this, I would start to doubt his maleness. Becoming calmer when the other birds arrived, would then be caused by the fact that buttons are not solitary birds and keeping them as such causes stress.

    Keeping egg count to 12.. Well.. I wouldn't dare interfere with the nest, but some would probably mark ~10 eggs with a pencil and then remove all other eggs daily, when the hen leaves to eat.
    At one occasion (the first time one of my hens went broody), I put the other hens in a separate cage inside the aviary to keep them from laying in the same nest. The hen didn't leave the nest because of this, but only one chick hatched and it was dead before I found it. I don't remember how many eggs she had, but I suspect she already had too many when I caught the others. Since then, they have been somewhat better at laying in each their corner of the aviary rather than all in one place, so the problem hasn't really recurred. But the problem of too many eggs in a nest is actually one of the reasons I think it might be better to keep them in pairs rather than in groups..
     

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