How do I stop female from laying?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by judithfoster62, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. judithfoster62

    judithfoster62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2009
    I have a male and female button quail together, she lays an egg a day but won't sit on them, so I put them in the incubator. I need to stop her laying for a while, and have reduced the light she gets. The question is, and I don't want to sound thick, is, will she still lay while the male is mating her all the time, does him doing so still encourage egg laying. I could take him out but they both call each other.
     
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She'll lay even if he's not there. Gradually decreasing the light is probably the way to go - but make sure it's really dark when she's not supposed to have light, even dim light can encourage laying. Or you can just let her lay and eat the eggs you don't want to incubate :)
     
  3. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes reducing the hours of light will get her to eventually slow or quit laying. It may also throw her into a molt, but she will molt anyway at some time during the year. The reduced light will also help throw the little roo out of breeding condition so he will not be feeling quite so amorous. As DK says, try for as little light as possible. If she is still laying after reducing the hours of light gradually reduce them further.
     
  4. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BTW if you are not eating the eggs yourself you can cook them up and feed them back to the buttons. Just make sure they are not merely boiled whole, you don't want them to look like actual eggs when you serve them or you will encourage egg eating of freshly laid eggs.
     
  5. judithfoster62

    judithfoster62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2009
    I have them in a 4 foot 2 tier rabbit hutch in my living room, so light comes in naturally throughout the day. I've covered some of the hutch to try and dim it a bit, should I close the curtains earlier in the evening though? I'm a little concerned about her vent which is red and swollen, is this normal for when she is egg laying?

    Pic of hutch.

    [​IMG]
    Button and Betty settling in.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never seen the vent of one of my birds, so unless you picked her up, turned her around, and had to push the feathers aside to see this 'red and swollen' vent, it's definitely not normal.
    What are you feeding her? She will need a high protein (24%-ish) game bird feed or similar and extra calcium for the egg shells and to avoid egg binding. A protruding vent might suggest she is straining too much while laying.

    As for her not sitting on her eggs, try to add some cover to the cage. A spruce branch in one of the back corners, for instance. In my experience, they don't go broody unless they have a safe place for their nest. If they use the box on the left, putting hay in there might also work (if you're not already doing that).
     
  7. judithfoster62

    judithfoster62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2009
    I have put some hay in the box on the left, but she still won't sit on the eggs. She has oyster shell, chick crumb, finch food and mashed up boiled eggs, but is there anything else you could suggest I give her to bump protein and calcium intake up?
     
  8. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I give my buttons seed - which I assume this 'finch food' is? - they prefer eating that above their game bird feed, and seed is in general too low in protein. Chick crumb is probably not above 21% protein? So that's too low as well, and I'm just guessing they are not eating much of it?
    The boiled eggs probably help, depending on how often you offer it and how much they eat. But feed that spoils quickly is too much work imo. So if I were you, I'd go and buy a bag of game bird starter or similar (turkey feed might have the right amount of protein as well) with at least 24% protein and switch them to that. You might need to grind it to make it small enough for them to eat.
    Is the oyster shell crushed to a size she can eat?
    Another problem with seed, is that it's low in vitamin D and if she doesn't get enough of that, she can eat as much oyster shell as she can and it won't help her, as she needs the vitamin D to utilize calcium. So I'd definitely get rid of the seed. You can give a little directly on the bedding once a week or so, so they can spend some time foraging for it, but don't make it a significant part of their daily diet.
     
  9. judithfoster62

    judithfoster62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thankyou for the advice, I will get a bag of game bird starter, I'm getting it from pets at home, so which one would you recommend? She also has a few dried meal worms a day. Just checked her vent again, and it's ok today, looks nearly back to normal again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  10. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Umm.. I just checked out their website and didn't find anything labled as 'game bird feed' or 'turkey feed'. Which feed were you thinking of?
    Good thing her vent seems to be getting better.
     

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