How long for a button quail egg to hatch naturally and will the mother care for the babies?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Pot8oPenguin, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Pot8oPenguin

    Pot8oPenguin New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2017
    Hey, so a couple days ago I got a new female quail, and she has laid some eggs, I believe they are fertile because my male quail is known for breeding. She, unlike my last quail will sit on her eggs. She has been sitting on them all day and I was wondering how long it would take for them to hatch.

    I was also wondering if the mother will feed her young and care for them, or if I will need to do it myself.

    And what do I do if the eggs don't end up hatching, will she still be protective of them and should I get some fertile eggs for her?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Theoretically, it takes 16 days for buttons to hatch their eggs. In my experience, it's more like 18 days. People have different experiences with regards to whether buttons care for their chicks if they manage to hatch them, but I've had none that didn't. I've even left the roos with mother and baby and 3 of 4 roos were excellent fathers and helped care for the chicks. The last one just ran away when the chicks tried to hide under him.
    If the eggs don't hatch, I'd remove them once she's been sitting for 3 weeks, counting the day after she first spent the night on the eggs as day 1. She might leave the nest herself before that, but if she doesn't, just remove them. She might go back to the nest a few times once it's been emptied, but she'll get over it soon, start laying again and maybe try once more.
     
  3. Pot8oPenguin

    Pot8oPenguin New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2017
    Okay thank you, and if the chance of them hatching and she doesn't care for them does happen, how would I do care for them? Do I need to make a mix up and feed them by a spoon or a syringe, like you do with budgies?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a female incubate her eggs beautifully, then when they started to pip she got off and wouldn't sit on them again. Quail hatch pretty much ready to take on the world so there is no laborious feeding or caring needed. They would need a small box (plastic storage boxes are great) and a heat lamp to keep them warm and enough space for them to move away from the heat if they are getting too warm. Search for 'quail brooder' on here and you should find some good ideas. They will need food (ground up un-medicated turkey starter or game bird starter) scattered everywhere for a few days until they know where the food bowl is, and a shallow dish of water filled with marbles so they cannot fall in and drown, or get soaking wet and chilled. The babies are super tiny but highly strung and will be able to jump out of the brooder at a couple of weeks old. Hopefully your girl will look after them - hope they hatch as they are so very cute.
     
  5. Pot8oPenguin

    Pot8oPenguin New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2017

    Thanks, I'm hoping they hatch, too, there is 8 eggs, she's been gathering leaves today, I don't know if that's for the nest or if she's just looking for bugs.
     

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