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Discussion in 'Quail' started by QuailRaiser, Dec 12, 2013.
Just thinking, has anyone ever had Coturnix sit on their own eggs and hatch them successfully?
Only thing I have read that remotely mentioned it said they might if raised on the ground, but that they never had it happy thenselves
yeah that's what i heard in 'storey's guide to raising poultry', but I wanted to see if any of them wise old breeders had anything to comment on that
It does happen, but very rarely. Quail for the most part have lost the instincts to brood and raise young. There are a few people on these forums that have had it happen however. Conditions must be perfect for them to be comfortable in doing so. They need a lot of privacy, as much natural conditions as possible and of course the hen herself has to be in the right mode to do so. Rarely do all these things come together for quail to completely go thru the entire process.
It has happened to me once. Out of oh i don't know....a thousand birds. She abandoned the eggs at day 13-14 and I had put them in the bator. None of them hatched, which given my typical hatch rate is a testament to her mothering ability. It may matter that the bird in question was on the older of end of birds I keep (every 9-12 months I rotate my breeding stock) I have talked to a few people on forums such as this who have had a broody hen but when it comes time to show results of the brood the thread dies, which I usually take to mean disappointing results.
It is likely to be more common than most people think because most people collect eggs daily. Who leaves 10 days worth of eggs in all their quail pens? (they won't start to sit on the eggs until the whole clutch is dropped.) However we the people have damaged this species mothering instinct beyond repair and I wouldn't get my hopes up. Even if they sit the eggs they still have to know to roll them and sit them the entire time until hatch.
None of this means it can't or won't happen, so give it a try. Let your hens keep their eggs for two weeks and see what happens.
DC is correct here about how we have damaged their instincts to do the brooding. Quail just don't have that motherly instinct anymore. However I have had cases in past years, keeping so many aviaries of birds and not doing any hatching that year, that I have left hens and their nests alone all summer. I once found 62 eggs in one nest! LOL I am slowly letting my quail population dwindle as I want to do different things with my aviaries. So lately I just leave clutches to themselves and while hens and cocks will set on these eggs, some all day long, in all these years, they have never followed thru the entire process, no matter how many eggs are left to sit in a nest.
So like DC says, you can give it a try. But don't hold your breath.
ok, thanks for the info, I will try in the spring. if i see sucess i will post results