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Discussion in 'Quail' started by bigredshaverhen, Jan 27, 2014.
I have two 8 week old
Japanese quail hens that JUST WONT LAY! Any ideas?
I have plenty of ideas, and nobody will listen to me... oh, you mean about why your hens haven't laid any eggs yet. While a lot of the literature on Coturnix says that hens will start to lay eggs between 6 - 8 weeks, it may take a little longer. There may be some variables that are preventing your hens from laying, such as nutrition, the environment, genetics, or a combination of the 3. I have had several hens that didn't start laying until 10 weeks, and I thought they were roos laying low (when a roo crowed, I removed him from the brooder into a separate cage).
Just be patient, they will lay eggs when they are ready.
I know people say they are mature at 8 weeks old but its not on a timer. Patience. It can take as much as 3 months to start laying and this time of year if you aren't lighting them they may just not lay at all until the days get longer.
Could it also be that they are both males?
They are both surely hens, the lady who I got them from even double checked before she gave them to me. Is it possible that they aren't getting enough nutrients? She said they live quite happily off chick crumble, but I still have been giving them finch seed and occasionally giving them small amounts of cat food like she also said to do. They also get plenty of greens, they live in an old hutch on my lawn, where grass is plentiful. They do a good job at the bugs, they're house is infested with earwigs, so when I open up the house door they all come raining down and my little peepers often have a go at them!
P.S. One of them also has a tiny growth on the side of her face, coming out of the feathers, and also a lump on the base of her beak which also worries me............:/
Seriously just be patient. They aren't laying because they aren't old enough. I know everyone says they mature at 8 weeks but that is only a half truth. True maturity is reached closer to 12 weeks. They will lay when they are good and ready. You shouldn't be giving them chicken food as it doesn't have enough protein, they should be getting gamebird food with 20-24% protein.
Oh thanks but I don't know where to get that stuff. And also, do all hens lay? Like, do some of them just not lay? And here is a pic of them relaxing in the cage.......
They are going to need a game bird layer feed. Chick feed is missing some important nutrients for egg production.
Extremely rarely a hen won't lay. This is not what you have going on. Your problem seems to be lack of patience lol. I've only raised a couple thousand of these things so maybe I'm wrong, but just give them a few weeks and they will lay an egg. Also are you running lights? they won't lay with 14-16 hours a day of full spectrum lighting. I don't recommend putting a light on first time layers but you seem to be in a huge hurry for eggs and that is one thing that will hold them up from laying this time of year. Also keeping them on the grass like that try not to let them eat earthworms, they can get gape from doing it.
OK thanks for all that, they have been laying now, but have stopped again. And also, one of the last eggs that they laid, was just plain cream with no spots at all, just dark brown at the bottom. It seriously looked like someone had carved it out of wood! And there aren't any earth worms where they are, and if there are, they can't get to them because there is wire at the bottom of their cage which hasn't been affecting them at all so far.