My quail still aren't laying eggs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by cereall, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. cereall

    cereall In the Brooder

    I have 65 coturnix quail, 55 hens and 10 roosters. Right now they are all between 9 to 11 weeks (different batches of chicks) and I haven't gotten a single egg. They're in a 10 x 10 dog kennel with a big sand box and 5 hides plus assorted tree branches, boxes, and grass. I give them 30% purina gamebird feed and put out a bowl of oyster shells two weeks ago that they've been eating from. They always have food and water available. We're getting about 13 hours of light so at least some hens should have started laying by now. Also the roosters haven't started crowing either, they just extend their necks and make a loud noise that sort of sounds like a cat fight. Does anyone know what's wrong?



    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

    Apr 20, 2015
    My guess (apart from the slightly low number of light hours) would be stress. The question is what is the cause of the stress? Options are:
    Changes in their environment - did you add new birds within the last 2-3 weeks? Remove birds? Make big changes to the enclosure? If this is the case, the absence of changes in the next couple of weeks should fix it.
    Multiple males - mature males tend to fight and this stresses the entire flock. Also the females might have a favorite male and only want him to mate with them - if another male tries it can be stressful.
    Predators lurking around the cage - could be an owl, a raccoon or even just children running past the cage that are scaring the birds.
    Too many birds - as far as I know, coturnix quail form pairs in the wild. Breeding groups of 4-10 birds work, but 65 birds might simply be more than they can relate to - nearly every bird they see could be a stranger to them, a potential threat. They don't look like they feel particularly stressed about each other to me, but who knows what's going on inside their heads.

    Looks like a really nice enclosure by the way :)
  3. Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Been a while since I've been to SLO...

    My guess is that all birds are individuals and some lines may lay later than others, just like chickens. No matter what the average lay age is... that's exactly it an average. Some will lay sooner and others later. [​IMG]

    Your enclosure does look nice... and I see you got hardware cloth down low. [​IMG]

    Hang in there, waiting for eggs can be so frustrating. But soon will come the excitement! [​IMG]
    Quaillvr and dianneS like this.
  4. cereall

    cereall In the Brooder

    I've had my quails for nearly 5 weeks and before I got them they were in a big coop with over 100 together. I didn't want any roosters but the guy I bought them from made me get some, I'll be getting rid of 5 roosters hopefully by this weekend. As for stress, I took one rooster home a few days ago because he was attacking every quail that went near him although it seems like he only got aggressive recently.
  5. dpenning

    dpenning Songster

    Jul 20, 2013
    Blue Ridge, TX
  6. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging Premium Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    What you describe the males doing is a coturnix quail 'crow'. My boys all sound a bit different. One sounds like a baby crying "wah, waah", one is short but loud, one is more like a yell. Hope you get to enjoy those eggs soon. Just be aware you will have to hunt for them. Females will lay anywhere they please.
  7. donut314

    donut314 In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2016
    I have about 13 hours of light here too and my quails haven't started laying yet - mine are 11 months old. So... maybe they need 14 hours of light?

    I read that they matures at 8 weeks old, but that wasn't exactly true for me. At 9 weeks old, my males started to practice crowing. At 10 weeks they mastered their crow and I still had a few late bloomers. My first eggs was at 15 weeks and that was only one female laying for another week before 2 more joined in and then the rest soon followed. Be patient with them.
  8. stricklandquail

    stricklandquail In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2017
    When we're ready to turn our breeders loose with the eggs, we typically give the birds 16 hours of light, as well as giving the birds our breeder feed mix. When we want to shut them down for a while, we just put them on natural light, and switch to a grower mix.
  9. cereall

    cereall In the Brooder

    Here's an overview of my coop. I'm also going to be arching the roof with pvc pipes because the tarp collects water.



  10. cereall

    cereall In the Brooder

    I would put lights on them but my coop has no electrical wiring anywhere near it. I supplement with some LED fairy lights but I don't think they're close to bright enough. Does anyone have any lighting ideas?

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