My young quail won't lay

Discussion in 'Quail' started by QuailSatan, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. QuailSatan

    QuailSatan New Egg

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    Aug 27, 2014
    I feel kind of bad writing the umpteenth post on 'why aren't my quail laying, what did I do to deserve this?' but I've read all the other advice and none of it seems to apply to me, so now I don't know if I'm missing something (quite possible - I have never kept quail, or indeed any other bird before) or if I just have rubbish quail.

    Basically, I have three female, 11 week old italian quail and none of them are laying.
    They're fed on a mixture of 90% layers mash with 10% soya meal. Small amount of kale and mealworms given daily. Free access to food, grit and calcium. Nowhere near me sells food for poultry other than chickens.

    They live in a 3 foot by two foot cage (actually an old parrot cage), in hay litter, in a spare room of the house, with windows. The cage contains fake plants and a nesting box. I have the light turned on in there from 19:00 to 22:00.

    I got them when they were six weeks old, none are showing any visible signs of stress or illness; all fully feathered, eating, grooming, dust bathing, going about their quail buisness etc.

    Does anything sound wrong with this setup? Are quail often this late laying? Is it possible I could have acquired three barren quail? I take them out of the cage every week and a half for about 20 minutes to change the bedding - could this be stressing them out? Do quail which are too stressed to lay show other, visible signs of stress?
    I am at a loss with these strange, dumpy animals I have brought into my life and any advice or experience would be appreciated.
     
  2. peanut1981

    peanut1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds to me that if the light is only on from 7 to 10 pm they aren't getting enough light. Yes you may have windows and everything, but the room is still to dimly lit. Try keeping the light on from 7 am to 10 pm daily for a week and see how that goes for you!
     
  3. Dragons4u

    Dragons4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I run my lights on the pens from 6 am to 8 pm.
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most animals have metabolic processes that require certain wavelengths of light to be perceived by the eyes in order to begin, so they may not be getting the proper spectrum of light.

    Chicken food is completely inadequate for quail it contains on average almost 10% less crude protein than gamebird food. THey should be on 24% protein gamebird food or turkey starter. Anywhere that sells purina products will usually order gamebird feed for no extra cost, otherwise use non medicated turkey starter.
     
  5. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    double post
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  6. QuailSatan

    QuailSatan New Egg

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    Aug 27, 2014
    Thanks for all the help guys, I'll try the light thing. I had no idea that window light might not be enough!
    As for food, I wasn't kidding when I said that nowhere around me sells anything but chicken food. As in, no gamebird, no turkey, no duck food of any type. I'm kind of hampered because my only mode of transport is a bicycle so I'm limited to within a 15 mile radius of my house and the internet and I'm on a level of poor where I really, really, don't want to pay £10 for 5kg of food, plus £7 shipping. The soy meal I add is over 80% protein and can be fully utilized and digested by quail, so I was thinking that would improve the layers mash? I don't suppose any UK residents have any secret knowledge of where to get affordable gamebird food around Cambridge or off the internet?
     
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The soy meal will help but they need a certain amount of animal protein too. Crickets and meal worms are good sources of extra protein but beware that crickets can sometimes transmit parasites.
     
  8. QuailSatan

    QuailSatan New Egg

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    Aug 27, 2014
    Okay, crisis over, I went in and there was a tiny, perfect egg in the straw. I am so chuffed, you've no idea. Will take all nutrition advice anyway, so I can be sure of having happy quail :D
     
  9. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats! Now you can make an omelet! [​IMG]
     
  10. QuailSatan

    QuailSatan New Egg

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    Aug 27, 2014
    A tiny, precious omelet, which I shall eat vindictively at my housemates, who doubted me and my animal husbandry skills. Victory will be delicious. And small.
     
    1 person likes this.

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