New to raising quail Help!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Chickensplease, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Chickensplease

    Chickensplease In the Brooder

    Oct 25, 2009
    I have taken on this new adventure and love my little quails but now I have come across some issues and do not know what is going on. make a long story short as possible. about 3 wks ago I purchased 5 girls 2 boys. I was told they were 4 weeks. but after first wk 2 started laying eggs. about one a day. then last week they all started losing feathers. so put something up was told it was probably just then losing their baby feathers. but now a week later and they are still losing feathers. They are not bald or anything like that. I have them in the garage separated boys/girls. No fighting. I changed there food for egg laying this last weekend. Ok not the next piece to the story, they now are not laying. HELP! I checked for mites because I was reading that could cause feather loss, don't see anything, but they are all eating and drinking. I use pine shavings for there dropping under there cage. I have read that the weather will stop them from laying. Am I over reacting? In the past I have raised ducks, rabbits, dogs, cats, opossums, lizards, hamsters, guine pigs, so I am not new to animals. but this one has got me scratching my head. Any and all help would be Greatly appreciated. I hope they are ok. Thanks for any and all help in advance
  2. WaterfowlWierdo

    WaterfowlWierdo Songster

    Mar 15, 2013
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    As far as the feather thing, they could be moulting into their final feather stage. and with the egg thing, they may have stopped because you switched their feed, What were you feeding them before and what was its protein content. and what are you feeding them now and what is its protein content? It also could just be the weather and the whole feather thing could be something else....those were just theories.
    Oh and what king of quail are they?
  3. Chickensplease

    Chickensplease In the Brooder

    Oct 25, 2009
    They are coturnix quail, The gentleman I bought them from had them on turkey starter, and then last week I started them on purina game bird chow, but they stopped laying a couple days before I changed there food. When I had first gotten them it was sunny almost like spring weather, but the last week it has gotten colder and is starting to rain. That is why I am thinking they are not laying. I would like them to lay again but I do not want to put to much stress on them. If they are molting how long do they do this for? I am making them a house outdoors but want to make sure they are ok before I do any moving. Thank you so much waterfowl. I hope this info helps. They are pretty cool little birds and I love the sound of the roos.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I think it is a combination of a couple of things. Stress from being moved and the time of year. Coturnix don't start laying until 8 or 9 weeks old. So they are probably older than you think. I think they were probably laying before you got them, possibly forced laying with lighting, and now that you have them without lighting, they went into a molt. The quick light change triggered the molt. They most likely missed their fall molt and now they are molting.

    A molt takes about 8 weeks to complete. So they will not be laying for a while. Don't add any lighting to force laying as they need the protein for growing feathers and won't lay anyway. Molting is stressful, so try not to disturb them too much during this time.

    Come spring, they should be back to laying for you. [​IMG]

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