Quail egg problem!

Lurcher1959

In the Brooder
Jul 7, 2019
6
3
11
East Anglia. UK
Does anybody know why the egg was laid with a membrane/skin surrounding the entire egg. It was completely encased with a tube at the end (photo is of it removed).
 

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007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Oct 25, 2015
33,169
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South Central Texas
Does anybody know why the egg was laid with a membrane/skin surrounding the entire egg. It was completely encased with a tube at the end (photo is of it removed).
That's what's known as a 'shell-less egg. Sometimes when they first begin to lay, it happens, until their reproductive system matures. It could be that she may need extra calcium in her diet, too! Crushed egg shells or finely ground oyster shell, givin 'free-choice should be given in a separate dish from the feeder.

What % protein are you feeding? Also, what % calcium is in the feed?
 

Lurcher1959

In the Brooder
Jul 7, 2019
6
3
11
East Anglia. UK
They are on Marriage's quail layers pellets with 20% protein and 3% calcium. Do not think it's the food as all the others are laying nice eggs.

We introduced a chick we hatched into the flock of 8 older birds. We had them from 3 weeks and none of those laid any shell-less eggs to-date. So it must be the chicks first egg.

We now have a further 18 in the brooder, so time will tell if we get any more of these anomalies. It's certainly a steep learning curve!

Do you have any advice on a broody hen. She sat for 3 days the first time and 11 days the second (month apart). The other quail seem to lay their eggs in front of her and she pulls them in, 18 eggs in total the last time. Plus the male chases her when she comes out to feed, which she objects to. We incubated them and got 4 hatched, but over 4 days and disposed the remaining eggs.

Any help would be greatly received.
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Oct 25, 2015
33,169
197,777
1,642
South Central Texas
They are on Marriage's quail layers pellets with 20% protein and 3% calcium. Do not think it's the food as all the others are laying nice eggs.

We introduced a chick we hatched into the flock of 8 older birds. We had them from 3 weeks and none of those laid any shell-less eggs to-date. So it must be the chicks first egg.

We now have a further 18 in the brooder, so time will tell if we get any more of these anomalies. It's certainly a steep learning curve!

Do you have any advice on a broody hen. She sat for 3 days the first time and 11 days the second (month apart). The other quail seem to lay their eggs in front of her and she pulls them in, 18 eggs in total the last time. Plus the male chases her when she comes out to feed, which she objects to. We incubated them and got 4 hatched, but over 4 days and disposed the remaining eggs.

Any help would be greatly received.
Are your quail Coturnix or ?
20% protein is not adequate for gamebirds, at best, it will only maintain the bird, keep it from starving but won't promote good health and growth, at least 24% should be fed.

A complete and balanced ration of at least 24% should be given, many feed stores carry gamebird feed. Most gamebird rations have adequate calcium in the ingredients and are usually 24 to 30% protein. Calcium should be in the range of 0.53 to 2.4%.
Also, check the label for the amount (%) or mg of Lysine, Methionine + cystine as well as Riboflavin, Niacin, Choline and Iodine, Pantothenic and Linoleic acid, Phosphorus, and Sodium.

For a 2,800 calorie diet, the feed should contain 0.68 to 1.40% Lysine, 0.6 to 0.93% Methionine + cystine, 3.0 to 4.0mg of Riboflavin, 30 to 70mg Niacin, 1,000 to 1,500mg Choline, 0.3mg of Iodine, Phosphorus .07 to 0.45% Sodium .015%, Pantothenic acid 9 to 12mg and Linoleic acid at 1%
If it's not on the label, you can sometimes find it on the manufactures website or by calling the company and talking with a representative.
These are the most important vitamins and minerals needed for a balanced diet and optimum health of your birds.

My quail don't go broody that often, and when they do, they usually quit after a few days or a week. Some quail have been known to sit and hatch a clutch but it is rare. It's best to just collect the eggs and incubate them yourself. HTH
 
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Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,457
5,572
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
@007Sean Thanks for the breakdown on needed amino acid & vitamin requirements for quail, I've bookmarked this for future reference.
I live in a tiny country in Central America, Panama. The absolute best feed available for any poultry is what they simply call "laying quail" feed (postura codornix). The formula changes throughout the year, sometimes guaranteed to be 18% protein, and sometimes as high as 20%. It's never been higher than 20%. They don't sell protein supplements or say, soy meal, separately so mixing my own really isn't an option. I've been getting by, by paying attention to the label on the bag and grinding and mixing in dry cat food, only offering treats that are high in protein or have the needed amino acids, and then only once a week or so is any 'treat' offered... and sometimes their 'treat' is ground eggshell. I was very surprised to find that although the name says it's for laying quail, there's NO calcium in the feed. None. I do add a product called Chick Vit ESe to their water, it's vitamin E, selenium, methionine. I have another product that I only use for sick birds called Chick Booster, it has a very long list of vitamins in it, but it's only available in a visine-sized bottle, and then only available at the store sometimes. I wish I could get a nice LARGE bottle of the Chick Booster, as the list of vitamins and minerals in it is impressive. Mail Order is not an option for me, and the feed store refuses to accept orders for such things, even if prepaid.
Any advice on how to improve their diet for the sake of their good health, long life, and quality of chicks produced when incubated would be greatly appreciated.
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
8,461
54,948
1,046
Sonoma County, CA
@007Sean Thanks for the breakdown on needed amino acid & vitamin requirements for quail, I've bookmarked this for future reference.
I live in a tiny country in Central America, Panama. The absolute best feed available for any poultry is what they simply call "laying quail" feed (postura codornix). The formula changes throughout the year, sometimes guaranteed to be 18% protein, and sometimes as high as 20%. It's never been higher than 20%. They don't sell protein supplements or say, soy meal, separately so mixing my own really isn't an option. I've been getting by, by paying attention to the label on the bag and grinding and mixing in dry cat food, only offering treats that are high in protein or have the needed amino acids, and then only once a week or so is any 'treat' offered... and sometimes their 'treat' is ground eggshell. I was very surprised to find that although the name says it's for laying quail, there's NO calcium in the feed. None. I do add a product called Chick Vit ESe to their water, it's vitamin E, selenium, methionine. I have another product that I only use for sick birds called Chick Booster, it has a very long list of vitamins in it, but it's only available in a visine-sized bottle, and then only available at the store sometimes. I wish I could get a nice LARGE bottle of the Chick Booster, as the list of vitamins and minerals in it is impressive. Mail Order is not an option for me, and the feed store refuses to accept orders for such things, even if prepaid.
Any advice on how to improve their diet for the sake of their good health, long life, and quality of chicks produced when incubated would be greatly appreciated.
Can you raise crickets and/or grow millet? Those might make some nice dietary supplements for them.
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,457
5,572
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Does anybody know why the egg was laid with a membrane/skin surrounding the entire egg. It was completely encased with a tube at the end (photo is of it removed).
That appears to have been a fully formed egg that for whatever reason was delayed in the shell gland, and was then in the process of having another coating of shell laid on it... before she managed to expel it. Sometimes young pullets, new layers, take awhile for all of the various parts of their reproductive system to get into synchronization. I wouldn't worry about this at all if it's a one time thing. If this issue persists for longer than a couple of weeks then more research would be needed. Also note, that because she's still getting on schedule, she may miss a day or two after laying that, but if she misses three days, or if she seems "off", then you'll want to go through the steps for an egg bound hen. That rubbery membrane is VERY difficult for the hen to pass, so if she gets bound, be sure to lube her vent inside and out with a product like KY-Jelly (water soluble personal lubricant sold at your local pharmacy, drug store, chemist). The shell on the original egg appears very weak and crumbly. Here's a link on vitamins and how a deficiency can affect the eggs. https://thepoultrysite.com/articles/vitamins-and-minerals-important-to-poultry
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,457
5,572
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Can you raise crickets and/or grow millet? Those might make some nice dietary supplements for them.
I can grow millet, both red and white; I have not been feeding millet as the protein content varies from as low as 5%, and averages at 10 to 12%... I feared that millet would reduce the overall protein even more than it is already. Is there something in it that's particularly beneficial to quail to warrant the added reduction in overall protein?
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
8,461
54,948
1,046
Sonoma County, CA
I can grow millet, both red and white; I have not been feeding millet as the protein content varies from as low as 5%, and averages at 10 to 12%... I feared that millet would reduce the overall protein even more than it is already. Is there something in it that's particularly beneficial to quail to warrant the added reduction in overall protein?
I was just reading that it is part of a quail's natural diet. Crickets are very high in protein, so that would bring the protein up.
 

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