What happened to my layers ?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Q QUAIL S, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Q QUAIL S

    Q QUAIL S Out Of The Brooder

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    My youngest quail turned 8 weeks on December the 18 and they layed for 2 weeks and then stopped laying and I haven't got an egg since then. I put a 60 watt light bulb for heat and light and I also put layer boost in their grain. What should I do? Is it the weather ? Does it have to do my grain I give them organic layer feed?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  2. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Too many changes can cause stress which can decrease egg production, it can also be vermin getting into their feed or a predator or assumed predator lurking nearby, there could also be discontent in the group?

    Did you do the changes to the heat and light before or after they stopped laying?
     
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  3. Q QUAIL S

    Q QUAIL S Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought that the light would help their laying, so I put it in while they weren't laying.
     
  4. Q QUAIL S

    Q QUAIL S Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2016
    So it was after.
     
  5. Q QUAIL S

    Q QUAIL S Out Of The Brooder

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    Also I have spotted one mouse in the garage it was trying to get into one of my quail pens of course the metal squares are large enough to get into. I don't think that they would get into the feed or else they would tip the bucket over.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  6. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahhh, it may have been the time of year then :) with winter comes shorter days that indicate to the birds to stop laying because it's not good weather for breeding.

    People can simulate breeding time by adding a light on for 14? hours a day. Be aware that it will burn out your hens faster.

    How many hours a day have you been keeping the light on for them?

    The mice scurrying at night can stress them out, here's my story of chicken stressed by a rat lol - my chickens started laying last January and have been laying steady for exactly a year with no additional lighting and it's winter in Canada, lol. We noticed a drop in egg production about two weeks ago - the same time we estimate a rat hopped in the coop and has been living in the run and hiding corn under their hay under their roost and digging holes. We confirmed this yesterday and it answers why our girls slowed down on their eggs.

    The rat must have been wandering outside the coop every night unable to get in. Then we put plastic sheeting all over the run, covering the hardware cloth. This funneled the smell of the food and treats at the open door.

    We let the girls out one nice winter day, it got dark and they roosted themselves by hopping a few feet up into the door to the run. The rat made its rounds and didn't smell much from the tarp but there was all the smell coming from the open door a few feet up so it climbed up and in and seems to either like it in there or can't find its way back out :p

    We've been setting a live trap and just tried to flush it out of its hole but it was already gone somewhere in the coop/run so the hunt is still on!!

    It literally poked its head out to grab some cauliflower I just threw in the run. I know this sounds horrible but if we can't trap it I think we may have the Neighbour come over with his BB gun and throw some cauliflower in there..... :/

    It's like we literally have a pet rat!!! Lmao
     
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  7. Q QUAIL S

    Q QUAIL S Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been leaving the light on all day and night. When they turned 8 weeks I still had the brooder lamp on they were laying fine. Also I butchered 6 males from the same pen and the day after that I got one egg and then it stopped. I used to be getting three eggs a day before I butchered the males. Do you think it had to do with that?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  8. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are leaving the light on all the time? That's not good. You need to turn it on/off or put it on a timer so they get about 14 hours a day if you want to stimulate laying. But they still need time without the light to simulate night time. They are probably stressed.
     
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  9. jojackc

    jojackc Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you sure you butchered males? I would think this would be more likely.
     
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  10. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Butchering the males could stress the birds - in general, any change in flock members does. So even if the males might have been a source of stress when they were there, so many disappearing at the same time most likely won't go unnoticed. Or it could have been the process of catching the males that stressed them. But I do agree you should turn the light off at night. They might be able to lay just fine with 24 hours of light, but they most likely won't be able to sleep properly and 14-16 hours should be plenty to achieve a good egg production so there is no reason to burn off more power than that.
     
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