When should Coturnix start to lay in North-Central California

Discussion in 'Quail' started by coturnix12345, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. coturnix12345

    coturnix12345 New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2013
    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone can help me with a quail question: I have four Coturnix quail, all 6 months old. They haven't produced any eggs yet, and I'm wondering when they should--given the climate/amount of daylight in northern California right now. I was told they are all female, they eat very well and seem happy--but so far no eggs!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome to the quail forums!

    Most quail are seasonal layers. So as the days get longer and when the quail deem it warm enough to start laying, they will get their egg machines in gear. Generally the over night temps need to be above freezing and day time highs near 60 degrees, along with another hour or so of daylight can kick them into gear. March, April at the latest depending on your area. :)
     
  3. coturnix12345

    coturnix12345 New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2013
    Thanks so much! It's generally 32-38 here at night and 54-58 during the day, so I'll have to be patient a while longer! Hopefully I'll see some eggs in March. Thanks again :)
     
  4. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What color are they? Were they adults when you got them? I live in Anchorage and while production drops it only stopped for a week while they molted. Sometimes people will sell the dried up hens and lie about age. Or you may have boys....
     
  5. coturnix12345

    coturnix12345 New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2013
    Gosh--Really? Do you have them under artificial light?

    I bought them in mid-September, some were 4 weeks old and some were 6 weeks old (I'm fairly certain they were indeed 4 and 6 weeks because they have grown a lot since then). Three are light brown and one is a beautiful dark brown. I did wonder if maybe one was a male because it has a slightly gold-speckled breast, but I've looked at several pictures online and I'm not entirely convinced either way! Though they are all very non-aggressive; I've never seen any pecking and their feathers are always perfect and never pecked at.

    I've noticed they are not super active right now, but seem happy otherwise. I feed them organic layer pellets which are 17% protein. I've read their feed should be higher protein but haven't been able to find any where I live, so I'm hoping the 17% will be okay.

    Should I upload photos of them? Perhaps that will help demystify their sex?
     
  6. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely need a higher protein feed for eggs. You can feed them BOSS and thistle seed. Even throw meal worms in to give them extra protein. Of course I use extra light in Alaska. I turn on the light at 9am And turn it off at 9 p.m. They are on the ground in a green house where they make little borrows in the straw. The deep litter they have created keeps the water from freezing unless it is below 10 degrees or so. How many hours of light are you getting now?

    I am going to guess that light brown is golden Like thi[​IMG]s? Is Dark Brown like the tibetan tux in that pic or like the bird in this pi[​IMG]c.

    Specks on the chest are actually a hen. A red breast like a robin is a male. Unless it is dark brown Tibetan. Then good luck. i cant tell the diff when vent sexing but find the foaming to be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  7. coturnix12345

    coturnix12345 New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2013
    I just searched Tibetan, and yes, that's definitely her (but without the tuxedo)! The others are more like the one on the bottom. Thanks for the tip on the food--I'm going to return the (unopened, thankfully) 50-lb bag of feed I just bought! I hope my feed store sells the BOSS feed/seeds you mentioned.

    We are getting around 10 hours of daylight right now. If you have them under a light, does it need to be a heat lamp, or just a regular bulb? (I'm slightly concerned about fire safety, as the coop is wooden, and what with all the cedar shavings, hay, etc...)

    Thanks again.
     
  8. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just use a normal bulb and have the fixture secured tight. If the others are pharoah and have a lovely speckled chest they are hens. Russet red chest Boys. The hens make soft calls and the boys stand up tall and crow LOUD. Boss is Black oil sunflower seed you can buy the stuff for wild birds too. Use the seed alongside a game bird grower feed. Chicken lay pellets are not high enough. Also oyster shell should be free for them to snack on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  9. coturnix12345

    coturnix12345 New Egg

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    [​IMG]Here is the Tibetan. I was positive she's female, except...she (?) does stand up tall and "crow" like you are describing! Well either way, I wouldn't mind having one male, so it should be fine. If I can't find specifically game bird feed, would duck starter work? (As long as it's above 20% or so?)
     
  10. inthesticks

    inthesticks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you take pics of them we can help out.

    The females will have 'black/dark brown spots' on their breast while the male will have an all creamy brown chest. Also since your birds are older if you turn them on their back and pull back the tail(towards the back) males w/ produce a white foam from the vent while the females wont

    Sorry to hear about the no eggs :( you could always put in a little light to help w/ the temp a few degrees & make 'daytime' last longer. Do that for about 2wks or so & see if that gets them going. If it does then it's your choice to remove the light & wait on nature or keep going w/ it. If the light doesn't work then on to a new idea to find out what's going on with your feathered friends.
     

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