Did your quails stop laying eggs? If yes, you’re probably figuring out how to get quails to lay eggs that’s why you landed here.
It can be frustrating to see that the birds you invested in seem to slack off when its laying season is supposed to start.
But worry no more.
In this comprehensive guide for new poultry keepers, we’ll help you:
- determine the reasons why they’re not laying and how to make quail lay eggs
- achieve the feed and daylight requirements of these birds
- and find the answers on when do quails lay eggs and how much can they produce
If you’re a newbie poultry keeper who struggles because of quails not laying eggs, these tips are made for you.
Tips on How to Get Quails to Lay Eggs
Here are some easy-to-follow tips and tricks on how to make quails lay eggs if your birds have stopped laying or haven’t produced anything yet.
1. Choose a Secure Housing
There’s a myriad of quail housing options in the market, including cages, pens, chicken coops, rabbit hutches, and aviaries.
You can go all out with a fancy chicken coop, but if you’re on a budget, rabbit hutches will already do. But you can also DIY if you want to provide the best quail cage for them. The most important thing to consider here is your laying quails’ security.
You need to ensure that predators can’t enter and the quails can’t escape. It’s a given that each housing must have a roof but don’t forget to add a catch pan or barrier below the wire base if you put them in a raised cage. This way, predators can’t reach their feet from below.
If your quail’s cage is made entirely of wire, we suggest adding logs, plywood, or anything they can step on to keep them entertained. It can also help protect their feet since standing directly on the wire for a long time can hurt them.
2. Make Sure They Have Enough Floor Space
Each quail need at least 1 square foot or 0.0093 square meters of floor space. If there’s not enough space, quail birds will feel confined and stressed, affecting their egg production. Quails are unlikely to lay eggs if they’re stressed.
3. Put Hay or Straws in the Quail’s Cage
Each quail has different nesting behavior. Like those in community pens, some quails prefer to lay on the ground instead of building nests, while others like to lay in a nest.
To accommodate these birds’ needs, it’d be best to put some hay or straw in their cage so that those who want to lay in a nest can create one for themselves.
4. Avoid Disturbing Your Laying Quails
Since disruptions can hinder quails from laying eggs, it’s best to clean the cage every 1 to 2 weeks. It can help your laying quail’s performance be at its best and reduce the chance of you destroying their nest.
However, they need access to fresh food and water every day, so tending to those needs should be part of your daily routine.
5. Put Them in a Quiet and Calm Environment
Since quails will not lay well if there are loud noises and other disturbances, we suggest keeping them in a peaceful place. The presence of predators like cats and dogs can easily scare them, so it’d be best to keep your laying quails away from them.
6. Feed Them With The Right Quail Food
The food you’re feeding to your quails is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to egg production. So, if you want to maximize their egg-laying capabilities, you must give them the right quail feed and diet that meets quails’ basic nutrient requirements and supports their growth.
Quails aged 6 to 20 weeks need the best feed for quail that contains at least 18% protein and 0.5% phosphorus to help them produce more eggs. It also helps to make the eggshells thicker.
When a quail reaches the age of 20 weeks old, it’s time to upgrade to a layer diet with at least 19% protein and 0.65% phosphorus.
Additional calcium supplement
If the egg production is low, laying quails must be supplemented with calcium such as limestone, crushed oyster shells, or calcium premix.
It will not only help increase the production because it’s also essential for quails to produce high-quality eggs.
7. Ensure They Meet the Daylight Requirements
Laying quails need 14 to 16 hours of sunlight hours per day. Their laying mechanism will shut down if their hours of light falls below 12 hours. That explains why quails have fewer eggs during winter because there are lower sunlight hours during this season.
The simple trick to solve this problem is to keep your cage in a sunny area or put artificial lighting above their cage during winter to encourage the quails to lay eggs.
But keep in mind that they can’t exceed 16 hours because these birds also need time to sleep.
You can look forward to seeing better egg production when the daylight hours increase.
Breeding, Age, and Sex Requirements for Quails to Lay Eggs
1. Wait for them to reach full maturity
Female quails can only lay eggs when they reach full maturity, which varies depending on the breed of your quail. And they produce more during their first year of laying and then decline as they age.
Coturnix quail: This type of quail reaches sexual maturity and starts laying eggs at the early age of six weeks old. However, the average is nine weeks which is equal to 63 days. So, if your quail is not laying eggs, wait until they mature.
Bobwhite quail: If you are raising Bobwhite quails, they start laying eggs at 18 weeks of age. But you can’t expect consistent egg production until they’re about 22 weeks old.
2. Let The New Quails Settle in for 2 to 6 Weeks
Traveling and being introduced to a new flock or surrounding can be stressful for quails. So, let them get used to the new environment first. It might take the quails two to six weeks to settle in and start laying eggs, but others may start earlier than that timespan.
3. Get Rid of the Males If You Want Consumable Eggs
Female quails don’t need the presence of males in laying eggs. Without males, the egg will be unfertilized and suitable for consumption.
4. Get the Right Male to Female Ratio When Breeding Quails
When keeping quails in an individual cage, the ideal ratio is one male to three females. It can help your quail have good fertility and reduce fighting.
The trick on how to distinguish male from female quails:
If you’re quite unsure how to tell males and females apart, look out for the feathers and behavior. Male quails are often more aggressive, and they boast brighter feathers on the neck, head, and back. On the other hand, females are more friendly, calm, and plain feathering.
When Do Quail Start Laying Eggs
Generally, Coturnix quails begin laying when they reach full maturity at 6 to 8 weeks old. However, others may become late boomers, but there’s nothing to worry about since the average is nine weeks or 63 days.
You’ll have to wait a little longer if you’re tending to other quail breeds, though, because their laying season is later than the Coturnix. For example, Bobwhite quails start laying eggs at their 18th week, but egg production will only be consistent when they reach 22 to 26 weeks old.
On the other hand, King quails start laying when they reach full maturity at 12 weeks old, while Mountain quail takes about six months before producing eggs.
Other factors such as stress caused by overcrowding, attacks by predators, and moving to a new location can affect how soon they’ll lay eggs. Other than that, it can also reduce the quail’s egg production.
Why Are My Quails Not Laying Eggs?
These are the possible reasons why your quails aren’t laying eggs even if they’re still at their first productive year:
Change in Feed or Low Protein Percentage
As we highlighted earlier, laying quails need high amounts of calcium and 20% protein. If your feed falls short of this requirement, that could be the reason why your bird stopped or is not laying eggs.
Furthermore, if you changed the brand of your quails’ feed, it will take 1 week before they’ll be able to adapt to the new taste.
Stress Caused by Travel, Predators, or Changes
You need to know as a quail poultry keeper that traveling or moving quails’ cages can be stressful for them and cause them to stop laying eggs. But it should be back to normal after a week.
Extreme hot or cold temperatures and predator attacks can also be detrimental for them. That’s why you need to protect your quails from raccoons, dogs, cats, and other pets by strengthening their cage and raising it off the ground or protecting it with wires.
Reduced Daylight Hours
When winter comes, the daylight hours will diminish and that can trigger quails not to lay eggs just like in the wild. That’s why we recommended earlier having artificial light if you want to push them to lay.
Diseases like Coryza which is similar to cold, and Ulcerative Enteritis can affect your quail birds’ productivity. If your quail is suffering from any of these, consulting your vet and getting them treated as soon as possible is a must.
Where Do Quail Lay Their Eggs
Most quail hens lay their eggs on the ground on nests made out of grass-like hay, and those birds that can free-range love nesting amongst grasses and shrubs.
However, quails on cages do not have the freedom to roam around and nest on the ground, so they make their own nesting place inside the cage. That’s why providing them with hay or straw is essential so they can DIY their nest.
How Often Do Quail Lay Eggs
The popular Coturnix quail can lay one egg daily between two and eight months. They’re most fertile and productive at that time, with the potential to produce 300 eggs a year.
However, after two years and beyond, their fertility will start to decline as they age, but they can still produce 200 or more eggs annually.
But the frequency of other breeds’ egg production can vary a lot since species like Gambel’s quail only have one breeding season and lay eggs just once a year.
How Long Do Quail Lay Eggs
After two years of age, quails fertility and egg-laying capability will gradually decline. So until then, you can expect to harvest a handful of quail eggs from the period of six or nine weeks as long as it has a proper diet and is free from stress and disturbances.
However, wild quails species may vary because they have different nesting behavior and laying season.
Other Asked Questions About How to Make Quail Lay Eggs
How do I encourage my quail to lay eggs?
Having spacious and safe housing with comfortable bedding for nesting can help encourage quails to lay. You must ensure that they’re away from predators who can cause disturbance and stress to these birds. But most of all, you need to provide suitable quail feed and meet their light requirements when raising quails since these are crucial for them to lay eggs.
How long does it take a quail to lay eggs?
If you moved your quail to a new environment, it usually takes 2 to 6 weeks to settle down and start laying eggs. But if you’re raising the popular Coturnix quail, it’ll only take 6 to 8 weeks from birth to mature and begin laying.
On the other hand, male quails reach sexual maturity and begin mating at seven weeks old. That explains why these types of quails are the top choice of new poultry keepers.
What to feed quail for laying eggs?
Quails need a “layer diet” before laying and about 460gms feed to produce 12 eggs. On the other hand, immature birds bred for meat require a developer diet until you sell them or reach 20 weeks old.
Do quails lay eggs without males?
Yes, females can lay without a male being present. You don’t need a male quail for your ladies to produce eggs.
Do quail lay eggs every day?
The Coturnix quail can lay one egg almost every day. This breed produces at least 300 eggs per year or more, and they start laying when they turn 5 or 8 weeks old. And they’re most fertile and productive between the age of two and eight months. In their ninth month, their production rate usually declines.
What time of the year do quails start laying eggs?
Quails start laying eggs as soon they reach maturity, which could vary depending on the breed. As mentioned above, Coturnix quails reach sexual maturity and begin laying eggs at six weeks old.
However, the average is nine weeks or 63 days, and males become fully mature and begin mating at their seventh week (52nd day). Their egg production is at its peak during the first year of laying and naturally declines as they get older.
Will quail sit on their eggs?
Like other birds, quails sit on their eggs to incubate them. In fact, during their breeding season, female quails lose their feathers on their brood patch, a skin patch under their belly. It contains internal regulators that allow them to transfer body heat to their eggs.
But sometimes, male and female quails take turns sitting on their eggs or sitting on them together.
How often do Gambel quail lay eggs?
Gambel quail hens generally lay eggs once a year, and they only have one brood of eggs during their breeding season.
Where do Gambel quail lay eggs?
Gambel’s quails in the wild usually prefer to nest in a concealed nest site on the ground covered by shrub or in a clump of cactus or other vegetation that protects from predators.
How long does it take Gambel quail eggs to hatch?
Most breeds of quail hatch in 23-24 days, but Gambel’s quail usually hatch in 21 to 24 days, but others may take 31 days.
How to Get Quails to Lay Eggs – A Summary
To sum it up, you need to ensure that you provide the right kind of food, the right amount of sunlight, and the appropriate environment for your quail to lay eggs.
Their cage must provide 1 square feet space for each quail and be free from disturbances and safe from predators. And if you moved your quails into a new place, let them settle in for about 2 to 6 weeks before expecting them to lay.
Since each quail has a different nesting behavior, we recommend placing hay or straw to make their nest if they want to.
And the most crucial of all is that their food must contain at least 20% protein and calcium, and they must have 14 to 16 hours of daylight. This calls for the need for artificial light during winter and other times where there’s less sunlight.
Of course, there are still other external factors we can’t easily control like diseases. But if you’d follow those tips on how to get quails to lay eggs, you can succeed in reviving their egg-laying capabilities.
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