My Quails Not laying eggs yet

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mimpetlover19
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My Quails Not laying eggs yet

Post by mimpetlover19 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:45 pm

HELLO

I am new to raising quail , although i have raised chickens and pigeons for some time (during my school yrs , now I'm in college)
I bought 6 Quails on Sept 1 , 2 males and 4 females (wat the shopkeeper told me) , then again 4 (2 M & 2 F) quails ... (i lost two of them , one flew away in my absence and the other died , may be both were males) ..... now they are more than 2 months old ....... but they havnt started laying eggs yet ..... this is concerning me somewat ....
I guess it is bcuz it is the beginning of winter now (winter can get very cold here but never snows) ....
I dont know if the diet is proper or not , since I live in Bangladesh , we dont have very good access to good pet foods and stuffs (the ones I read on the internet) ... so i make a mix of different foods like lentils , gram , rice , wheat , mustard and also add a feed that i buy from the quail shopkeeper (he said it is made specially for the quails to lay) ... water is always available , ...... i give them soil, sand and hay to play in and scratch and also used to give some bugs and earthworms (now too busy becuz of exams) ... i also make the feed lactofermented and give dem sometimes
I kept them at first in an empty room which had good access to sunlight and fresh air ... now temporarily in a large chicken coop or house which is a bit dark ...... wen i had time i used to open them in my netted/caged garden during the day

More concerning is another fact - even from over a month ago , i could feel a hard lump inside their bellies (many of them , i guess not in the males) , i thought it could b an egg , but no eggs laid ..... there is still a lump inside nearer to the vent and now it is larger ... could it be an egg or is it something else

anyone plz help
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Marigold
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Re: My Quails Not laying eggs yet

Post by Marigold » Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:29 pm

Hi Mimpetlover, and welcome to the Forum. It's great to have a new member from Bangladesh.
First, what kind of quails are yours, I mean are they Chinese Painted (button quails, the little ones) or are they Coturnix, ie Japanese quails, which are a bit bigger and lay larger eggs?
Next, are you sure about sexing them? Once they're sexually mature it's easy to tell the males as they will begin to crow, and also of course they will mount the females. Chinese Painted Quails (CPQs) are more inclined to settle down comfortably with a group of females, but they should have 3-4 females each, and each group should be kept in a separate cage to prevent the males fom getting jealous and fighting. If yours are Japanese (Coturnix) you won't be able to keep more than one active male with at least 4 females as they're really not at all kind in their mating behaviour, in fact I had to cull all my male Coturnix in the end because if the terrible injuries they were inflicting on the females when mating them. They grip the females head feathers with their beaks and hang on when mating, and when the females throw them off they hang on and can take chunks out of the females heads. I got fed up with going down every day to find a bloodbath. Once I just had a female group there was no fighting and they all laid almost every day.
If you haven't had any problems with aggression or mating, I guess your males aren't fully active yet, and as the females aren't laying either, I imagine they are short of enough light to stimulate their pituitary glands into laying or mating. They must have at least 14 hours per day of light for this to happen. I kept mine in cages which gave each bird 2 square feet of space, and fitted a small LED light in each cage, on a timer to supplement the daylight in the darker months. Once in lay, they then laid all through the year. In summer I kept them in an outdoor run in grass, and sunlight did the job. So, unless you can have them extra light, they are unlikely to lay until the days lengthen next year and they can get that 14+ hours they need.
Males will remain quiet and happy over the winter if kept together in a cage with no females, as a bachelor group, but will fight once they get properly into puberty and will need to be given their own separate group of 4+ females if you want to keep both sexes.
I expect the diet is OK - can you get dried mealworms in Bangladesh? Mine loved a few every day and they provide extra protein. Quails need a higher protein diet than chickens, especially once laying. If you can get chicken layers pellets over there, these can be fed as well and the calcium will help them. They also need fresh greens every day and small size grit, maybe chick grit would be good, to help them digest food, just like hens do only the right size for them.
I don't know about the lumps you are feeling in their bellies. Like chickens, quails don't really have bellies, they have a crop, which is that pouch just below their throats and in front of their chests, where they store food until it is sent on down into their gizzard and ground up by the grit they have eaten, because they have no teeth to help break it down. Could you be feeling full crops after they have fed, I wonder? This would be normal, and if more than one have it, I expect it's probably that. Are they active and eating and drinking and pooing normally? You would soon see if they're under the weather and sitting hunched up and looking Ill.
I do hope all is well, and we look forward to hearing some more details about your birds.
mimpetlover19
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Re: My Quails Not laying eggs yet

Post by mimpetlover19 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:40 pm

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mimpetlover19
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Re: My Quails Not laying eggs yet

Post by mimpetlover19 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:04 pm

Thanks a lot for all the info
can u plz identify the type of quail i hav from the pic ??
I guess there is atleast one male because i saw it trying to copulate another one and also one used to chase a single particular female all the time ..... no problems with fighting , only had pecking wen i introduced the 4 new ones , but now absolutely fine ..
they are more dan 2 months (2 mnths 10 days i guess) old ... and the shopkeeper said they would start laying at 45 days ...
i hav to do something about the light or wait till spring or get them a new home on the roof (we hav a garden there) ( i cant do anything on my own cuz im only a student )
sorry , i hav no access to mealworms here ... can i find it in aquarium stores??
wat greens can i give them ?? ... and wat can i give for grit - we dont hav much real stones or gravel around my home , only pieces of granite , cement and bricks ... and also no oysters .. though we do hav lots of apple snails around ..... i giv dem egg shells occasionally

the lump is at the back , near their vents , not in the crop
and Alhamdulillah , they look fine and hav gained weight since the time i brought them

An uncle of mine , who used to keep quails , told me feed them poultry chick feed used to feed chicken raised for meat , is dat good , i mean safe and not too unnatural ??
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Marigold
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Re: My Quails Not laying eggs yet

Post by Marigold » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:25 pm

Hi again Mimpetlover
I think your quails are Coturnix, ie the brown 'wild colour' ones are known as Japanese quails and these are usually a bit smaller and in my experience wilder than the coloured ones. There are many colours and patterns of Coturnix and these 'fancy' ones are known as Italian quail. They're often a bit bigger than the Japanese but all will interbreed and lay, just the same as different breeds of chicken can do. Chinese Painted quail are much smaller and have distinctive colouring and patterning, not like the ones in your picture. CPQ eggs are tiny and not usually used for eating, but I found the Coturnix laid very well, once I'd got them going with enough light. The eggs are lovely, they taste like nice hens eggs but have very big yolks in proportion to the size of the egg, and about 5 of them are the equivalent of a good sized hens egg. A bit fiddly to peel, but they're good in cakes and as scrambled eggs or omelettes, because the large yolks make the mix very golden.
Chicks hatched in Spring, when the light is good, do normally reach maturity at 6-8 weeks for both sexes, and then the trouble can start, with the males fighting and mating roughly. The male seemed to become active almost overnight, one day they weren't interested and the next day they were fighting and mating all over the place, so you have to watch out for accidents. They don't need a very bright light to lay, the ones I had in my cages were just the tiny LED sort that is used under cupboards etc. they were a little flat disc about 2-3 centimetres across that just stuck on to the side of the cage and had a very low power, thin cable that went to a transformer plugged into a power socket. If nothing like that is available you could use a table lamp or similar, fitted with a low-power energy saving bulb, to shine inside the cage. If you could get a daylight spectrum bulb for it, to be like sunlight, it would work even better. Maybe you could fit a timer to switch it on at dusk for a few extra hours, or light up before dawn, as convenient for you.
If you can get chick crumb, that would be excellent food for them, as its high in protein and balanced to provide vitamins and calcium. Any spare eggs you have could be scrambled or hard boiled and then mashed up. The yolks are particularly good for them, but of course eggs have everything they need really. You could try your local aquarium store or pet store for dried mealworms. They're very common here as people feed the wild birds with them, but I don't know if you have them where you are. Any kind of insect, live or dried, would be welcomed.
Mine ate any kind of soft salad greens, I don't know what's available to you in Bangladesh but I fed them with lettuce, tender cabbage and anything that might make a salad for a human, and also some wild plants which I tried out on them to find what they would eat. You could perhaps do the same. Some people say their quails like fruit or tomatoes but mine never did, I guess there are differences.
Granite would be good for grit if bashed up small enough, but don't use concrete, bricks or anything with cement in it as this may be poisonous. If there is a gardening centre near you, there might be some horticultural grit in bags, intended for people to mix with earth and compost to make a free draining growing medium for seedlings. This would be fine also as grit for your birds. It lasts a long time but they do need access to it just as chickens do.
I'm puzzled by the lumps you mention. I don't think I ever noticed anything like that on my quails, but as yours seem healthy and are growing well, it's probably nothing to worry about.
mimpetlover19
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Re: My Quails Not laying eggs yet

Post by mimpetlover19 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:45 pm

Wow ... thanks a lot ... really liked reading ur reply ..... i'll try to do my best for my quails .... first hav to get a permanent house for them , right now lighting isnt an option cuz as i said im only a student , and dat coop isnt in a place where i can light it up easily ... so i and they will hav to wait

i will hav to move around a bit to find the grit and mealworms
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