Why Are My Quails Not Laying Eggs?
Quails are terrific egg producers compared to other domestic birds we keep for egg production. Despite their strong production capabilities, quails may sometimes fail to lay eggs. There are a couple of reasons your birds may stop laying eggs.
5 Reasons Your Quails Are Not Laying Eggs
Quails are becoming pretty popular among domestic bird keepers. These birds lay tiny but awesomely good-tasting eggs. As terrific layers as they are, quails may stop laying eggs. Although it’s difficult for a quail keeper to understand why their quails aren’t laying eggs, it helps to know why your quails aren’t laying as usual. Here are the five common reasons your quails aren’t laying eggs.
Quail in Not Old Enough
Your female quail won’t lay eggs when she isn’t old enough. Quail hens start laying at a young age. Most hens will begin laying between 7 and 8 weeks old, although the laying age may vary significantly among different quail species.
A female quail may not produce eggs until she is ten weeks old. If your hens aren’t laying yet, it could be because there are not old enough to start laying. Therefore, don’t worry because the hens will begin laying when they are old enough.
Continue feeding your young hens with quality foods; they will become dependable layers when they are old enough. Most quail species will start laying once they are old enough, and it is pretty rare to have a hen in your flock that doesn’t lay at all.
Not Enough Light
Light affects egg production in all birds, including quails. Your quails may stop laying when they don’t get enough daylight hours. For instance, quails have a poor egg production cycle in winter because they are shorter days during these cold months.
Ideally, quails require at least 16 hours of light exposure daily. It explains why egg-laying quail hens stop laying in winter since they get less than 12 hours of light exposure daily.
Seasonal changes can make your quails stop laying, especially when your birds receive fewer daylight hours due to seasonal changes. It’s pretty normal for your birds to stop laying in winter because they have exposure to fewer daylight hours.
You can encourage the birds to lay when they have shorter daylight hours by lighting their coop with artificial light to give the birds an impression they are getting enough exposure to daylight hours.
Change in Temperature
Temperature affects egg production in all birds, including quails. Cold temperatures can make your quail hens stop laying. Extremely cold temperatures can also make your quails stop laying for several weeks. High temperatures equally affect egg production in quails.
Quails won’t lay well when you subject the birds to extremely high temperatures. Your quail hens will continue laying when you maintain a temperature not exceeding 26 degrees Celsius. Egg production will diminish significantly when temperatures go way beyond or below this ambient temperature.
However, some hardy quail species will continue laying in extremely cold or hot temperatures provided they have sufficient food and water.
Poor Diet and Lack of Nutrition
Poor diet and insufficient nutrition are also why your quails aren’t laying. Quails need a high-quality and well-balanced diet to maintain their high egg production capabilities. Your quails will stop laying if you feed them a poor-quality diet because they won’t get sufficient nutrition from such a diet.
A poor quality diet doesn’t provide your quails with adequate minerals, prompting their bodies to shut down egg production until they get sufficient nutrients and minerals.
A high-quality diet is vital for egg-producing quails. These quails need a variety of minerals and nutrients to sustain egg production in the long run. Although the commercial feed is suitable for quails, some cheap commercial game bird feeds don’t provide quails with enough nutrition to boost their egg production capabilities.
It’s thus vital to supplement feed with multiple quality foods to ensure the quails get sufficient nutrition for sustainable egg production.
Bullying or Stress
Stress makes quails stop laying even when these birds have everything they need to maintain their egg production capabilities. Your quails will cease laying if you subject them to various stressful factors.
Predators passing by your quails can stress and scare your birds, prompting them to stop laying as usual. Loud noises around your quails can also stress your egg-laying quails because such noises will frighten your quails.
Bullying suppresses egg production in quails. Females prone to bullying by other quails in the flock are likely to stop laying at some point. Males usually bully females, especially younger females, into submission during mating.
However, bullying frightens young females, prompting them to halt egg production. Stress due to bullying also affects quails’ laying mechanism, making them unable to produce eggs.
Poor housing conditions will also stress your quails, affecting their egg production cycle over time. For instance, keeping your egg-laying quails in a small coop will cause overcrowding. The quails will start fighting each other over space because of overcrowding.
The more your quails continue fighting over space due to overcrowding, the more the birds are unlikely to lay. Quails need enough space for good egg production. At least each female in the flock should have somewhere to lay calmly without any disturbances.
Poor and dirty housing conditions can make your quails susceptible to parasites, a common cause of stress for quails. Parasites like mites and lice will attack your birds at night, making the quails unable to get enough rest. Therefore, your birds will experience exhaustion due to parasite infestations, ultimately stressing the birds, which makes them unable to sustain their egg production capabilities.
How to Get Your Quails to Lay Eggs?
Although your quails may stop laying for various reasons, you can make your birds lay even when it seems impossible for the hens to lay. Here are some tips to get your quails to lay eggs.
- Feed the quails with quality foods– What you feed your egg-laying quails matters greatly because it can encourage or discourage your birds from laying eggs. A high-quality diet is important for sustainable egg production in quails. Your quails should eat a diet with a high concentration of calcium and protein because these two essential nutrients play a crucial role in egg production. Provide your birds with a layer feed consisting of approximately 18% protein. Furthermore, add a variety of protein-rich foods to your quails’ diet to increase their protein intake. Don’t forget to add some calcium-rich foods to the quails’ diet.
- Protect your quails from stress– Because stress will suppress your quails’ egg production capabilities, you must protect your birds from stress to encourage them to lay. You can deal with predator menace by predator-proofing your quail cage. You can also prevent stress from bullying by separating the egg-laying quails from the bullying flock members.
- Provide the quails with sufficient light– Light plays a role in egg production in quails and other birds. Lack of enough light is to blame for diminishing egg production in your birds. Try some supplemental lighting using artificial lighting during winter when your birds receive fewer daylight hours. Alternatively, place the cage conveniently where your quails will get enough light during shorter days.
- Improve housing conditions-Improving housing conditions will help encourage the females in your flock to lay eggs. Furthermore, good housing conditions will save your birds from stressful factors that affect egg production, such as parasite infestations. Make sure your quails have enough floor space where they will lay eggs without fighting amongst themselves over space.
Quails can cease laying eggs because of various reasons. Most of these reasons are within your control, and you can solve whatever problems could be making your birds not lay eggs. Therefore, understand why your quails aren’t laying and solve the problem.