Quail are birds that are related to the pheasants and partridges. They’re popular as game birds in many cultures and have been raised for their meat, eggs, and feathers. If you planning to raise quails for their eggs, you may wonder when do they start laying.
Quails will start laying eggs around 4-6 months after hatching, but it’s not always easy to tell exactly when they’re ready. The exact time when they will lay eggs will determine on the season, their diet, and their age.
In this article, we will find when and if your quails are ready to lay eggs.
When Do Quails Start Laying Eggs?
Quail usually start laying eggs around 4-6 months after hatching, so if your quails are around 1-2 months old then they might be ready to lay. If you have a specific date in mind, you can use a quail egg incubator to set up an artificial environment that mimics the temperature and humidity of their natural habitat.
This will give them enough time to grow and develop before they start laying eggs.
Signs Of Adult Quails
When quails start to lay eggs, they’ll become more active and will spend most of their time on the ground. They’ll also develop a full ruff around their neck and chest area. If your quails are still very young, you’ll notice that they have not yet developed this ruff around their necks.
When the quails become an adult, there will be some signs to look for. Below are signs of adult quails:
- The birds will have started nesting
- They will be laying eggs
- Their wing feathers will have darkened and grown longer
- They may be producing an egg clutch or they may only be able to produce one egg at a time
How To Tell If Your Quail Is Ready To Lay Eggs
The first way to tell if your quail is ready to lay eggs is by checking the weight. If they weigh more than 6 ounces, they’re likely not ready yet. It takes a while for these birds to grow and get big enough to start laying eggs.
Another way to know your quail is ready to lay eggs is by checking whether the brown spot on their wings is gone. Quails start developing their brown spots around 6-12 months after hatching. This condition usually goes away on its own within 2-3 weeks, but you can use this as an indicator that your quails are starting to mature.
Once your quails are ready to lay eggs, you’ll see them sit on the ground with their tails outstretched and head down while they’re waiting for a mate to arrive. Their body will be trembling slightly, and they’ll emit soft chirps as they wait for a mate to come.
When a mate arrives, she’ll approach her partner and mount him before laying her egg in his nest cavity without ever touching it with her feet or bill. Once she has laid her egg, both will take turns to sit on the egg.
Where Do Quails Lay Eggs?
Quails lay their eggs on the ground and do not build nests as other birds do. They lay eggs on bare ground or on low-growing vegetation such as grasses, weeds, and clover leaves.
However, depending on the environment and if they don’t feel safe, the quails may lay their eggs in bushes, shrubs, and under fallen trees. Quail eggs are a tasty treat for many animals and they need to protect them from hungry predators.
When Do Quail Eggs Hatch?
Quails can lay up to 12 eggs at once and they will incubate them for about 18 days before they hatch.
Quail eggs that are hatched in an incubator are a bit different. The incubation period for quail eggs varies, depending on the temperature of the environment in which they are placed.
The most common quail egg incubation period is 21 days. However, it varies from 18 to 27 days depending on the temperature and humidity in the incubator.
Do Quails Build a Nest?
The first sign that your quails are ready to lay eggs is if they start building a nest. They will begin building the nest in an area that’s protected from predators, such as under shrubs or around a tree.
They will also start nesting during the day, so you should be able to observe the birds for signs of nesting activity.
How Often Do Quails Lay Eggs?
A quail can lay eggs at least once a day, but the frequency of laying eggs varies depending on the age of the bird, its diet, and other factors.
In a year, you can expect a single quail to lay about 300 eggs.
Now that you know how long it takes quails to lay eggs, it’s time to start looking at the signs of adult quails.
Quails are sensitive to changes in their environment and can quickly change their nesting location, so they are often considered single-season birds. That said, they will often lay eggs on the same day they are sexually active and are known to lay eggs in the spring and early summer. Sometimes the first egg will occur before the quail is eight weeks old but usually requires around 12 weeks to complete the process.