The Mama Quail Did It!

Remember I talked in a previous post about how “they” claim that quail won’t hatch their own young?


This is my Standard Coturnix female, with her chicks that hatched the day before.  I firmly believe the reason they say quail won’t hatch their own chicks is because they keep their quail in a unnatural wire cage, and the quail don’t like it.  And who could blame them?

Here’s a video of mama and babies:

She had about ten eggs under her when she started laying – some hers, some belonging to other females.  Oddly enough, while she was sitting on the eggs, she continued to lay more.  This must be a quail thing, because chickens stop laying once they start to sit.  When the first babies started hatching, she was up to 17 eggs under her.

She successfully hatched eight.  Considering that the more recently laid eggs didn’t have a chance to hatch because they didn’t have time to develop, I think she did very well.  She actually left one chick behind when she abandoned the nest, partly hatched.  It was chilled and too weak to finish coming out of the egg when I found it, but I put it under a heat lamp and helped it get free of the shell and it’s going to be fine.  Since it’s still weaker than the rest, I’m keeping it under the heat lamp inside tonight, and I’ll hopefully re-introduce it to the mother tomorrow.

It’s SO MUCH EASIER raising quail with a mama quail than with an incubator.  I can’t imagine how she manages to regulate the heat (and especially the humidity!) so perfectly.  And the babies are so cute popping out of her feathers and following her around!  I’ll get more pictures and video later, but I’m trying to avoid bothering her too much.  She’s new to this mother business and very stressed out!

Geez….it seems like just yesterday that she was hatching out of an egg herself!

4 responses to “The Mama Quail Did It!

  1. I’m so happy to hear it worked. Are you making any special preparations for the quail for winter?

  2. It doesn’t get that cold here; usually not much below freezing. I have given them some nest boxes filled with hay to snuggle in, but so far, only the nesting mother has used one. We’ll see what they think of them once it turns cold.

  3. What did you have you’re quail in? I have a Wire pen. and wondering if the hens will sit. Thanks

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