A few days after getting our quail, we had a cold spell set in and our biddies stopped laying. It would be another three weeks before we would get any eggs from our girls. As the weather started to warm up and has slowly shown more signs of consistent temperatures, we have started getting some eggs again, but that hasn't been without some effort on our part. We wanted to improve what we could control for our quail, even if the weather was all over the place.
We have since learned that female quail will always lay better when there is one male around (which we do have). There is a delicate male to female ratio that must be met with quail if you want to maximize your daily egg laying. Too many males will stress out the females and none of them will lay.
We have also learned that quail lay better when they have clean water. We had to get them a smaller waterer just to be sure that it would stay clean. If you have a large lip for your waterer like we had, they will manage to poop in it and kick their sand bath in it as often as possible. With a smaller lip it is harder to soil the water and with cleaner water you get more eggs.
While wild quail like to be on the ground, our cage born biddies were not used to such a thing. I believe that innately they enjoyed being on the earth, but when it came to the practicality of laying and cleaning themselves daily, this was a much harder job to do. Joel raised their coop off the ground and we have seen what seems to be an improved attitude from all of them.
Our quail also seem to like a variety of nesting boxes. We have one covered box like the one pictured above that is situated below their roosting area (they do not roost). We also have two paint trays full of straw (one in the roosting box and one below). There is one quail that seems to prefer to lay in the sand box too. Variety is the spice of life even if you are a quail!
Most humans don’t feel so good or productive when they are dirty, I think quail share in this sentiment. Our quail are much happier and seem to oblige us with eggs when we are consistent with their sand bath. There is nothing cuter than watching the flock of them dive into the sand and throw it all over themselves, making sure not to miss a single feather. This sand bath helps them to rub mud, poop and other debris off their bodies which keeps our birdies healthy and clean. Healthy, clean birds lay eggs.
We are really like finding a few eggs a day. It is like a little gift every afternoon and we both have been really delighted by the simple joy of it.