King Quail abandoned nest

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Talven
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08 Sep 2019, 12:01

So last few days down my way there has been a couple of sunny days. My quail got all worked up and started dropping eggs. One of my hens made herself a nice little nest and started sitting her eggs. Weather turned and overnight temps went back to being a little on the chilly side. Moment that happened she gave up sitting the nest. I assume this means the eggs will now no longer be viable as they have been left to cool? First time keeping quail so any insights would be nice.
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Rod_L
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08 Sep 2019, 15:43

Normally when King quail start nesting they are impossible to get off the nest. If she has only laid a few eggs, she won't incubate them straight away. Mine used to lay about 10 eggs and then start incubating. That way they all hatch at the same time.

Give them time and see what happens. If she doesn't lay anymore eggs over the next week, she probably won't and you can get rid of the eggs she has laid, unless she is sitting on them.

Have clumps of grass in the cage and they usually nest in them.

Baby quail can get through most bird wire so it's a good idea to put mouse wire (1/4 inch square) around the bottom of the aviary. It only has to cover the bottom 12 inches and will stop the babies getting out.

Have some shallow trays of water (no more than 1/2 inch of water) for the babies because they can fall into normal water bowls and drown.

The babies will eat the same food as the adults but it helps if you can put some egg biscuit in there each day. I hard boil a chicken egg. While the egg is boiling, get 1/2-1 cup of cornflakes and put them in a plastic or paper bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the cornflakes into little bits. Peel the boiled egg and put it in a boil. Use a fork to crush the egg up and mix the cornflakes in with the egg. You can crush the egg shell up too and put it all in the cage for the birds. Remove any uneaten egg at the end of each day and make a new one each day.
death to all cats & ants
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Talven
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08 Sep 2019, 20:24

The birds are all young with this being the first season they've laid so I don't expect many eggs. The overnight temps have been dropping to 5 degrees or below and with the hen no longer sitting the nest I thought that they wouldn't be viable. I'll let it go for a while but I'm not expecting much. I think they jumped the gun a little when they saw some sunshine.
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finchbreeder
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08 Sep 2019, 21:13

Most likely a young hen doing a practice run by the sound of it. As Rod says usually when they start sitting they only get off to eat and drink. Younger hens may also lay a smaller batch first couple of times. Dittto old ladies winding down. With luck whe will try again once the weather is better rather than too soon. but let her decide for herself. You can mark the eggs with a soft marker so you know which are the current ones. It wont bother her.
LML
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noah.till
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09 Sep 2019, 08:55

I had a problem the other day when I only just walked past the aviary they are in, and she left the nest during the cold night
Surprisingly, the returned to the nest the next morning and 2 days later, 1 chick managed to survive and hatch, baffles me because how cold it got
Thanks
Noah Till
Downs Bird Breeders Association and Queensland Finch Society Member
2018 Australian Birdkeepers Magazine Young Birdkeeper
Javan Munia and Black Rumped Double bar Breeding Project
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Talven
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10 Sep 2019, 07:40

Its been about 3 or 4 days now without the hen sitting the nest at all so there is not much chance of anything hatching. I think I might round up all the eggs and boil them. Feed them back as egg and biscuit for the next round rather than leave them to go rotten.
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finchbreeder
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10 Sep 2019, 10:28

An avairy or two with two or three hen quails each makes an excellent source of eggs for canary breeders and others who regularly feed egg and biscuit mix.
LML
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noah.till
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10 Sep 2019, 12:11

They taste pretty good too, I cooked one 'Sunny side up' and it tasted very nice
Thanks
Noah Till
Downs Bird Breeders Association and Queensland Finch Society Member
2018 Australian Birdkeepers Magazine Young Birdkeeper
Javan Munia and Black Rumped Double bar Breeding Project
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Talven
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10 Sep 2019, 16:25

Took all the eggs and boiled them up to make egg and biscuit. Total of 10 eggs for 3 hens and not a single one was fertilized. Couple of them were undersized as well. Could be male bird is still working things out or he's not up to the job. See what happens with the next lot I guess.
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finchbreeder
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Yesterday, 18:48

My trio. He's a dilute, and they are cinnamon "sister wives" have hatched 6. The girls shared the sitting and all 3 parents are sharing the parenting. 1 chick was weak and will not make it. But looks like 3 silvers, a dilute and a cinnamon from the fluff shades. All the adults are split silver.
LML
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