I have an urgent question about my quails. I posted the following topical a little while ago when I first got my quails: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8039092
When I first got them it was winter and they were kept indoors and I have 4 quails, but only got 2 eggs a day. I have since moved my quails outdoors under a pergola in their cage about a month ago. Unfortunately my quails stopped laying eggs about 2-3 weeks ago. I noticed their behaviour changed; they were eating less, and the Italian one was constantly running and jumping around, acting very frantic and pecking at the cage bars. There was some fighting going on and the Italian one was being picked on by one of the wild-types. I have separated the birds but they still are not laying (the one being picked on is on its own in a separate cage now, right next to the other cage). That bird is still pecking the cage bars, even though it is on its own. The other birds seem calmer now; there's no more fighting but there is no laying and I think their appetite hasn't returned. It is spring now, where I am in Australia, and now that they are outdoors they are not receiving any supplementary light unlike when they were indoors for winter.
The breeder said the birds were a few months old (born in March/April this year), but I can't tell how old they are myself so I don't know if I've been tricked. They are ALL females, and the breeder did recommend for me to purchase a male to keep them laying. Research online showed me I did not need a male for this. What could have caused the sudden change and stop in laying? They are fed 22% protein game bird feed, have calcium supplements and dust bathes in their cage. I cover the cage every night with a towel to prevent frost and wind from getting to them.
My family wants to cull them soon because they think the birds won't ever lay again. Does anyone know what's a likely cause of their change and how I can fix things? Thanks so much for your responses; it's my first time keeping quail and I'd be pretty miserable if I have to cull these after about 2 months of owning them.