Quail Chicks Have Grown Up Already, Plus a Valuable Lesson Learned

We had 20 chicks hatch on September 5th and they started laying eggs late last week.  That’s just over 6 weeks from hatching to laying!  It still amazes me how fast these birds grow up and start laying eggs.  They are fully grown now, and eating and drinking as much as the other birds.

This week I will cull most of the new roosters and the rest of these birds will graduate into the main cages. I will also cull some of the older birds from the main cages to make room.  Then it’s incubation once again to get another hatch going!  And of course, a quail BBQ.

We did have a tragic accident happen.  One night I was taking care of the birds and left the cage with the young birds open as I filled their waterers in the house (their cage isn’t hooked up to the automatic watering system).  When I went back into the bird house I saw one female running around outside of the cage.  I just scooped her up and put her back in the cage.

The next day I found a dead female in that cage.  And she was beat up – murdered by the other birds.  What the heck?  Then I noticed that one of the other cages had a door that was was slightly ajar – just enough for one bird to squeeze out.

Apparently, the bird I found running around wasn’t from the young bird’s cage – it was one of the older birds from a different hatch.  Quail do not like birds from different hatches.  They simply won’t get along and they will fight to the death.  This female didn’t have a chance.

It was an honest accident, but lesson learned.  Be sure the darn quail cages are secure before leaving the bird house!

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