How Long Does It Take For Quail To Lay Fertile Eggs

How long does it take to lay fertile quail eggs is an excellent question and was asked by one of my regular readers and quail keepers, Junior.

“hi Sara

would the hen japenese quail dig out a nest of sawdust and share it with the male all day without eggs?

my quail or chickens havent been laying for 15days since one of my rabbits got killed by a camera is broke and I’m savin up 4 a new 1 but my button quail are feathery and out in the aiary already.
also how long does it take until they lay fertile eggs?

thanx so much”

Hi Junior,
Thanks for your comment.
I have some quail on sawdust and some on sandy soil. The ones on the sawdust tend to lay their eggs on top of the sawdust, whereas the quail on the sandy soil dig out a nest area.
Once the male and female quail start to mate then you will get fertile eggs. An indication that male quail are fertile is the foamball they have on their droppings. Eggs are usually fertile from about week 7/8 a week or two after the females start laying as long as they have had males in with them. It is a good idea to give the femal and males a week together after the hens have started to lay before you take the eggs for incubation.
I am sorry to hear that your camera is broken.
I look forward to hearing more about your quail.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Quail are amazing birds that start laying at about 6 weeks of age and produce fertile eggs from about 7 weeks once they are mating with the male quail.

8 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take For Quail To Lay Fertile Eggs”

  1. Subject- Ratting/mousing

    I have had a problem with mice lately going into my shed and taking my quails seed/chickcrumb. I have just seperated my young pullet from being with my nine quail. Last week I let my staffordshire bull terrier, Maddie, in my shed. She wiped out about 6 mice. My mum got me a poison trap today and I was about to set it behind my shed. My shed is about 25 cm’s away from my mums and my dog cannot get around the back. But today, as I was saying, I went to the side of my shed and saw a huge rat. It was a brown rat. For the time being I now have all nine of my quail in my bedroom. Will my dog be able to catch the rats or not? Also when do quail start nesting/breeding/laying, as I would like them back into the garden at that time.

    Thankn you,

    Answers greatly appreciated,


  2. Hi again, happy 2010.

    My quail are all doing well I have 3 chinese painted and 6 coturnix quail in a small shed with an add-on aviary. I have a 15 wk old hen that lives with the quail as was in their since 1 1/2 wks old. But I have a problem, I am at day three with a batch of quail eggs and the incubator broke, there are no cheap ones around my area, so is it possible could I incubate them with a heat pad, if so how would I do it, In a tub or a drawer. Help is needed, thankyou


  3. What you can do is on the days you think they might hatch is take a box put it in a warm room with the heat pad in side the box and of course put the egg in the box and close the box and check up on the egg every half hour.

  4. Hi Fred,
    Welcome to the farmingfriends website. Ihave coturnix quail as well, they are lovely birds. I feed 4 week old quail chick crumbs till they are about 5/6 weeks old and then I switch them onto layers pellets. I also feed them greens, millet and mealworms when I have them. They get greens a few times a week. My quail have a fedder with food in the hut /aviary at all times. Quail like piles of straw to root in and hide and sit in.I have found that quail do like to hide away so mounds of straw is a good material for them to hide in and nest in. They also like to dust bath in sand or fine dry soil. If they don’t have access to this then you could put a tray with sand in it for them to dust bathe in.
    Quail also like to eat grit/oyster shell and cuttle fish which all helps to keep the shells on their eggs hard when they start to lay.
    Just to let you know that I have a free quailforum where the members are chatty and helpful.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  5. hi, I am raising eleven coturnix quail, they are four weeks old, and they eat, and drink the whole time they are awake, should I cut back on food. or give them all they can hog up.

  6. Hi Junior,
    I am sorry to hear about the poor little quail chick.
    Could you get a towelling bag or make a towelling bag that the heat pad can go in and then velcros up at the opening so that they don’t touch the heat pad or get under the towel?
    Hope that helps.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  7. hi,

    I am hatching some more quail is there any more advice I could use to keep them safe I havnt got any heat lamps so use a heat pad for the brooder and a towel over it but on my last hatch it worked fine exept one quail got under the towel and its down got stuck to the heatpad and it lived long enough for me to find it but died after 5minutes

    thankyou junior,

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