Bobwhite quail eggs are amazing because that pop of white is a reminder that nature is working.
These eggs are different than other breeds so let’s dive in and see if bobwhites will be a good option for your quail journey.
We begin with outdoor temperature and hours of daylight, because they both have a huge impact on quail egg season for all breeds.
Our weather is unpredictable, so when quail begin to start laying varies. This year it was the later of part of April.
Bobwhite quail normally begin egg production between March/April, then end around Oct/Nov. Their fertile season is almost compatible with daylight savings time and temperature has a huge impact.
If you’re looking to raise bobwhites for the purpose of eggs it’s really best to establish your flock in the late summer or early fall. This way you can expect your females to begin egg production the following spring.
It takes 16 weeks for Bobwhites to reach maturity and almost 24 weeks for the females to begin laying eggs.
Its unlikely spring chicks will begin producing eggs that first season, keep in mind this doesn’t always hold true, some will begin laying if they were hatched early in the spring.
Egg Production and Active Females
One female will lay about 100 eggs their first season, this isn’t fantastic compared to the coturnix who lay almost double.
For this reason I raise my bobwhite quail for meat and some are released to nature, helping increase population.
We’re approaching a fun time in the sanctuary because the females are very active as they hunt for bugs between finding a safe place to lay their eggs.
During this time the females will also choose their mate.
That’s right the females decide who they will pair off with and sometimes they’ll select up to three different males per season.
Since quail naturally hide in tall grass this is also where they build their nests.
It makes sense that spring is breeding season because this is when the grass is tall and thick. Warmer temperatures and extended daylight is the final ingredient for amazing egg production.
In the above photo, this nest that was made inside their shelter box.
If the quail hatch this egg nest, the female may choose to raise the off spring by herself or with her mate.
On occasion I see bobwhite pairs roaming the sanctuary as they weave between the grasses to where I’m assuming is another nest area.
This pairing off is interesting to watch and it very common to see a male and female incubate and raise the chicks together. Sometimes however the females will leave the nest for the males to raise alone.
It’s been my experience the female will stick around until the chicks are at least 6 weeks old.
When new life hatches in captivity, it’s pretty incredible and a great way to keep your flock growing strong in a natural environment.
Bobwhite quail are not for everyone, but I sure do love having them near my garden space.
Smiles and Sunshine, Carole West