Why do quails lay soft eggs without shells and what to do

Why do quails lay soft eggs without shells and what to do

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Quails have long been a common poultry. Their eggs are a tasty and healthy product, they are used boiled and fried, they are used in salads and sauces. People who have recently acquired these birds often wonder why their quails lay eggs without shells. Let's figure out in what cases this happens and how to normalize an unpleasant situation.

Why do quails lay eggs without shells?

If a bird lays soft eggs (on which there are practically no shells), attention should be paid to several aspects: the age of the quail, a violation of the diet, and bird diseases. Quails mature quickly. At the age of 30-35 days, in case of violation of the light regime and the diet of birds, they will fly, despite the fact that the body of birds is not fully formed. In this case, the female lays eggs without a shell, she has a prolapse or rupture of the oviduct, if the specimens are too large, the bird dies.

Important: even a healthy, properly nourished young quail takes the first clutch by 50% without a shell. After 2-3 masonry, the problem disappears without outside interference.

The most common reason for the appearance of eggs without shells is a lack of feathered vitamins and minerals in the diet, a deficiency of calcium and protein. With the correct adjustment of the diet, the birds will soon begin to rush normally. If the reason for the defective clutch is a bird disease, it is difficult not to notice the attentive owner. Healthy quails are active, they have clear eyes, strong legs, shiny smooth plumage.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

If the bird is sick, it loses its appetite, tries to hide in a corner, closes its eyes and looks disheveled. Healthy pets peck at such a neighbor, pull out feathers.

Symptoms and course

An overabundance of light in the poultry house and feeding of young animals with adult feed leads to early puberty of birds. In this case, they begin to rush, despite the insufficiently formed internal genital organs. The eggs will be small, with soft shells, or they will be stuck in the oviduct. To prevent this problem, the enclosures should be shaded so that the birds can hide from the bright light.

In the diet of young animals, the presence of:

  1. Refined crushed grain (wheat, barley, millet, corn).
  2. Fresh herbs (nettles, which should be slightly dried and finely chopped, green onion feathers).
  3. Cottage cheese, from 2 days to 2 grams per chick, is gradually brought to 10 grams, it is given in the first 3 weeks of the chicks' life.
  4. Boiled vegetables.

Large farms use special starter feed for young animals. The birds gradually begin to transfer to adult food at the age of 5-6 weeks. From the 6th day from birth, small crushed shells, chalk, salt, bone meal must be included in the diet of quail. To enrich the diet, babies are given fish oil or finely chopped boiled fish at least 1 time a week. The poultry is given cake and meal of soy seeds and sunflower. These components should also be in the diet of an adult livestock.

You can use a special ready-made compound feed, enriched with vitamins. It is chosen depending on the age of the quails and their purpose (for laying hens, one option is needed, for poultry for meat - another).

If a young quail laid an egg without a shell, you need to observe the rest of the layers, with the same diet and maintenance regime. If they lay normal eggs, without a greenish tinge of the shell (this may be a sign of infection), then soon everything will work out for a young laying hen. With a lack of fat and protein in the feed, laying hens squeak plaintively during egg-laying.


With an excess of bright light in quails, the bite characteristic of these birds increases. They begin to peck at each other, their own eggs, pluck feathers from neighbors, look disheveled, often fight. This signals the need to shade the house.

The lack of vitamins is manifested by a decrease in egg production, a decrease in the size of eggs, quails grow poorly, and often break their legs and wings. The lack of vitamin A in the body of birds affects the condition of the intestines, respiratory organs, eyes, feathers. Chicks grow poorly. Egg production and fertility are reduced.

Lack of vitamin D is manifested by curvature of bones, unsteadiness of gait, the appearance of eggs only in the shell film (without the shell), since it affects the absorption of calcium by the body.

Deficiency of vitamin E is fraught with a significant decrease in the reproductive functions of females and males. When it develops muscular dystrophy, impaired coordination. A decrease in the content of vitamin C threatens anemia, a decrease in egg production, a blood ring appears in the egg around the embryo. With a lack of vitamins of group B (B2, B6, B12), there is a decrease in hatchability of chicks, growth retardation, birds fall to their feet with lowered wings.

What do we have to do?

In the section for young animals, the windows are covered with a blue film, which prevents the penetration of sunlight. Up to 5-6 weeks after birth, crushed grain or starting mixtures for young animals are used for feeding in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. For example, PC 5-41 - from 1 day to the end of 4 weeks, PC 6-6 - is intended for chicks 4-6 weeks of life, PC 3-8 - from 5-6 weeks. Any food for babies is diluted with water. DK 52 and DK 52-4 feeds are specially designed for laying birds.

Quails do not have a deficiency of any one of the vitamins. If the above symptoms are noticed, the diet of birds should be reviewed and, if necessary, a multivitamin complex should be introduced. The poultry house should always contain containers with crushed quail or chicken eggshells, crushed shells; chalk, salt, feed yeast, green onion feathers, bone meal and fish meal must be added to the diet.

If a bird or several individuals look sick (clouded eyes, refusal to eat, birds are unsteady on their feet, the color and consistency of the stool changes), they should be isolated from a healthy livestock and immediately consult a veterinarian. Only a specialist can identify the infection and suggest a plan for further action. For treatment, antibiotics are added to food or drink ("Erythromycin", "Tetracycline", "Levomycetin"). The scheme and duration of treatment are selected by the doctor.

Preventive actions

Young animals should be kept separate from the adult herd. If necessary, the daylight hours are reduced for the birds, and twilight is created in the poultry house. Food should be of high quality and balanced. Regular cleaning of the house, changing the litter, washing and disinfection with hot soda solution of drinkers and feeders will protect the livestock from the danger of infectious diseases and vitamin deficiencies. Crowding of birds should not be allowed. Regular veterinary examinations are mandatory. Quails are unpretentious in care. Novice poultry farmers quickly gain experience and the necessary knowledge with a responsible attitude to their chosen occupation.

Watch the video: How to Get Better Egg Production From Your Coturnix Quail: #Shorts (May 2022).