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New To/Need Advice On California Quails?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Okay everyone so I'm new to California quails, and I'd enjoy having some (they're my favorite quail; I love how the way they look!). We've had quails in the past (bobwhites, buttons, and coturnix), but not this one. The California quail looks really pretty!

 

Are California quails flighty (like really flighty? And how much?)? Are California quails more 'colorful' than bobwhites? Are California quails like having bobwhites? Also how loud is a California quail compared to a bobwhite quail?

 

Now for some of you folks, I do apologize for all the questions and inquiries, but as I mentioned, I've never owned any California quails yet. Let me know when you have any more advice to say to me before I get some.

 

Thanks in advance (and here are some photos of California quails:)!

862_1_e0a5392_california_quail_point_reyes_national_seashore.jpg

droppedImage_1.jpg

1134_California_Quail_12-29-2009_2.jpg

California_Quail_b57-13-081_l_1.jpg

Below: A male and female California quail pair.

CaliforniaQuail27L.jpg 


Edited by Quails1 - 12/20/15 at 1:11pm
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quails1 View Post
 

...

 

Are California quails flighty (like really flighty? And how much?)? 

 

....

They tend to be very very skittish.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThNEY9VEKuE

 

Unless you are lucky and able to tame them down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-1xJrLhJU4

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quails1 View Post
 

...

 

Are California quails more 'colorful' than bobwhites?

 

....

 

There are enough pictures on the internet of both species for you to compare.  It's all personal preference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quails1 View Post
 

...

 

And also how loud is a California quail compared to a bobwhite quail?

 

....

 

I'm not able to answer since I've never kept bobwhites.  Calling is usually used for grouping up when the covey is scattered and also for mate finding.  If the California quail is paired, it should be very quiet and probably not call at all (unless it hears another California quail's call).

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, but I'm going to need more advice from more people from their experience. As I stated, I've never kept any California quails yet, so I have to be sure.

post #4 of 8
Of the knowlegeable and experienced valley quail keepers that frequent this forum, you just heard from the person most likely to respond to your question. You might try askng him some more detailed questions.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I would like more of those who can give useful, detailed advice on owning California quails, and those who have experience with them. I've never kept California quails before, only bobwhites, coturnix, and buttons, and I don't want to head for a crisis!


Edited by Quails1 - 12/22/15 at 3:40pm
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntsees View Post
 

They tend to be very very skittish.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThNEY9VEKuE

 

Unless you are lucky and able to tame them down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-1xJrLhJU4

 

There are enough pictures on the internet of both species for you to compare.  It's all personal preference.

 

I'm not able to answer since I've never kept bobwhites.  Calling is usually used for grouping up when the covey is scattered and also for mate finding.  If the California quail is paired, it should be very quiet and probably not call at all (unless it hears another California quail's call).

You forgot to this 1 more question: Are California quails like having bobwhites?

post #7 of 8

Yay, you've made a good choice!  They are not a great beginner's bird, but you probably already knew that.  That aside . . .
 

Quote:
Are California quails flighty (like really flighty? And how much?


That depends!  I have some that were six weeks old when I got them and after three years I wouldn't say they're very flighty anymore, but they're not super cuddly either.
On the other hand, the ones I raised from chicks are a year and a half old now and are pretty much glued to my collarbone or my shoulder whenever I'm working.  My boyfriend and I can't sit down in the same room as them without getting all quaily.  My face is full of feathers as I am typing right now.  Aside from treating me like a giant heated quail bed, my female quail is tame enough that she's sometimes willing to lay eggs in my hand.

 

Here are the things I have done that I think contribute to making them tame and calm:
* They mostly spend their day in my home office which is where I spend most of my day
* I hand feed them all of the time.  The little ones have been eating from my hand since they hatched, so I didn't really have to teach them anything.  The older ones were resistant to eating from my hand when I first got them, but I eventually learned to coax them by only giving them the most delicious treats by hand like celery leaves and mealworms.  After a while they became willing to take boring food like poultry crumbles from my hand.  I tried to make a habit of hand feeding them at least once a day and it really paid off.
* I'm very gentle when I do pick them up, though they generally don't like being picked up.  It's easier to get a quail to come to you by teaching it its name and calling it.  Associate this action with food.  The true way to a quail's heart it through his proventriculus.  ;)
* Having lots of space to roam around and nice little nooks to hide in when they need privacy makes them feel safe and secure and can help keep their stress levels low.
* Moving gently and gracefully around them and not making too many sudden loud noises or movements will help keep their vigilance at a minimum.

I highly recommend raising them from eggs for maximum tameness/minimal flightiness, but be aware that they are difficult to hatch, especially if you get eggs shipped.  If you are shipping eggs, you may want to buy three times more eggs than the number of chicks you intend to hatch.  Also make sure to buy from an aviculturist and not a game bird ranch, as game birds who are bred to be hunted are bred for quantity, not for genetics, and can suffer from serious health problems.  An aviculturist can offer you the offspring of their most beautiful, tamest, and healthiest birds.
 

Quote:
Are California quails more 'colorful' than bobwhites?

 
You can obviously see how lovely the males are, and even the females, who have dusty brown feathers in photographs, have lovely sparkly iridescent feathers in the sunlight.
 

Quote:
Also how loud is a California quail compared to a bobwhite quail?


My quails are mostly super quiet, but your mileage may vary.  As babies they were all kinds of noisy, but as adults they only ever have anything to say if they are eating something really tasty, watching an interesting YouTube video, someone was hanging out too close to someone else's girlfriend, or a quail or human they liked was not in direct line of sight.  The aggression and rally calls are the only loud and annoying sounds they make, and they are generally rare and short lived.  All of the other quail sounds are soft and happy and cute.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChelseaDagger View Post
 

Yay, you've made a good choice!  They are not a great beginner's bird, but you probably already knew that.  That aside . . .
 


That depends!  I have some that were six weeks old when I got them and after three years I wouldn't say they're very flighty anymore, but they're not super cuddly either.
On the other hand, the ones I raised from chicks are a year and a half old now and are pretty much glued to my collarbone or my shoulder whenever I'm working.  My boyfriend and I can't sit down in the same room as them without getting all quaily.  My face is full of feathers as I am typing right now.  Aside from treating me like a giant heated quail bed, my female quail is tame enough that she's sometimes willing to lay eggs in my hand.

 

Here are the things I have done that I think contribute to making them tame and calm:
* They mostly spend their day in my home office which is where I spend most of my day
* I hand feed them all of the time.  The little ones have been eating from my hand since they hatched, so I didn't really have to teach them anything.  The older ones were resistant to eating from my hand when I first got them, but I eventually learned to coax them by only giving them the most delicious treats by hand like celery leaves and mealworms.  After a while they became willing to take boring food like poultry crumbles from my hand.  I tried to make a habit of hand feeding them at least once a day and it really paid off.
* I'm very gentle when I do pick them up, though they generally don't like being picked up.  It's easier to get a quail to come to you by teaching it its name and calling it.  Associate this action with food.  The true way to a quail's heart it through his proventriculus.  ;)
* Having lots of space to roam around and nice little nooks to hide in when they need privacy makes them feel safe and secure and can help keep their stress levels low.
* Moving gently and gracefully around them and not making too many sudden loud noises or movements will help keep their vigilance at a minimum.

I highly recommend raising them from eggs for maximum tameness/minimal flightiness, but be aware that they are difficult to hatch, especially if you get eggs shipped.  If you are shipping eggs, you may want to buy three times more eggs than the number of chicks you intend to hatch.  Also make sure to buy from an aviculturist and not a game bird ranch, as game birds who are bred to be hunted are bred for quantity, not for genetics, and can suffer from serious health problems.  An aviculturist can offer you the offspring of their most beautiful, tamest, and healthiest birds.
 

 
You can obviously see how lovely the males are, and even the females, who have dusty brown feathers in photographs, have lovely sparkly iridescent feathers in the sunlight.
 


My quails are mostly super quiet, but your mileage may vary.  As babies they were all kinds of noisy, but as adults they only ever have anything to say if they are eating something really tasty, watching an interesting YouTube video, someone was hanging out too close to someone else's girlfriend, or a quail or human they liked was not in direct line of sight.  The aggression and rally calls are the only loud and annoying sounds they make, and they are generally rare and short lived.  All of the other quail sounds are soft and happy and cute.

Your information is pretty helpful! Your quail is so cute! Concerning the noise... do you own both California quails and bobwhite quails? We used to have bobwhites (I have a tame female bobwhite that hatched on July 12, 2015, and she's the last bobwhite we have.), and the sounds the bobwhites made drove me nuts! So are the California valleys or bobwhite quails louder/noisier?

 

Thank you for your help!


Edited by Quails1 - 1/12/16 at 4:29pm
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