Originally Posted by SuseyQ
What do you mean you don't breed back birds of different ages? Are your pens full of the same "age" birds or the same breed bird? Do you like the smaller pens or larger ones? I suspect I'd only be breeding the Cortunix and I believe you can have different colored birds together so I'd think the main reason for smaller pens would be to know which stock is which and not interbreed or to have different breeds or ages of quail at the same time. What system do you think works best?
All birds in my breeding pens are the same age, mixing different age birds isn't a good idea. An 8 week old Coutronix and a 2 year old look identical but their fertility are drastically different. I guess you could band them if you wanted to mix different age but seams like more hassle then it's worth to me.
I keep my different color variations separated. I replace my breeding stock when I notice a decline in hatch ratio usually between 14 and 18 months.
Pen size is just personal preference, with 1:4 ratio in Coutronix I don't have fighting issues and excellent fertility but a few hens do have bare backs and that can be reduced with lower rooster ratios at a slight egg fertility drop. It's really just whatever works best for you and your setup.