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Role of genetics and keeping health quail stock

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi I'm a newbie and I'm trying to determine the best way to ensure the quail you have and the future generations remain healthy.  With this in mind is it best to have smaller cages with 5-8 hens and 1 male or can you do just fine with one big cage with all your hens and males?  What works best for keeping your stock the healthiest and how do you folks keep track of all of this?  Also do you keep a few extra males around for just in case situations?  How often do you replenish your stock?  Twice a year?  Monthly or what?

 

Thanks in advance,

SuseyQ

post #2 of 2

The only way to maintain control over breeding is to keep quail in smaller cages and match males to a group of females.  If you want to ensure as close to 100% fertilization as possible, the biggest ratio of females to males I've heard of is 6:1, though not many people suggest that ratio.  Most breeders stick with 3, 4, or 5:1. 

 

I'm not sure what size cage I'll end up with, but it'll either be a 2'x2' or 2'x3'.  I think the 2x2 would be fine with 3 hens and a cock, though I'll try them at 4:1.  I'm a little worried about 0.8 sq feet per bird, so I may go with a 2x3 with 5:1, for 6 birds total.  The breeder I got my jumbo eggs from says that they won't grow as big if they're cramped.

 

As with any other animal, the older they get, the tougher the meat.  I think I'd only keep them for about 8 months before graduating both the males and females to the freezer.  That'll keep the meat quality in the acceptable range and, if you're breeding them, you'll have better generations to take their place. 

 

It takes 3 weeks to incubate and another 8 to maturity, so 3 months to production, followed by 5 months of laying.  I plan on incubating 4 times a year, though I may do another run as soon as my first batch are in the incubator in order to get me started. 

 

The meat is fantastic, much better than chicken, and you can clean a bird in about a minute.  I've also never had better eggs, and I've got ****** good chicken eggs.

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