I'm new to the world of quail and loving it, but I do have a few questions and I'd really appreciate some answers.
First the my story...
Recently I purchased a large aviary (1.8m deep x 3.2m long x 1.8m high with pitched roof), it's fairly big and is standing on my lawn. I added some soil for bathing and to keep them busy.
Initially I had some issues with 4 abusive males, but remedied the situation to get the numbers right. At this moment I have another 4 males and 11 females. I know the ratio isn't preferable, but I'm waiting for more females from a breeder. Here they are purchased in pairs, no one seems to want to be stuck with the males.
Anyhow, getting information on quail hasn't been the easiest task, as most of it's more technical than practical and I'm a practical kinda gal. I'm in South Africa and quailing isn't popular here for some unknown reason, but here I am hehe.
My quail are on the following feed: A mixture of Chick Chick No1 (General chick feed), mixed wild bird seed, finch seed (millet), laying mash and crushed cat food.
Due to the stress of 4 males, the hens got their feathers in a twist and stopped laying. I was worried about the nutrition of the food (seeing as I know almost less than nothing about keeping quail) and added the cat food for extra protein. However, once this lot of food is finished I'm switching to EPOL, which is very good apparently.
Today I went to collect eggs (which has been on the slow side) only to discover that the one male was laying on the eggs. I waited about an hour, but he stayed put. Thus I opted to leave the eggs for the night and hopefully tomorrow no-one will be broody.
The reason I left the eggs, was to encourage the behavior of brooding. If anything I'd like to breed naturally, despite the odds not being in my favor. But here's to trying anyways....
So here are my questions...
Is it normal for males to lay on the eggs? (Seeing as how the hens couldn't be bothered)
To what temperatures would the quail be okay with outside? (I still need to install heat lamps)
Is it normal for quail to bake in the sun all day long? (It's not that cold, had a lovely 27 degree Celsius day)
Is it okay to have more than one specie in the aviary? (They seem to not mind... I have jap rain quail and 1 unknown rescued hen)
How many times a day do males mate? (Mine are jumping the hens ALOT, and the hens seems to not want any of it and it's a miracle I don't have hens with broken necks the way they evade mating most of the time)
Anyhow, that's me for now.
Hope to hear from all you quail boffins soon