I have heard of people using very small zip ties for tagging certain quail. Could I do that to mark the male quail?
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There is no reason that you couldn't. Make sure they are small enough, and if you get colored ones then you can represent many differing identifications instead of just male/female. If you use one color for hatching year and another color for sex on all of your birds, it provides information at a glance that can be very valuable to you.