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New to quails - Lots to learn

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

Just thought I'd share my first experience as a small quail owner. 

 

My coop is 13x10 and made to house other things than quails down the road. But for now it's quails so I have two compartment about 20 inches by 40 inches and 3 standard quail cages on top of them (24x36x8).

 

I'm up north so I made a setup I could heat during the cold cold months : One lamp above each cage and within both compartments. Right now, I have IR 175W in each. 

 

Received the quails yesterday : 18 Females and 4 Males. They look about 5-6 weeks old and are in great shape. I observed them for about 30 minutes on the first night and they all look active, they feed and drink. And poop. So it's all good. 

 

For now I have set them up in the following way : 6 females in each cage. For the males I have tried housing all 4 together but there is a bolder one in there who would try and get it on with the other 3 males and plucked some feathers from their head. So I moved him today to a single compartment. I was hesitant on putting males already with the females not to stress them out early and the males are probably not fertile anyway. 

 

Got my first egg today, will taste for sure later. That's my goal, having quail eggs but I'll be looking into breeding and butchering soon as well. 

 

I tried setting up the lamps with a timer (did a one hour test run) but man, those things generate a LOT of heat. It was upward to 110 on top of the cage so I'll be moving the lamps to a more central position in the coop and will definitely wait for fall to light them again, don't want to roast the birds right away! 

 

Thanks for all the great threads in here and any advice is welcome!

post #2 of 7
Honestly it sounds like you've got this figured out smile.png
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well I did my homework before starting and read a lot, including on these forums. I moved my heating lamps to a more central position so the birds are not directly under them, helps a lot. 

 

I did have one female who was almost pecked to death, she is in isolation now and looks much better. 

 

About the poop: I tried wood shavings but since they don't compost well, I didn't want to change them every other day. I am trying wax paper now and will also look into peat moss. I have strand boards under the cages as 'poop catcher' but I don't want it directly exposed. 

 

Having harvested 9 eggs as of this morning, this is incredibly rewarding on a personal level!

post #4 of 7
The female getting pecked on the head is how they breed. The male holds the back of her head feathers and does his duty. Nothing to worry about unless you don't want babies
post #5 of 7

Lol, Robert it wasn't the females getting mounted...

post #6 of 7
What is your male to female ratio? Mine is 1-3. I get very active birds and fertile eggs this way. 1 male 3 females. I have heard of as high as 1-7. I tried higher ratios and the males about mounted themselves to death. I like the 1-3 myself
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eHuman View Post
 

Lol, Robert it wasn't the females getting mounted...

 

Ya the pecked females was attacked by other females. It was bad. She's ok now and active. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert C R View Post

What is your male to female ratio? Mine is 1-3. I get very active birds and fertile eggs this way. 1 male 3 females. I have heard of as high as 1-7. I tried higher ratios and the males about mounted themselves to death. I like the 1-3 myself

 

1-5 right now, mainly to get the females used to the male presence as I am not breeding for now, only eating everything. I have 3 males together now and they get along fine. 

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