Had a fantastic hatch from my JMF eggs, out of 68 eggs, 55 hatched! Considering they shipped all the way to Indiana thats just amazing. I have never had that good a hatch on shipped eggs of any species! Super lively and robust chicks.
Tatanka Breeders Club: Meat Quail project with history, discussion, pictures and videos - Page 56
I culled all of mine a few months ago and wanted to start fresh with better stock. I am so very glad I did! They are zooming around like little bumble bees
@James Marie they are growing so fast I had to separate the group into 2 brooders. Wow! I have them on 30% Startina and red wheat sprouts. Just WOW impressive!
I have read through this whole thread and just wanted to drop a note to say how helpful this has been! not only in learning about quail but in learning about genetics in general. I am hoping to start raising quail in the next 6 months (probably will wait until spring/late winter to get started) and have been trying to absorb as much info as possible so I understand best practices.
Has anyone that has bred for size had the feeling that they just want to work on the project and not really sell any? I quick butcher the excess birds to feed to my dogs. Fast them the night before (if I remember) and dispatch, take a big strainer, swish them around in how water, throw them in my chicken plucker (with a pool noodle around the bottom to stop them from getting stuck in the outside crack) cool and throw in baggies to feed my dogs. I keep only the largest 3-4 out of each hatch and carry on. The first bunch I hatched from shipped eggs, the ones I kept were 400-420 grams and some of them get sore feet. They left the breeding program and I have not had sore feet after that. I started with Texas A & M and had one 385 gram brown from previous stock that I crossed with my 440 gram white male. I thought I wanted to buy eggs from browns that were supposed to have come from 400 grams and bigger parents (from direct JMF stock but was told after, they may have been from the strain that lay nice big eggs, but do not get so big) but hardly any of those made 300 grams let along 400, so I went back to the drawing board with the offspring of the brown female and the largest male. I took 1 male and 2 females, but put them with my larger whites, the male with larger white females and the females (one of which actually made 460 grams) with the largest white male. Waiting patiently to grow out the offspring from these crosses. But in the meanwhile, I really dont care if I sell any of the offspring, because they are for the dogs for food, the excess, I butcher when I need more space. For me its just so very interesting to work with them to see how they go. My goal is to have consistent 400 to 440 likely gram birds that stay sound and healthy. When at maturity more pass 400 grams than dont out of each hatch then I will be happy. I may even go one more and only set eggs over 15 grams. This thread has kept me going and has inspired me and gave me guidelines to follow.
@PaintsRule If you are using quail for an animal feed like for your dogs, don't pluck, feed whole. You lose valuable protein by processing any part of the bird aside from dispatching them. A good example is my hogs, they get any disposed parts of any bird species I process. Heads, entrails, and feathers. They get the bones after I cook the birds and feed my family. I try not to waste any part of a living thing that's feeding my family or livestock. Feathers have a very good protein value along with other nutrients.