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~⊙ Quail Essentials - Advice Needed ⊙~

Discussion in 'Quail' started by stevenmwilliams, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. stevenmwilliams

    stevenmwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2012
    After 12 months of research and a recent coop build I'm getting close to getting my first quail. I'll probably wait until Feb - March time next year as I'm in the UK and want to avoid starting in the middle of winter.

    I've got some designs of feeders using pvc pipe as I want to be able to leave them for a few days unattended if possible. I'm also planning a waterer using poultry nipples.

    I'm wondering what others would suggest as essential supplies. I've already contacted my local feed store so that is sorted. Any advice would be gratefully received and might give me some items to add to the Christmas list!

    Picture of my coop below, just one door left to make.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2013
    Kudos for the lengthy research, and welcome to the Quail forum on BYC. Nice set up. Here is what I consider "essentials": Shelter from the weather and predators, food and fresh water.
    James
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is starting with too many quail. As fun as they are, especially when first getting them, resist bringing home or hatching too many. Quail turn on each other when cramped in. So give them as much space as you possibly can and it never hurts to natural up their surroundings with either real or fake foliage. It helps to calm them down, they feel more secure and gives them hidey places where they can hide from things they think are after them or each other.

    Good luck in your quail adventures!
     
  4. stevenmwilliams

    stevenmwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2012
    Thanks for the advice. I am making some sand baths and hiding boxes and will fill the coop with fir branches. My coop is 10sq ft and I'm planning on getting six female cots so shouldn't be overcrowded.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
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    My Coop
    Sounds perfect! :)
     
  6. mckeesbackyard

    mckeesbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    White Mountains, AZ
    We got our first batch of 20 coturnix quails last Oct 26 and they started laying last week (we exactly got 10 females & 10 males). They're in 2'x2' rabbit cages stacked 4-high in our garage until my husband finishes the quail condo. What we've learned so far is there's no waste in using hanging poultry feeders (with dividers from premier1 supplies). The feeder holds 3 lbs of feed that will last about 3-4 days for a breeding group of 6. We used nipple waterers in our brooder but the adults are now on 64 oz rabbit water bottles (last 3 days). We sprinkle a cup of Sweet PDZ in the poop pans to ward off the ammonia smell. Each cage has a plastic pan (from the dollar store) that we put sand mixed with a bit of wood ash and refill every couple of days. They love dust bathing and sitting in the plastic bins (sometimes 4 would squeeze in there at a time) provides their feet some reprieve from the wire floor. We also have an S hook in each cage that we'd use to hang a slice of cucumber, zucchini or fruit to help keep them occupied. As well as a coop cup that we put crushed eggs shells in for the females or a mixture of seeds and grains every few days. They love that too! Good luck and remember to check the weather forecast before leaving them. It helps to be aware of what they might need (extra water, food, cover, bedding/:)hay, etc.).
     
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would guess by looking at your post and your cage that you will make out just fine, but since you asked, Ill throw in my $.02

    You may need to fashion a draft skirt around the tray to keep cold air from flowing in from down low during the cold months, even if you provide shelter. Often when its cold you find these silly birds huddled in the coldest place they can find. If you aren't using a tray (looks like you could do either with that cage) you need to skirt around the whole bottom. Just stapling up some construction plastic is sufficient and the probably most effective option as well as being the cheapest. It also sometimes comes in handy if the roof leaks during rainy times.

    They defecate far more than you think they do. More than you can imagine. Sprinkling kitty litter on the tray after you clean it each time helps with the...aroma.

    If you stay at this for any amount of time you will lose patience dealing with a turd tray. It's ok for the first year, maybe two but it really wears on you over time.

    In the summer they will draw flies, you might as well know now. It's not horrible, but can be irritating. Fly paper is nice.

    Small opening on any feeders/water fonts you make as they will be defecated in/upon. Coturnix will also waste as much food through the wire as your feeder allows them to. They intend to eat the food off the ground after they scratch it out of the feeder, they just never, ever realize there is no ground for the food to land on. Coturnix have little ambition to move upwards unless driven, so elevating the food and water source just a bit can help keep the defecation out of it as well as keep them from walking and scratching in which they WILL do if they can.

    The poultry nipples IMO are the best auto watering system you can use for quail. The trade off is that they drip a lot during and for a second after the birds are using them. Keep that in mind if using a tray. I always drilled a 1.5" hole in the tray underneath the nipples. The orange cups from GQF work great for chickens but don't let quail get enough water so i would recommend avoiding them.

    A small butterfly net to catch them with, so you don't have to look or feel like a jack..... while being defeated by small creatures. It also helps keep them from wounding themselves trying to escape your clutches.

    A small hospital cage or large tub to keep any sick/bullied birds in until they can regain strength. It's something most people aren't prepared for, but some of your fowl will get sick/ injured at some point so be ready now. Most often a few days under a warm lamp and free access to food water will fix up any ails your birds encounter. Vitasol or something similar vitamin supplement also doesn't hurt to have on hand. Antibiotic ointment for any flesh wounds, but make sure it doesn't contain painkiller. Eye infections can be deadly but absolutely do not need to be, so find out where you can get terramycin or vetracyn or some similar antibiotic now as they can be hard to find locally at times. Feed stores sometimes have them, vets can usually get them, amazon sells them.

    If you are eating the eggs a lot you will want to get a pair of quail egg scissors. Cracking the eggs by hand is a hassle. They scissors are the best $20 plus shipping that I have ever spent on quail.

    Oh and pickling spice. For the eggs of course the birds probably don't like it.

    Mostly you will find out what you need by not having it the first time you really need but hopefully this will help. Good luck!


    Edit: You will likely have to teach a your birds to use the auto watering system so be watchful that they are getting enough water until you're sure they've learned. If they don't drink enough they can get nerve damage and there is no happy ending to that story.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

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