advice on hatching bobwhite quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by JerseyHen, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, GQF had the hovabator genesis 1588, turners, and quail rails as a combo (cheaper than separately with shipping) for a decent deal so I went for it. Here is the thing. I have never hatched before, I am a chicken person (although I am looking to get into game birds, pheasant really) and this combo comes with 30 quail eggs. I am, of course, going to attempt to hatch them and can build whatever I need to keep them (I have a large brooder and plenty of room to build). I just hadn't planned on it and now I have a really steep learning curve to catch up with.

    Here is my understanding:
    Incubate close to 100 (will the preset work?) at 45 - 55% humidity, then up the humidity a bit at lockdown? Which would be when? 20 days?

    Then as soon as they are dry, into the brooder at close to 100 with gamebird starter on the floor and a waterer that is either made for tiny quail or use marbles in a chick waterer?

    Then into cages at 5 or 7 weeks? 1 square foot per bird in breeding pen, 3 in flight pen?

    Here is where I am totally befuddled:
    1 to 1 mating, 3 to 1 mating, colony?
    I do understand that I can house a good number of hens in one pen together, but what if I want (and I will) to get fertile eggs. What is the ideal? I have seen different reports for the bobwhites.

    Also, cages:
    Ground?
    Elevated?
    Wire?
    Solid?

    Personally, I think an elevated cage is probably a lot easier on my back (until I get that aviary built). Solid or wire? How much shelter? Should it be a hollow log or bark or branches or a roof or both?

    Sorry for the total newbie stuff, but I want to be ready. I don't generally jump right in like this... usually it is months of research before I go for it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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  3. kenazzo2000

    kenazzo2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thx f
     
  4. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the great info twocrowsranch! They really need 4 square feet per bird? I thought my brahmas (at 11 pounds) were needy using 4 sq feet per bird in the coop. I can do it, and I realize it is for decreasing aggression, cannibalism, and would make for a more comfortable environment for them, but that seems like a large space for a small bird (still smaller than my bantams). I suppose that being essentially a wild bird that the enclosure might need to be more expansive to allow for the zoomies. Eventually I am planning a very large aviary set up that comes as close to imitating a natural environment as possible for an assortment of ornamental fowl, but for now I will have to build temporary cages and was hoping to use an industrial shelf to create a stacked set of enclosures that I could use for the time being and for breeding season separation. I will rethink my plan.

    Here is some info I had found on bobwhites, thought I would share in case any other newbies do a search and end up on this thread.
    http://msucares.com/poultry/game/poultry_space.html
    http://www.lakecumberlandgamebirds.com/new_page_3.htm
    http://www.poultry.msstate.edu/extension/pdf/raising_quail.pdf
    http://www.gamebirdfarm.net/categories.php
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    While certain poultry such as chickens and coturnix quail have been domesticated for eons, bobwhites are only new to being kept in captivity. They retain their frustrations and aggressions. And if kept in cramp quarters, will turn on each other. So 4 square feet per bird is the recommended space. More if you can afford it. :)

    Good luck!
     
  6. MrBobWhite

    MrBobWhite Out Of The Brooder

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    I like my birds on a raised floor with wire. Add some sand pans so they can dust. Also I have a catch pen/building with alfalfa I let them go in at times to scratch & pick at the alfalfa.
     
  7. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Day 12 and so far out of 37 eggs in the mail: 1 arrived cracked. Of the 36 set: 1 clear, 1 early quitter, 34 developing well. So far so good. I hope we make it the full stretch.
     

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