Backyard quail, in the city

ssbs

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
378
1
111
I have been looking at keeping some quail in our back yard, we live in the city.. In Virginia, we have a yard that is probably something like 75' by 100'. It is fenced in and we've got lots of nice bugs running around, which is just one reason I'm interested in keeping quail.. VA is having an outbreak of lyme disease from ticks. But the quail would also be nice to keep around for eggs, and maybe a bit of meat here and there.

I was wondering though, what breed would be best? It is important that they don't fly away, I am willing to clip thier wings. I've done it to my pet birds as well as some roosters I kept temporarly.. How many would be good to have? City code allows for up to 10 fowl to be kept, but our neighbors wouldn't mind them so we could probably keep more. And do they brood on their own? Or would we have to do that?

Thanks!
 

fishfarmer

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 7, 2010
68
0
39
Twin Cities
Coturnix quails are best known for their size and egg production. I am not so sure about letting them run around in your backyard...mine always tend to fly or jump high in their cage, but I don't know how clipping their wings might affect this. Also, there is a probably that a cat or some small predator could snatch your quails at night if they are not caged in.

I have read and heard about broody coturnix quails, but haven't had any myself yet. I think it is possible for the coturnix quails to go broody, just keep a few in a big separate cage and try to mimic their natural environment. This lady I met had some quails that were going broody, and her large cage had 3 females, 2 males, and plenty of leaves and hiding place, along with a few nests. It would also be easier to collect eggs in cages.
 

CoopCrazy

Brooder Boss
10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
5,121
7
251
Columbus,IN
Honestly you are gonna have a hard time keeping any of them in your yard .. they can squeeze thru very small spaces, can fly unless they are clipped or pinioned, unless your yard is very secure (as in 1/2 in hardware cloth across top sides and bottom) then they will be eaten by predators... Also if they do get out of your yard then you must face legal and moral ramifications of releasing them into the wild... Coturnix are a great bird that require little care but I would reccomend a cage or even a moveable chicken tractor for them ... Also it is very rare for domestic quail to brood their own young as this has been bred out of them...
 

rittert3

Songster
10 Years
May 1, 2009
1,194
6
163
Ks (Manhattan area)
i would also suggest keeping them contained in a pen of some kind, and also wanted to add you might look at some domestic varieties of bobwhite such as mexican speckled, whites, jumbos, ect. (northern are generally considered wildlife and require licencing to keep, sell, ect. in most places)
 

huntercf

Songster
9 Years
May 17, 2010
251
2
111
I keep coturnix and bobwhites and I have the coturnix in an aviary. The bobwhites are in a large habitat off the ground. If the bobwhite get out they will fly away. My coturnix got out and just ran around the yard. Quail attract CATS! I had netting on top of the aviary and the cats got in and killed a few. I put up chicken wire on top and don't have the cat problem anymore. Quail are generally more nervous than chickens (especially bobwhites and valley), the coturnix will come up to you at feeding time and become more accustomed to human contacts.
Also, keep in mind that coturnix males have a loud call and do it at all hours, not quite as loud as a rooster. The bobwhites have loud call but not as often and not as piercing.
 

DaKid

Songster
11 Years
Aug 31, 2008
739
9
153
Berkley , Ma.
huntercf
Also, keep in mind that coturnix males have a loud call and do it at all hours, not quite as loud as a rooster. The bobwhites have loud call but not as often and not as piercing.

Thats for sure I have tenn. reds and white bobwhite and a few buttons and boy when they get going look out it's cool listening to the calling eash other late at nigth or maybe there just calling the tree frogs as there calling up here during the summer nights , but it's all good in my book , da sounds of nature at nigth
got 2 love it

Alan​
 

GBov

Songster
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
617
8
154
If you are allowed poultry get a few guinea fowl to run loose for your ticks and get some quail in a nice big prettily planted up pen for pure enjoyment.

Win win all the way round that way;)
 

ssbs

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
378
1
111
Would the jumbos be able to excape through chain link?? Someone locally has jumbo chicks for sale.

Cats won't be a problem, we have hound dogs and the neighborhood cats know to aviod our yard like the plague.. The dogs ignore birds though.

We do plan on caging them up at night to prevent the racoon, possum and fox from getting them.. But again, they do also normally stay out of our yard because of the dogs.

Guinea wouldn't be a possibility.. Those are WAY to talkitive, my friends had some a couple weeks ago when I stayed at their house. They were squaling so bad I woke up at 5am
 

CoopCrazy

Brooder Boss
10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
5,121
7
251
Columbus,IN
I am sorry but I just see this ending terribly badly.... You are gonna have a heck of a time catching them all at night , they will not put themselves to bed like chickens... nad I gauruntee that the cats will get brave enough once they see the bounty before them.....
 

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