Basic Coturnix Quail Questions

lexilewis2001

Songster
Mar 10, 2019
80
200
116
Hi, it's been about 2 years since I've used this site to ask questions or to post in general so forgive me for any errors in this thread.. but I just added 5 baby coturnix quail to my homestead. I had a couple questions about getting started with a breeding program more designed towards egg production and fertile hatching eggs rather than meat wise. I've stalked a few beginner forums, and done some additional research + talked to peers but still came up with these questions.
1- ALL 5 of my babies have a black dot on their head right above their beak. I will attach a photo.. but does this mean they are all male? someone please reassure me I did not just start with 5 males...
2- What is YOUR (yes, you, reading this..) favorite quail cage type and set up? definitely like the stacking cages and already have my shed built but would love to see some different types. Specifically if anyone has a more shelf-type cage system? or directly mounted on a wall?
3- all 5 of mine are "jumbo wild coturnix quail" can I mix colors into these guys such as pearl or tuxedo? or should that be an entirely separate pen?
4- what is your personal male/female ratio? i have mostly read 5:1 for good, fertile eggs
5- can I see some quail brooder set ups? did I miss a thread for that? I have mine in one of my old bunny breeding cages but I feel like its HUGE for the little guys.
6- any other tips/tricks/info I would love! feed brands, auto water set ups, etc.
Thanks everyone!
 

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nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,361
4,699
416
Tennessee
1. The black dot does not mean they are all one sex.

2. Since quail fly straight up when startled they need to have a pen with a flexible top so the birds don't hurt/kill themselves in fear.

3. Colors can be crossed.

4. What you read is correct though I have trios and pairs.

5. I use glass aquariums and plastic tubs for brooders.

6. I add hard boiled egg and crushed dry meal worms to the chicks mash. For the first few days after hatch I use shallow jar covers as waterers.
 

lexilewis2001

Songster
Mar 10, 2019
80
200
116
1. The black dot does not mean they are all one sex.

2. Since quail fly straight up when startled they need to have a pen with a flexible top so the birds don't hurt/kill themselves in fear.

3. Colors can be crossed.

4. What you read is correct though I have trios and pairs.

5. I use glass aquariums and plastic tubs for brooders.

6. I add hard boiled egg and crushed dry meal worms to the chicks mash. For the first few days after hatch I use shallow jar covers as waterers.
thank you! this was super helpful to read. I am planning on hard boiling some eggs for them today as I feel like they aren't eating enough feed! I am a worried mom.
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,361
4,699
416
Tennessee
thank you! this was super helpful to read. I am planning on hard boiling some eggs for them today as I feel like they aren't eating enough feed! I am a worried mom.
You are welcome. At this time I have two pair of pieds that were raised by a tiny bantam hen. One of the quail recently went broody and I put a stop to that. I see that the other hen has a nest of eggs. It is written that cortunix don't raise chicks. Oddly, mine have; possibly because they were raised naturally. Of course, this time of year the eggs are frozen at night so there's not a chance that any will hatch. In the spring...
 

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lexilewis2001

Songster
Mar 10, 2019
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200
116
You are welcome. At this time I have two pair of pieds that were raised by a tiny bantam hen. One of the quail recently went broody and I put a stop to that. I see that the other hen has a nest of eggs. It is written that cortunix don't raise chicks. Oddly, mine have; possibly because they were raised naturally. Of course, this time of year the eggs are frozen at night so there's not a chance that any will hatch. In the spring...
ohmygosh! yours is adorable! i want to get into tuxedo and pied colors SO BAD. anyway, as we're talking I'm buying some hatching eggs for the big new years hatch along! my first time using an incubator alone and my first time hatching quail... what better way to start than a hatch along.
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,361
4,699
416
Tennessee
ohmygosh! yours is adorable! i want to get into tuxedo and pied colors SO BAD. anyway, as we're talking I'm buying some hatching eggs for the big new years hatch along! my first time using an incubator alone and my first time hatching quail... what better way to start than a hatch along.
It seems there's something hatching here, or will be hatching, all the time. This week it's Call ducklings. Last week it was serama bantams.

Quail eggs hatch pretty good in an incubator. They also seem to ship well.
What kind of incubator do you have?
 

lexilewis2001

Songster
Mar 10, 2019
80
200
116
It seems there's something hatching here, or will be hatching, all the time. This week it's Call ducklings. Last week it was serama bantams.

Quail eggs hatch pretty good in an incubator. They also seem to ship well.
What kind of incubator do you have?
I have an old old old incubator, its a Hova Bator model 1602N. I got it for free from the farm I work at as they don't hatch their own anymore. They gave me the automatic egg turner too! I just set the quail egg racks into it...
Was probably going to get my eggs from myshire farms.
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
7,361
4,699
416
Tennessee
I have an old old old incubator, its a Hova Bator model 1602N. I got it for free from the farm I work at as they don't hatch their own anymore. They gave me the automatic egg turner too! I just set the quail egg racks into it...
Was probably going to get my eggs from myshire farms.
You will likely find the directions for the incubators use online. When I get eggs to be shipped I look for those that are close. The less miles shipped the better.
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,559
61,732
1,096
Sonoma County, CA
Hi, it's been about 2 years since I've used this site to ask questions or to post in general so forgive me for any errors in this thread.. but I just added 5 baby coturnix quail to my homestead. I had a couple questions about getting started with a breeding program more designed towards egg production and fertile hatching eggs rather than meat wise. I've stalked a few beginner forums, and done some additional research + talked to peers but still came up with these questions.
1- ALL 5 of my babies have a black dot on their head right above their beak. I will attach a photo.. but does this mean they are all male? someone please reassure me I did not just start with 5 males...
2- What is YOUR (yes, you, reading this..) favorite quail cage type and set up? definitely like the stacking cages and already have my shed built but would love to see some different types. Specifically if anyone has a more shelf-type cage system? or directly mounted on a wall?
3- all 5 of mine are "jumbo wild coturnix quail" can I mix colors into these guys such as pearl or tuxedo? or should that be an entirely separate pen?
4- what is your personal male/female ratio? i have mostly read 5:1 for good, fertile eggs
5- can I see some quail brooder set ups? did I miss a thread for that? I have mine in one of my old bunny breeding cages but I feel like its HUGE for the little guys.
6- any other tips/tricks/info I would love! feed brands, auto water set ups, etc.
Thanks everyone!
Pictures of my setup and brooders are below my answers.

1 - No, the black dot does not have anything to do with their gender.
2 - I like pens on the ground. They are ground birds, so they really benefit from this. Make sure they have at least 1 square foot/bird, and that their pen is predator proof. Everything likes to eat quail.
3 - You can certainly mix colours. The offspring aren't likely to be be jumbos, but they'll be pretty!
4 - The 5:1 ratio is good.
5 - I use plastic tubs for mine.
6 - Purina Startena is good for chicks, but you should change to a lower protein when they're about 8 weeks old.

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Vampiric_Conure

Songster
Dec 9, 2021
479
2,138
216
Manitoba, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
Hey there! I'm late to the convo, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth.

The black dot, if I'm not mistaken, simply is part of the chicks' coloring. Males will have a buff chest once their adult colors come in (depends on the color mutation, though) and hens will have a lot of specalling on their chest.

As for enclosures - I'm in an apartment, so I have a guinea pig cage set up. Or will, once my stuff arrives :) Right now they're in with my cockatiels. It's a bit squishy for them, but it'll do until the new cage comes.

As for ratio, I've had luck with one male to two females.
 

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