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Beginner Quail Owner

Discussion in 'Quail' started by OkieNewt, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. OkieNewt

    OkieNewt New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2016
    Hello all,


    I am thinking about getting into the quail business and am wondering if any of you guys have the do's and don'ts of raising quail. I'm leaning more towards bobwhite quail, because I have limited experience with these birds. I'm primarily wanting to raise the quail for eating with the possibility of hatching eggs.

    Some questions that have been frequenting in my mind are:

    Why are a lot of the pens I see small in comparison to chicken coop? I have chickens already and had plans on building a smaller scale coop/pen for the quail. I know quail are timid and "flightly" birds, but I thought if I had a pen with an open portion where the birds can access the outside when they desire that would help with accumulating the birds.

    Why are the birds elevated off the ground? Predation such as snakes?

    Is it better to hatch eggs to eat or buy chicks to eat? It seems like hatching is the cheapest route, but as of right now, I just want to grow a bunch birds to eat.

    Any and all information is appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
  2. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2016
    I have no experience with bobwhites but i understand that it takes a considerable amount of time to raise to maturity or get eggs. They are also like most quail very flighty.

    Most pepole raising quail for meat and egg production choose Coturnix (Japanese quail by another name). My hens start laying by 6 weeks old and both unwanted males an females can be culled between 6 & 9 weeks. I keep mine in an aviary with a ground coop in the back which they go in daily and even lay most of their eggs in. It gives a safe haven during foul weather. Most Quail wont walk up a ramp to get into a raised coop being ground birds, they won't roost either.

    Most people keep coturnix in small cages for their own convenience and to maximize space vs production but Some of us prefer and have the space to give them room. I will add a picture of an 8'x8' section of my aviary showing the coop. It is 2'w x 8'L with a door at either end. I keep the lid open until bad weather.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]The aviary isn't complete in this picture but shows both sides. One for my breeder colony and one for meat grow out.
     
  4. OkieNewt

    OkieNewt New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2016
    Thanks.


    Do you run your quail together year around?
     
  5. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now my roo and hen breeders stay together. Some people keep the boys and girls separate until they need fertile eggs. I have 63 eggs in the bator going on lockdown tonight and some of them once old enough will be added to the main covey. Growout cages will be added on the back wall of both sides to expand capabilities and offer ample room to segregate sick, injured or agressive birds.
     
  6. OkieNewt

    OkieNewt New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2016
    Awesome. Thank you!
     
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also went with Coturnix for meat. Mostly because they are one of the easiest to raise and it's my first time with quail. I also like that they grow quickly.

    I also have my quail on the ground. They have a small coop and a large run. Most of the time is spent in the run, even in bad weather. I know many folks keep their quail in raised cages because it is easier to keep clean and they believe it is more sanitary. Some also like to stack cages to save space. I can see their points but I prefer my quail to have a more natural setting. I think it also makes for happier birds. Happier birds will grow better and produce more eggs. Mine start laying at 6 weeks and all my adult hens have been laying a constant one egg a day (with a few exceptions during really hot days). I think my good laying rates have a lot to do with the quail being happier on the ground.

    I just started in April of this year with day old chicks. My adult breeders are doing great. My group from my first hatch is currently 7 weeks old and I have a bunch of eggs in the incubator. I'll be checking fertility this weekend. I paid $2 a piece for day old chicks. At that rate my incubator will pay for itself in savings before the end of next year. I suggest you start with some chicks and grow out your first batch. If you discover you like the experience and meat, you can keep a few females and a male. Then you can start incubating your own eggs. If you find you don't like it for whatever reason you won't have invested in an incubator.
     

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