Beginner with some questions about raising quail + pheasants

phoenix777

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 8, 2010
3
0
7
Let me start by giving some basic info:
-I have no experience with either quail or pheasants, but am interested in learning
-I have experience with chickens if that counts for anything...I've hatched them, raised them from chicks, built custom coops for them, dealt with roosters and so on.
-The type of quail I'd be interested in raising is Bobwhite Quail
-The type of pheasant I'd be interested in raising is Golden Pheasant (or possibly Mikado Pheasant if I can find any)
-I'd only want to raise a few of each (2 to 5)
-I'd want to raise them as a hobby and as pets/for egg collecting, not for eating, releasing or anything else.
-This thread relates to both quail and pheasants but since they have separate boards I'm posting it here since this board seems more active than the pheasant board, hope that's okay

Alright, so I've always been interested in pheasants and quail and have always had a desire to raise some of my own. However, I've never done so because from everything I've heard it's very costly and time-consuming and way beyond my capabilities. But I'm not sure how true that is, so I'm coming here to hopefully find out.
I've been raising chickens all my life and I currently have two custom built coops and one hutch. Only one of the two coops is being used (the other one was built specifically for a rooster that would continually attack the rest of the chickens) and I currently have 7 hens in there. I bring this up because when I broached the subject of buying and raising quail a few years ago, the woman I was talking to said that quail and chickens cannot co-exist, even if they're in separate coops, because the diseases/bacteria from the chickens would infect the quail or the diseases from the quail would infect the chickens and would result in all of them dying. However, after checking into this I've found no other evidence of this actually being true, either online or from anyone else I've talked to.
Anyway, I'm considering making this year the year that I go through with the project of raising quail and pheasants, if at all possible. But first I had some questions that I'm hoping some of you here could help answer.

1. Is what the woman said about the diseases true? Does the fact that the chickens are in the same vicinity as the quail mean that one or the other (or both) will be killed off as a result of infection?

2. This goes for both quail and pheasants: All the photos and videos of quail and pheasants I've found online show them being together in large groups. Would it be possible to raise just a few (3 or 4) or is there a reason why there needs to be a large flock of them?

3. For this question I'll focus on pheasants: I've also seen "pairs" mentioned a lot in regard to quail and pheasants. Does there have to be a male/female pairing? For example, could there be 1 male and 2 females living together, or just 1 male in a coop by himself with no other pheasants?

4. For this question I'll focus on quail: How important is pairing with quail? Again, could there be 1 male and 2 females? Or 3 males and 2 females? Or 3 males with no females?

5. I assume that the chickens I already have could not live in the same coop as either the quail or the pheasants, but could the quail and pheasants live together in the same coop/flight pen? Or would they attack/kill each other? It would be much easier to build one pen instead of two but I don't know if they'd need to be kept apart or not.

6. This is sort of similar to the last question, but I had in mind receiving the quail/pheasant chicks in the mail at the same time and raising them all as chicks and all at the same age together. Is this a bad idea? Would the quail and pheasant chicks need to be kept separate?

7. Are male pheasants and/or quail aggressive? I.e. would they attack me, or each other? I've had several roosters now, each raised from a chick, and in every instance once they grow up they will attack me every time I go into the chicken coop. While I had an attachment to them and didn't want to get rid of them, it became extremely aggravating being attacked every single day, and watching them attack the hens. So would the same thing happen with pheasants or quail? Say I had a walk-in coop like I have now for my chickens, if I were to walk in with the quail or pheasant would they fly at me and peck and scratch like the roosters did?

8. I live in northern New England, so the winters can be long, cold, dark and snowy. The chickens are fine because they all go into their hen house at night and perch underneath the heat lamp I have in there in the winter months. But how would quail and pheasant cope with the weather/how could I protect them from the elements and keep them warm?

9. Every pen/coop I've seen for quail has looked like a rabbit hutch, in that it's on a raised platform with little boxes for the quail to live in with no flight room. Is there a reason for this? Would having them in an "open" environment with the floor of the coop being the ground and with wire serving as the ceiling and walls be a problem?

10. I've also heard mention of needing a permit with the state to raise game birds such as quail and pheasant. Is this true? If so, how would one go about getting such a permit and how much would it cost?

11. Where do the quail and pheasants sleep?

12. Last question, it's two-part. When I first moved here I purchased a shed and then built a "flight pen" around one end of it (the end with the door into the shed), with a wooden frame keeping it up and a door into the flight pen. The way that it's built the chickens have room to walk around outside but also a place to roost at night. There's wire or walls on every side as well as a wire "ceiling" so there's no possible way for the chickens to get out or for anything else to get in. I realize this is probably excessive for chickens, especially since so many people have them free range, but I wanted to be extra careful. Anyway, I had a similar idea for building a coop for the quail and pheasants. Here is the type of design I'm talking about: http://i46.tinypic.com/fy3jex.jpg

a.) Would this type of design work for housing either quail, pheasants or both?

b.) How much room would be needed for the flight pen, assuming there would be (hypothetically and approximately) 2 pheasants and 4 quail? I get kind of intimidated when I search online for photos of flight pens and see things like this: http://i48.tinypic.com/33vg0mu.jpg
But I also found this pheasant pen in a search which seems much more doable, but I'm afraid something like it might not be big enough: http://i47.tinypic.com/2z6z0no.jpg

That's all I can think of for now...I apologize for this being so long, I just wanted to type out everything I've been wondering about. Thanks in advance for any and all help!
 

Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
5
119
Let me first say that I have neither bobwhites or pheasants, however I have researched them a lot.
You don't have to have large flocks of either, I believe you can keep them in pairs (1 male to 1 female) or small groups (1 male to 2-4 females). You could also keep females only in small groups.
What the woman told you is basically right. It is not good to keep chickens and gamebirds together, though you can have both if they are in seperate areas. Chickens can be carriers of diseases that won't affect them, but is detrimental to the quail or pheasants, if they come in contact with them.
I don't know about keeping the pheasants and quail in the same pen, someone else will have to come along that has more experience with pheasants.
smile.png
You should be all right keeping them together as chicks though.
Bobwhite quail, and pheasants from what I've heard, are extremely aggressive to each other. I don't think it is limited to males on males though, the females can be aggressive as well. Although I doubt they would attack you.
Pheasant and quail are pretty hardy, the cold shouldn't affect them too badly. You can put a sleeping box in their pen and stuff it with hay. They might use it
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Otherwise, you can cover their pen to block out some of the wind.
Small 'rabbit hutch' type cages for quail are used for breeding, and most likely the ones you've seen were for coturnix quail. They need much less space than bobwhites do. People that use the bobwhites for hunting do keep them in large, open aviaries, though many I've seen still had them raised on wire. I would assume this is to deter predators.
Permits would depend on where you live, and the regulations for your state. Here in KY, I don't need a permit for pheasants at all, and only for bobwhites if I plan to sell them or their eggs, or to release them.
I believe bobwhite quail and pheasants roost, though I'm not certain.

Obviously, you would want smaller wire for the pen that has bobwhites in it, I'm sure they'd be able to get through chain-link.
Your coop, and the third picture posted, would be good for a pair or trio of pheasants. The second picture, the people probably have hundreds of quail in it.
smile.png
Both bobwhites and pheasants would have to have a covered pen so they couldn't fly away. If it were me, I'd make a double door on the pen, so you don't have any escapees. Hope this helps
smile.png
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
Ok this is a large post so I'm gonna tackle it peice mail style---- bear with me...

1. Is what the woman said about the diseases true? Does the fact that the chickens are in the same vicinity as the quail mean that one or the other (or both) will be killed off as a result of infection?



Yes and No--- chickens ducks, turkeys and most standard domesticated fowl can very easily infect any game bird with 1 of a muraid of illnesses all while being perfectlt healthy themselves. Its a case of "typhoid Mary" they carry the illness, but have natural immunity to it and never develope the infection.... Your gamebirds do not have immunity. So yes your chickens can infect them. Can you keep all these on the same farm? YES, but it requires biologic isolation and a short distance as almost all those illnesses are a direct contact transmission not airborne. so they dont ever come into contact with each other and you dont cross contaminate them and all will be fine.
smile.png
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
2. This goes for both quail and pheasants: All the photos and videos of quail and pheasants I've found online show them being together in large groups. Would it be possible to raise just a few (3 or 4) or is there a reason why there needs to be a large flock of them?


Bob whites will do fine in pairs. Pheasants eh not so much... usually a pheasant cock is a pretty busy boy during breeding season. This varies greatly from speces to speces and even as individuals go, but most folks prefer to share "the beatings" that result from his amorous affections over 3 to 8 or so hens as this has a tendancy to keep any harmful effects from breeding and loverboys' over zealous drive down to an acceptable level and help maintain hen health. Many speces require a bare minimum of 4 or more hens--- many reeves and silvers will actually breed hens to death if there are not enough in the harem. While in our opinion this may not be a bad way to go.... I dont know of many breeder that like this idea for their stock.
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
3. For this question I'll focus on pheasants: I've also seen "pairs" mentioned a lot in regard to quail and pheasants. Does there have to be a male/female pairing? For example, could there be 1 male and 2 females living together, or just 1 male in a coop by himself with no other pheasants? Pheasants do better in groups. Its perfectly acceptable to have a bachelor pad and have just males so long as there are no hens nearby they will do fine, actually better than in solitary housing.

4. For this question I'll focus on quail: How important is pairing with quail? Again, could there be 1 male and 2 females? Or 3 males and 2 females? Or 3 males with no females? Again Bob's do well in pairs, trios, quads, or even quints.... the key here is 1 male and the rest hens. you can house more than 1 male in a covey provided they are raised togather and have ample space--- I DO MEAN AMPLE SPACE. Bobs are mean lil junkyard dogs of the quail world--- if kept in anything other than 1 male:? female groups they require lots of space to coexist.
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
5. I assume that the chickens I already have could not live in the same coop as either the quail or the pheasants, but could the quail and pheasants live together in the same coop/flight pen? Or would they attack/kill each other? It would be much easier to build one pen instead of two but I don't know if they'd need to be kept apart or not. DOES NOT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS

6. This is sort of similar to the last question, but I had in mind receiving the quail/pheasant chicks in the mail at the same time and raising them all as chicks and all at the same age together. Is this a bad idea? Would the quail and pheasant chicks need to be kept separate? DOES NOT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
7. Are male pheasants and/or quail aggressive? I.e. would they attack me, or each other? I've had several roosters now, each raised from a chick, and in every instance once they grow up they will attack me every time I go into the chicken coop. While I had an attachment to them and didn't want to get rid of them, it became extremely aggravating being attacked every single day, and watching them attack the hens. So would the same thing happen with pheasants or quail? Say I had a walk-in coop like I have now for my chickens, if I were to walk in with the quail or pheasant would they fly at me and peck and scratch like the roosters did? YES in many cases pheasant cocks will be agressive like chicken roosters---- ONLY WORSE. Bobs-- just leave the feed and go buddy and no body has to get hurt!
smile.png


8. I live in northern New England, so the winters can be long, cold, dark and snowy. The chickens are fine because they all go into their hen house at night and perch underneath the heat lamp I have in there in the winter months. But how would quail and pheasant cope with the weather/how could I protect them from the elements and keep them warm?
Most pheasants have great cold tolerance, better than chickens. But this depends on the breed and where they originate. Bobs are very cold capable birds. GIve either the same treatment as you give your chickens and most will do fine
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
9. Every pen/coop I've seen for quail has looked like a rabbit hutch, in that it's on a raised platform with little boxes for the quail to live in with no flight room. Is there a reason for this? Would having them in an "open" environment with the floor of the coop being the ground and with wire serving as the ceiling and walls be a problem? Quail are susceptible to illness and parasites--- keeping them up off the ground helps prevent disease and parasite infestations.

10. I've also heard mention of needing a permit with the state to raise game birds such as quail and pheasant. Is this true? If so, how would one go about getting such a permit and how much would it cost? Check with your local wild game management agency and agriculture regulator agencies

11. Where do the quail and pheasants sleep?
Where ever they please.... Most pheasants will roost. Many times bob's will too
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
12. Last question, it's two-part. When I first moved here I purchased a shed and then built a "flight pen" around one end of it (the end with the door into the shed), with a wooden frame keeping it up and a door into the flight pen. The way that it's built the chickens have room to walk around outside but also a place to roost at night. There's wire or walls on every side as well as a wire "ceiling" so there's no possible way for the chickens to get out or for anything else to get in. I realize this is probably excessive for chickens, especially since so many people have them free range, but I wanted to be extra careful. Anyway, I had a similar idea for building a coop for the quail and pheasants. Here is the type of design I'm talking about: http://i46.tinypic.com/fy3jex.jpg

a.) Would this type of design work for housing either quail, pheasants or both?

b.) How much room would be needed for the flight pen, assuming there would be (hypothetically and approximately) 2 pheasants and 4 quail? I get kind of intimidated when I search online for photos of flight pens and see things like this: http://i48.tinypic.com/33vg0mu.jpg
But I also found this pheasant pen in a search which seems much more doable, but I'm afraid something like it might not be big enough: http://i47.tinypic.com/2z6z0no.jpg

The 1st link or the last link would work fine for the speces and numbers your wanting.
please check out the link for illnesses posted here just for your knowledge. Also research your pheasants carefully and thouroughly as mikados are quite rare and a specialty bird not normally recommended for beginners due to the difficult and rare nature of the speces. You may wish to start with a much less rare and more easily kept birdd to build experience then work up to the big fancy stuff. Here's the link http://veterinaryrecord.bvapublications.com/cgi/content/abstract/153/10/293
 

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