Best breed quail for a pet... GO!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ChazzanHillel, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. ChazzanHillel

    ChazzanHillel In the Brooder

    May 13, 2014
    Fort Worth
    Just out of curiosity, by show of votes:

    IYE what is the best kind or breed of quail to keep as a pet that especially doesn't mind or even likes to be handled?
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    Coturnix are the best choice for anyone asking this question. They have been domesticated nearly as long as chickens so the traits people wanted have been well isolated in that time.

    Coturnix lay an egg every day and only stop to molt in the winter. They are over domesticated so you can handle them pretty easily and they become friendly over time. They begin laying at 2 months of age or right near there and are ready to process for meat around 2 months.

    No other quail lays an edible size egg every day and most other quail are too wild to be handled without putting a lot of work into it. Also coturnix are the least aggressive and you won't have to fight cannibalism on your first try raising quail

    Bobwhites, valleys, gambels, and scaled are popular with experienced quail keepers but definitely not a good place to start. All new world quail only begin laying the first may after they reach appx 30 weeks of age and will only lay from may to august. If they aren't 6 months old their first May they will wait to lay until the next May. Also if you're eating them most of these breeds aren't ready until 18-24 weeks.
  3. aperez54

    aperez54 In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2014
    What does IYE mean?

    I have 5 Coturnix indoors in 2 separate aquariums turned brooders... 2 are 4 weeks old and the other 3 are just over 2 weeks old.
    I can't wait to get them in their rabbit hutch outside!!! They aren't dirty, but they poop so much lol. They don't like being held.. So as much as I want to keep a couple as pets, I don't think it's a good idea for us..
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    In Your Estimation

    Edit to add: They don't just hatch wanting to be a pet it takes work. At my local SPCA they have one they all fed out of their hands so it just walks around the office resting by whoever will pay attention to it. Pretty neat bird really.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  5. aperez54

    aperez54 In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2014
    Thanks DC... we held the chicks constantly for a couple of weeks, had them eat out of our hands but it seems as soon as they hit the 3.5 weeks mark, they all just started running away the minute we tried to pet them or hold them. But if we don't touch them, they'd happily just stand there. My problem is, even when we let them out, I always had a roll of paper towel and a spray bottle of vinegar/water mix because they poop so much I spend more time picking up poop and spraying the area they pooped on rather than enjoying them.
  6. Advocat

    Advocat In the Brooder

    May 7, 2014
    My experience with quail is limited to the one male Gambel's quail I have, he's now about 4-1/2 months old and most of his adult plumage is in.

    As a pet, I think he's really delightful! When he was little, he liked to be held but not so much as he got older. However, he will perch on my shoulder for lengthy periods of time when I'm sitting down or walking around the house. He will perch on my arm for a while, he'll run up and down my legs and around on my lap picking at my clothes when I'm sitting. He follows me all over the house, either running on the floor behind me, or occasionally flying short distances to "catch up" when he gets side-tracked looking at something that interests him. Anything I'm doing, he wants to see -- if I'm typing he pecks on the keyboard, hard enough to "make letters". Some moving things on my computer screen catch his attention and he'll watch them for a couple of minutes.

    Because he does fly at times, I keep window curtains closed when he is out of his cage so he doesn't fly at the clear glass thinking there is something reachable. Most of his flights are brief, short, fast bursts in a circular path but occasionally he goes higher.

    After he has been out of his cage for around an hour, he's more amenable to sitting on my lap and letting me just pet him without him moving away. He's not afraid of my hands, and I can touch him anywhere, but he's an active bird who doesn't often want to sit still. But ... I've found that when he is sitting up on top of one of the rabbit cages (also indoor pets), he'll let me pet him pretty much until I feel like stopping. If I stroke his head and down his back, he'll even at times close his eyes for a short while.

    Usually he's only out for about an hour at a time. I think if he were out for longer periods, he'd calm down enough that he might be easier to cuddle in my hand for a while. As it is though, an hour seems hardly long enough for the exploring he wants to do.

    He makes a lot of noises -- little "whimper" sounds, soft "qweep qweep" chirps, and he has 3 different calls as to crowing.

    Yeah, he poops. I don't worry about it when it falls on the floor because it dries up to a very small "bead" in a little while and can be swept up quickly. But I clean up with a tissue when it gets on my clothes or desk, etc. I ordered a "Flight Suit" for him a couple of weeks ago, and once I can get it to stay on him (it needs some adjustment as to size), his poops will fall into the collection pouch designed to fit under his vent and there will be less concern when he's out and about.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    Thats pretty much been my experience. My birds don't care for me at all, but the second my mom shows up and walks by the food bin they're all peeping at her for treats. I think they like her because she gives them treats (seeds and such) and I never do.

    Besides that I already clean up enough poop without having to run around finding it.
  8. Shawna89

    Shawna89 Songster

    Feb 3, 2011
    Stamping Ground, Ky
    I love the coturnix!! They're sweet and when held often are very friendly!

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