Bobwhite Quail Questions.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Jmay402, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Jmay402

    Jmay402 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    3
    32
    Mar 30, 2015
    I have had chickens for several years. I love watching my chickens scratch around and have fun in the back yard. They are very easy to care for. Lately, I have been interested in keeping a few quail, but I know very little about them. I have a few questions about them.



    1. Can quail eggs be hatched in a chicken incubator or do they require different heat / humidity settings?
    2. Are they as easy as chickens to care for?
    3. If you release a farm raised bobwhite into the wild, will it survive or die?
    4. Are they very costly or hard to keep only a few? maybe 5 to 10.
    5. Will they sit on their eggs and hatch and raise the babies?
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,392
    2,169
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    I have no experience with bobwhite quail but incubating them is the same as chicken eggs. I just wouldn't 'dry incubate' because they are smaller than chicken eggs and have thinner shells so they are more at risk of losing too much moisture.

    From what I've read they can be very aggressive towards one another and are best kept in pairs. Chicks need a very spacious brooder to reduce aggression. Just be aware that chickens carry diseases that can be passed into game birds so you have to keep them away from your chickens and ensure you wash your hands and change your shoes between runs/enclosures.

    To release them you have to expose them to as little human contact as possible and you may need a licence to release them into the wild.

    Quail also can't free range like chickens.

    Coturnix/Japanese quail are my favourite. They only need a small cage, are sweet and friendly and it is cute to watch them interacting with each other.

    Hopefully someone more experienced can fill in the gaps.
     
  3. Jaybird14

    Jaybird14 Out Of The Brooder

    68
    3
    44
    Dec 30, 2014
    The "Bobs" I have had in the past were always "wild" birds. great flyers and very busy. they are fun to watch and listed to but do not handle like a chicken.
     
  4. Jaybird14

    Jaybird14 Out Of The Brooder

    68
    3
    44
    Dec 30, 2014
    My quail,bobs or cots, never sat on their eggs. the bobs would stick around for a while if let go. Very easy meal for hawks and such.
    The cots I've raised do not bust up when startled as much as the bobs, but the bobs are way better looking, and sing nicer, in my opinion.

    If you want fast growing meat birds the cots are the way to go.
    I am not an expert by any means. these are just my observations. Sorry for the scattered thoughts ...its early :)

    Have fun.

    Jay
     
  5. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    362
    38
    93
    Jun 8, 2014
    Tennessee


    1. Yep. the incubation temp is the same!
    2. kind of and kind of not. you cant keep them with chickens unless you want to chance diseases, and most likely will. They require a full enclosure sides and top, else they will escape.
    3. wild quail have a rough life expactancy of 1.5 years in the wild. Pen raised burdz (bobs) have a 2% suvival rate in the wild. put the two together and its best just ring the pen raise birds necks and have a good meal. Release a couple during hunting season and then buy one of my pups and hunt them down. Else your just feeding the wild some good tasty meat that you would enjoy better after a fun sporting day in the field.
    4. Cost is a little cheaper as they eat but not as much as chickens. Lb per lb, they probably eat more and waste just as much scratching at their food. Special containers can be made to stop the scratching and save some feed, but I find commercial feeders work just the same.
    5. Nope! in the pen/pen raised birds will usually act like they are going to sit the nest but tend to give up sitting the eggs 1-10 days in.... and that is if they even bother to sit. In the wild, both the male and female bobs will share sitting the eggs setting duties in some instance.
    If you incubate and turn the chicks loose among some hens, sometimes a hen will adopt them sometimes not. chances are they all will be dead within 2 weeks due to cold, other birds attacking them, sick, other....its just fate.

    Other than that you will enjoy the h....ll out of them and the calls they make, as well as the meal.
     
  6. Jmay402

    Jmay402 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    3
    32
    Mar 30, 2015
    thank you all for the thoughtful replies. I am kind of leaning toward the bob whites mainly because I love how they look and their calls. I don't guess I have actually decided though. A bird that won't kill each other does sound a whole lot better. Do the other quail have a similar call?
     
  7. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,392
    2,169
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    It depends on if you want a bird you can handle and interact with or just one you enjoy watching. Japanese quail males have an annoying crow but they only tend to do it very briefly at dawn and dusk, though most of mine don't bother. The females make cute noises. Bob whites do have beautiful calls. Just do lots of research and look at all your options. Search the forums for information on other threads as there's lots out there.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by