Button Quail Beginner

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SeaTurtleSwims, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. SeaTurtleSwims

    SeaTurtleSwims Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2015
    I am getting a pair of button quail on Wednesday. The breeder feeds southern states game starter feed which is 28% protein. The closest I could find at tractor supply was dumor chic starter feed at 20% protein. Will that drop in protein hurt the quail at all? I am not sure how old they are, but was told they are 'near adult' juveniles old enough to start laying next month. My roommate keeps parakeets and zebra/spice finches, but these are my first quail haha

    This is the 55gal I put together for them tonight- the dark rocky think on the right side of the tank is a fountain with running water. Anything I should change or add to it before the babies come??

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. SeaTurtleSwims

    SeaTurtleSwims Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2015
    I just learned that their feed bowl should be large enough to stand in, so the little blue food bowl in the picture should be relaced with something like a saucer since they are ground feeders and need to shuffle with their feet to look for food. Any other suggestions?
     
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2015
    They don't need to be able to stand in their food bowl - if they can, they tend to poop in their food and scrape the food out of the bowl. They do have an instinct to scrape for food, but they can feed without scraping and the scraping instinct can be satisfied in other ways. They might peck their feed out of the blue bowl too though, the edge doesn't look very high and they can do a rather efficient 'scraping peck' with their beak alone. I usually put a bit of seeds on the bedding(sand) for my buttons, to give them some entertainment, but their main feed (ground gamebird feed) is in small porcelain bowls with high edges with the exception of the ones in my aviary - they have a closed clay food bowl with ~6 holes for their heads so they can reach the feed but not waste it.
    You might want to look online for a better feed, but I recently switched my buttons from 24% protein 'gamebird starter' to 19% 'gamebird grower' and I haven't seen any ill effects. I did make the switch over a few days though.
     
  4. SeaTurtleSwims

    SeaTurtleSwims Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2015
    Okay! Thanks for the words on food bowls, I'll just leave it as is then and skip the saucer. Unfortunately I don't think I'm getting any of their old seed, so I guess I will just hope for the best on that one. Is sand the best substrate for them? I put down shredded paper/cardboard guinea pig bedding. It's very soft but it was dirt cheap and can replace if they shouldn't be in it.... Initially I wanted to put down a mulch/potting soil substrate (organic just so there isn't any nutrient additives) but Walmart didn't have any so went with guinea pig bedding. Might go check out Lowes today for it if they could be kept on that?

    I heard they can die if they get a new water bottle and can't figure out that it's water. Are you just supposed to pick them up and put their beak in it when you first get them?

    Thanks!
     
  5. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2015
    If you gave them a rabbit water bottle and they had never seen anything like that before, I suppose it could potentially be a problem for them to find the water, but with a fountain with running water, they can't have any doubts.
    I don't know what is the best bedding, but I like the sand because I don't need to change it all to clean their cage, I can just use a cat litter shovel to remove poops. And they love to sand bath, so having sand all over the cage gives them plenty of opportunities to do so. Try the stuff you have now, if you don't like it, you can try something else.
     
  6. brandiskip

    brandiskip Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2015
    I started raising buttons in July of this year and have had great success. I even bought an incubator and started hatching them. I mix a variety of food for them to eat. Tractor supply has some stuff called UltraKibble for chicks. It has 29.64% crude protein. When I first hatch the babies, I feed them only the kibble but as they grow, I start mixing in other feed bc they don't need quiet that much protein as adults. I don't have an exact science or anything but I start with parakeet feed then mix in some kibble and flax seed. I crush up egg shells for the female and give her some oyster shell as well. Since I got my first pair, I've became obsessed. I'm now up to 13. I hope they bring you as much joy as they have me. [​IMG]
     
  7. brandiskip

    brandiskip Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2015
    For the bedding, I use Pine shavings for the older birds and the same cardboard stuff that you have. I feel like the cardboard shavings keep the smell down more. Looks like you have done a great job getting everything set up. Sand is a must.Mine eat it so I have to add more occasionally. Mine do not stand in their food bowl. Only when they are first born do you have to put their beaks in the water and food. After a day, they've got it. I use a variety of little bowls for their food and a quail waterer sitting on top of something to keep shavings out of it. Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
  8. fishforbrains

    fishforbrains Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 4, 2015
    I currently have 20 buttons that I hatched out. I buy my button quail food off Amazon- it's young gamebird feed from H and H Feed, free shipping. It's just the right size of crumble for buttons unlike everything my local farm store sells. I mix some finch and flax seed into it, which is something that Braken Ridge Ranch suggests, and also offer fresh veg/fruit and live mealworms daily. I feed out of a bowl they can't fit into- if you feed them out of bowl they can climb into, you're going to waste enormous amounts of food because they will kick it all over the place and poop on it. I'm guessing they eat around 1/2 tablespoon of the food per day per bird.
    I bed my buttons on sand. I put a cage liner in, then sprinkle a thin layer of sand over it. I tried pine shavings at first, but they made a horrible mess kicking it out of the cages all over the place. The sand stays in and they seem to enjoy scratching around in it and dusting themselves with it.
    I suggest buying a special reptile or bird full-spectrum light bulb that offers UV light for optimal bird health.
     
  9. brandiskip

    brandiskip Out Of The Brooder

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    What kind of sand do you use and where do you buy it? They do make a terrible mess with the pine shavings.
     
  10. fishforbrains

    fishforbrains Out Of The Brooder

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    kid's playground sand at Lowe's. $5 for a 50-pound bag. I guess you could also use reptile substrate sand but I suspect it is much pricier.
     
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