Can someone ship live Coturnix for pets?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Pineapple, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013

    I've been a lurker for a long time but I don't post much. I have lots of experience with birds (mostly softbills) but not quail. I have only ever had one button quail, and she was severely beat up and ragged and I took her with a friend just to keep her safe and healthy for the duration of her life.

    I live in Western PA. I'm preparing to get 4-8 Coturnix quail to keep as pets. I'd prefer all females. I want them to be young (less than 3 months old), healthy (no bald spots, runny eyes, etc), and come from a reputable source. I would like interesting colors for photographs. They DO NOT have to be cheap.

    I'm going to keep these birds outside in a big cage I'm building and I also have two flight cages for winter (if need be).

    All the local birds I have found have runny eyes, messed up legs, bald spots, etc. In other words, they're treated like livestock and not like pets.

    I have considered trying to hatch eggs but I feel like it's "over my head" and too difficult a project for me because I work weird hours (overnight, long shifts) and I wouldn't be able to turn the eggs and monitor them properly.

    So I'm wondering if anybody can ship me some birds to keep as pets? I'm willing to pay for it, or to drive 2-3 hours on a weekend if necessary. I live about 20 minutes east of Pittsburgh, PA.

  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    3 months old is a full grown bird. I recommend getting less than several weeks old if you want to tame them as pets. They need to come from calm, tame stock, not flighty, psycho stock. I'd buy local pickup and not take a chance on sight unseen shipped birds.
  3. Everlong

    Everlong In the Brooder

    May 17, 2016
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Well my friend, here is my thought. I am new to birds, got my first ever quail about two months ago, or whenever I joined the forum so I can't relly give you any advice about birds, BUT.....

    You said that money is not really an issue when purchasing these birds, and that you work weird hours. How about you get yourself an incubator that turns the eggs by itself?????

    This way the birds you get will be tamed/pets and not psychos like someone suggested. Also you will know their exact age.


  4. You implied you are willing to spend some money, thus if you were to invest in a decent higher end incubator or build your own with some bells and whistles, it will require very minimal to no monitoring and will turn the eggs by itself... The only thing I do for my incubator is add some water every few days, and remove the eggs from the turner close to hatch day, and glance at the temp as I walk by every so often maybe 15 minutes of time labor over an entire incubation period, for all intents mostly hands off...

  5. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    I had not realized that some incubators turn themselves. I really have no experience at all with incubators except for the really huge old-fashioned kind that I saw when my Grandma had chickens. That was a good 30 years ago.

    Can you guys recommend specific models or places to buy them?

  6. I build my own so I have no first hand experience, but the Cadillac of consumer home incubators is Brinsea but they come with a price tag...

    There are other cheaper options that can be tweaked to work well...

    PS make sure there is a quail adapter for the turner or incubator you choose, most have this option but just verify...
  7. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    Thank you again. I've been reading reviews and looking at incubators for about 3 hours. It's so confusing! I think I just have no idea what I'm actually reading, so it all "blends together" in my brain.

    Just on this forum alone there seem to be 10,000 opinions about which incubators are best for quail and to rear them once you get them hatched. I have seen the babies--they look so delicate. I think I'd die if I killed a whole batch of them by messing up the incubation. I'm a wuss.

    I'm going to keep looking at incubators. I've even seen on eBay that there are people who will sell you an incubator and eggs all in one. Are those kind of "deals" reputable?

    I'm also wondering if Tractor Supply would have incubators? Sometimes it helps me to go look at something in-person to get a better idea of how to use it. I might run down there tomorrow.

  8. quailsrock

    quailsrock In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2016
    Traactor supply usually has incubators in the spring during "chick days" but some sell them year round an when you buy eggs from ebay their is always a chance of getting eggs that are infurtile or were damaged during shipping so it is best to buy eggs local if at all possible in my opinion
  9. Ulladh

    Ulladh Chirping

    Aug 3, 2015
    Consider the cost of an incubator against trying to find a local breeder, as unless you plan to breed in the future they are a little useless, even just to try the quail and see if you like them first. They arent like chickens at all and depending what age and where their from, pretty skittish. Mine are reared from chicks I bought and fine when im with them, but go to grab ot lift them and they obviously panic, unlike the majority of chicken breeds

  10. In my area used incubators sell like hotcakes on Craigslist during spring at near full retail prices, so if you find it's not for you, you can probably make most of your investment back...

    Also if you are inclined to DIY a very good incubator can be made cheaply... My trusty tossed together in one evening DIY incubator is so darn rock solid it has become my primary incubator and it cost under $50 to build complete with my own DIY turner... Now granted DIY is not for everyone but just the same the hobby of hatching eggs doesn't necessitate a huge investment...

    Also if you play it right you can spend a spring/summer hatching out your own eggs and dumping the chicks on Craigslist, likely recouping the incubator cost and more in short... You won't get rich but you can recoup your investment in the incubator...
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016

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