Can You Keep Coturnix Quail With Chickens?

Tycine1

Crowing
May 26, 2009
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David, Chiriquí, Panama
I serve game bird feed to the entire flock; it is higher in protein than the best chicken feed that they have on offer here; some months the grind equates to only 15% protein, and other months the same feed bag tag will indicate that it has well over 24%. That's Panama for you. We buy what they have or we don't buy; that is our only choice. Anyway... It is far easier to reduce the protein intake of my chickens with treats than to boost it with meat products. All fruit and veggie treats, oatmeal, pasta, etc., will pull down their overall intake of protein. (A handy trick for those few months when the game bird feed is too high in protein for chickens) For the months where the available feed is coming in to the store with sub-par protein content, I fortify their water with a product called Chick Booster. It's a liquid multivitamin, mineral and amino acid supplement. It sounds like more work than it is. I merely check the tags for nutritional analysis and adjust how much chick booster I add to the water to balance it to my liking. Apparently the chick booster tastes good too, as my flock prefers to drink the fortified water over plain.
 

Ruby Rogue

Crowing
Mar 31, 2020
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Atlantic Canada
I will give you my amateur advice...

When I got quail, with zero experience, I quickly switched the chickens I was brooding out for the quail, without thoroughly cleaning the brooder. The Quail chicks soon after developed a conjunctivitis, which I treated. I'm sure it was something they caught for the chicks (which were asymptomatic) from not thoroughly cleaning the brooder.

I do house my quail with my chickens now. They are in 2 separate 'pens' similar to a rabbit hutch, built 3 ft up on the wall in my chicken coop. I've had no more issues so far. This is my general experience and other's experiences will differ.

I also clean often and do not let the chickens and quail interact.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 29, 2014
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New Zealand
There are a number of diseases chickens can carry without showing symptoms and these are a risk to your quail. Coryza is probably the worst and if the quail survives then it becomes a carrier for life, passing it onto other quail. It's a risk you will have to weigh up for yourself. If your chickens were hatched and raised by you on your property then the risk is low, but if they were bought as chicks or older birds then there's a higher risk.

Buttons are not hardy quail where temperature is concerned and mine never bred when kept in an aviary with Coturnix. One particular Coturnix hen had to be removed because she would not tolerate the smaller quail. Individual quail have very individual personalities which can make integration with other species, and even members of their own species, difficult.

Buttons are also a lot better at flying (it's easy to lose them when you open the cage) and much more highly strung than the easy going Coturnix. They are a pretty bird for looking at who don't tolerate being touched whereas we constantly trip over our Coturnix in our aviary and our kids frequently pick them up. They are so laid back and always decide to dust bathe right where we want to walk. 🙄

Ours live in a very secure aviary with a solid base and solid panels along the sides with mouse proof wire higher up. In a ground pen we lost quail to rats who would try and pull the birds through half inch hardware cloth and at one point chewed through the thick wooden framing to gain access to them (that was after trying to chew through the hardware cloth - they managed to break a few tines too!). So you'll have to assess the risk of predators to them as well as everything likes to eat quail.

Overall they are a great bird to keep. They are quite messy though so make sure your cage is easy to clean.
 

Tycine1

Crowing
May 26, 2009
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431
David, Chiriquí, Panama
This batch of chicken chicks I bought at the store as day old chicks, but the quail were incubated and raised here at home. My fully screened in back patio with deep litter has become their brooding home. My intention is to have the quail long enough to get about one hundred eggs into the incubator then process the adult birds for the freezer. The Cornish cross should be processed a while after I process the quail, while the quail eggs are in the incubator, and then move the young australorpe chickens (egg layers) out into the fully fenced back yard (about a half acre, fully fenced). There is a separate coop awaiting them there as well, but the fencing is what they call 'cyclone' fencing (aka chain link fence) and until these birds are about three months old, they can easy walk right through the links! I could have brooded them separately in their own coop, but having them on the patio means I spend more time with them building trust and asserting ~my~ place in the pecking order. Hahaha!
So... none of them have set foot on actual soil yet; limiting their exposure to disease. The australorpe chicks should be ready for the back yard after the heavy rain ceases for the year. Panama has two seasons; wet and dry. We are currently in wet season, and it's been extra juicy with the downfall from the outer bands of rain from hurricanes Eta and Iota this year. Waiting to put them in the yard reduces the chance for cocci overload, but have amprolium on hand just in case.
After this batch, is off of the porch, I should be okay to sweep the patio litter out the back door and into the garden, disinfect the floor and start another set of cornish cross (meat) with another batch of quail on the patio.
I'm thankful that I raise coturnix quail, they're a hearty bird.
 

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