Chicken vs Quail vs Quail - help please!!!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by AEGH, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. AEGH

    AEGH New Egg

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    Hi all,

    I am new to the bird world and the site. I truly need some sound advise and information please!

    Please bear with me....

    The company I work at has an aviary on the premises. It has doves, canaries and some other sing song birds. Overall the aviary does well and we don't have species clashes etc until recently. Some quails were added, first two pairs of California quails. One died so now the pair ration is all wrong - think we have two males and a female (I've seen the males chase each other around). Then a pair of Bobwhite Quails. They've done very well and are happy.

    Then a hen (petite fluffy black one) was added. She was gifted after a rooster had mated with her. The Quails all laid their eggs in one nest.... can actually see the difference in the eggs. Some are clear and some spotty. So they were already battling it out on whom will be sitting on the eggs. Then the hen went and plonked an egg in there as well. Being bigger than the quails she's won the battle and is now nesting all the eggs. We tried to intervene by moving her egg to a different nest but she ignored the other nest and the quails went in there and kicked it out. When ever she leaves to feed the quails sneak in - kick out the chicken egg and sit till she battles them away. We replace the chicken egg every time cause moving it has not helped move her from the nest.


    Now I've read that Quails are cannibals... eat their offspring.... etc. Please help. I'm checking the nest daily. Will the chicken hen raise the Quail chicks? When do I remove them from the aviary and when do we return them? The aviary is massive so more than enough space but I won't stand by and let adults eat young. Just wrong in so many ways.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
     
  2. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Firstly, a hen in with quail is a bad idea for a couple of reasons, she's big enough to do them serious damage if she decides to, and hens should be kept with other hens because a single hen will be lonely. There are also some very dangerous diseases which chickens can pass to quail if you're in America. There might also be an issue between the two types of quail, most people only keep one species in a pen together, but I don't keep either of those types so someone else who knows about them will come along and help us out.

    Broody hens are sometimes used to brood quail chicks, but I'm not sure how well quail chicks would do alongside a chicken chick, because a chicken chick will be probably double the size of a quail chick. Quail don't all eat their offspring, many quail will brood and raise their own offspring, but they will be a threat to the chicks raised by the hen.

    This may not be what you want to hear, but I would remove all of the eggs, and hopefully that will break the broody hen. I would also remove her and send her somewhere where she can live with other chickens. As for the groups of quail, as I said I will wait for someone else to come along and help.
     
  3. qlicer49

    qlicer49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Simple. MOVE THE CHICKEN OUT!!!!

    Chickens should not be kept together. I sure James will be along in a little while to collect his money.
     
  4. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You mean chickens and quail I'm sure. Chickens NEED to live together.

    The Corzya issue is USA ONLY. I have said this so many times. I know most people on here are in the US, but don't just assume that. Here in the UK I have never heard of anyone having any issue, pretty much all quail are kept alongside chickens. I say alongside because a chicken is big enough to kill a quail, they still shouldn't be in the same pen.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    This last post is a true statement. Coryza is not present in Europe at this time. It runs rampant in the USA and does kill quail. In Europe, and even the few that get lucky in the USA, if chickens and quail are raised together, generally they will be able to fight off all disease in their environment. When new birds are introduced to an existing flock, whether it be quail to chickens or chickens to quail, birds can be at risk. There are many other bacteria and virus's that chickens or quail can carry and infect one another other than Coryza. Just when mixing new chickens into an already established chicken flock, so with any poultry, it is always best to quarantine or at least mix them slowly from the other side of a fence.

    As for chickens with quail in any country, the two really don't belong together. Not only are chickens so much larger that they can kill quail, (roosters are especially guilty of this), but the feed requirement is much different between quail and chickens. Quail require a much higher protein diet that might ultimately hurt chickens if the chickens consumed too much of the quail feed. Quail require at least 18% protein to sustain life as well and wont' lay well unless they get protein in the 20's. All this being said, chickens and quail should be kept in their own quarters.

    As for hatching quail eggs...if a chicken hen sets on these eggs, chances are she may break them over time. Quail eggs are pretty delicate compared to a large chicken hen jostling them around. If by chance they do hatch, depending on the hens attitude, she may or may not be a good broody momma. Some hens can kill their babies. So this entire situation would have to be monitored at hatch and intervene should things go south. Same goes for broody quail mommas.

    As for the lone California male...I have plenty of Bob males with no mate. They won't die. But he will probably need to be kept separate during the breeding season of spring thru fall so he doesn't become injured by the quail pairs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  6. AEGH

    AEGH New Egg

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    Thank you to all for the replies - I really do appreciate it. The aviary is on a business property. I have no where to move the chicken to and she really is a soft natured little thing. I seriously doubt her egg will hatch -- she was mated months ago --- surely there's a time limit to these things??? She's been in the aviary with the quails for months and we have had no incidents of them not getting on. She actually keeps to herself and is rather shy. We provide a variety of feeds because the aviary has a variety of different birds with different protein and food texture requirements. Also we have never had any disease outbreaks; all of the "added birds" except for the chicken were bought from breeders. The birds are pretty much left to live as natural as possible in captivity - we care for them and only intervene with chicks and nests when we absolutely have to.

    I really am not comfortable with removing the eggs since they've been there for awhile already and it's against my nature to just end life - my manager will most likely not agree either since he is very excited about the quail chicks.

    What if I section off a part of the aviary? Will that prevent adult attacks on the chicks and nest disputes? Will the chicken hen raise the quail chicks even if her own egg doesn't hatch? Oh and as for the chicken hen breaking the eggs - she really is a petite little thing for a chicken but yes about twice the size of the quails but so far not one single egg has met with a bad end though. How long before eggs hatch?

    Thanks again for all the information and advice!
     
  7. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oooff... I am having a tough day on the forums today!

    Right, let's start again:

    The chicken is probably acting shy because she is very lonely. She needs to be with other chickens. If we put you in a house with gorillas, and no other humans, you'd act shy too. If/when she gets babies to protect, it will be another matter entirely.

    As for the eggs, it's not certain that any were fertile, or that they have been incubated enough to hatch at all anyway, since there's been a lot of moving around.

    Just because the right feed is there, doesn't mean it's the right feed they're eating. Mcdonalds is present, so is salad, we still all choose the one that's bad for us. I don't know how chicken food tastes, but if any of them are eating the wrong food it could be very harmful. Too much protein is bad for chickens, so if she's eating quail food that won't be good either. There's no real way of telling who's eating what without feeding them individually or filming them all day or something. Sectioning off part of the aviary would probably work as far as keeping the chicks safe is concerned, but I'd really consider rehoming the hen after she's raised the chicks, if that's all you want her for. Lots of people will rehome a good broody.

    You're also forgetting that the hen might hatch the chicks and then kill them, which would be thoroughly horrible for everyone. If it was me, I'd rather not hatch chicks than risk them being killed, but then I suppose we all risk them when we let a broody hatch. It is wonderful to watch a broody with chicks.

    I know people go on about corzya, but if you haven't had any problems yet then chances are it won't come up... I don't know much about it, we don't have it here.

    If I were in your position, I would section off the aviary so that the hen and eggs are alone. Make sure you use TINY wire, quail chicks are TINY, you want the smallest wire you can get, or solid boards maybe to stop pecking through the mesh. Make sure that there are NO holes, any hole a baby will escape through. If/when the eggs hatch (I don't know about bobwhite/californian eggs) keep a close eye on the hen and if she hurts one remove them all to a brooder. You'll need to have an emergency brooder on stand by in case.

    As for the eggs, they are a mixture of the two species correct? They may take different times to hatch, in which case the first species will hatch and the others might be left to go cold and die.

    I'm not sure how they would get on post hatch, quail aren't known for getting on with other species.

    All in all I think you'd be taking a lot of big risks, but it's up to you and your manager. Well done for looking for help.
     

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