Clipping quail chick wings?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by maadroj, May 25, 2019.

  1. maadroj

    maadroj In the Brooder

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    May 25, 2019
    First-time quail parents here. We hatched 14 California quail chicks in an incubator. They currently range between 1-5 days old. We're using a plastic tote box as the brooder and have a large dog kennel to move them into as they get larger, until they're old enough to go to an aviary outside.

    But I read that they can start flying at 10 days old! I already see tiny flight feathers developing and watch them hop and flap their wings every morning. I can't manage them in the brooder if they'll fly out every time I open it to clean or feed! Is 9 days too young to clip flight feathers? They're so tiny.
     
  2. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

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    I wouldn't try to clip anything until they start actually flying.
     
  3. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

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    They can actually start taking flight at one week old...18" anyway. You could trim their primaries with a pair of scissors. Can you post some pics of your brooder, might have some solution instead of cutting their wing feathers.
     
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  4. muddy75

    muddy75 Crowing

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    I carefully move my chicks to a cardboard box and have hubby monitor them when I’m doing a full brooder cleaning. I have also kept multiple brooders available to transfer to clean one while cleaning the other. These systems have worked well for me with batches 30 or less.
     
  5. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

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    X2, I use multiple brooders, move them to a clean one while I clean the other...when I get around to it! :lol:
     
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  6. maadroj

    maadroj In the Brooder

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    It's literally just a plastic tote. For now we rest the lid slightly skewed when we're away. We plan to poke holes into it later today for when we need to keep the lid on. Maybe moving them to another crate is what we need to do.
     

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  7. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

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    Oh wow, that's a really shallow tote. They can jump out of the at 2 days old. I suggest getting a deeper and bigger tote. I would also have a mesh wire top for it, 1/2" HC works well. Using the plastic top without adequate ventilation will cause the temperature to get to high. The brooder temperature should be 95°F for the 1st week, then the temp is decreased 5°F per week until they are fully feathered or the ambient temperature is 70°F.
     
  8. maadroj

    maadroj In the Brooder

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    Lol, fortunately they haven't jumped out yet. I think it may look more shallow in the picture than it is. I have seen them hop up about half the height of the tote, which is why I've been worried about their impending ability to fly. We'll work on setting up a new larger brooder, in that case. Thanks for your thoughts!
     
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  9. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

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    There's been a few times (more than I care to admit) that I have come home to a house full of pheasants running around because I didn't put a screened top on the brooder soon enough :lau it's happened with quail, too!
     
  10. maadroj

    maadroj In the Brooder

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    This may be bordering on ridiculous, but we hacked together three totes yesterday to make it taller, cut out sliding doors on the bottom to make it easier to clean and add food, and added weed barrier fabric to the top to make a soft cushion in case they fly up high enough to bonk their heads (will be poking some holes in it for added ventilation once we secure it. The lid clips don't hold it). The top two totes can be removed from the bottom one if needed and their lids added to create temporary housing--or maybe an outdoor play pen (with very careful supervision)--we'll see.
     

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