Considering quail.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by dotknott, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,
    I spend a fair amount of my time over in the duck forum, and am considering adding quail to my poultry yard. I'm new to quail, and have some questions that I'm hoping you can help with.

    Species - I was considering coturnix. I'm hoping for meat and eggs. I think they are a match? I don't really need them for eggs, as I've got the ducks, but having the quail eggs for pickling would be nice.

    Space - I've read to keep them in small groups, 1m and a few females, up to six all together. But how large of a space is that? I'm planning on keeping them off the ground. I'll be building a hutch got them, but I don't know how big I should be considering.

    How many? We're a family of two.

    Feed- What protein % should I be looking for? If I get young birds, do I put them on starter and switch over to reg feed after a certain amount of time?

    Brooding- if I get young birds (1week) how long would I be brooding them? How long until eggs (or is it too late in the year to expect eggs before next spring?)

    Weather- I'm keen on quail for a few reasons, but their ability to withstand the cold is pretty high on the list. I gather they need to be outside to harden off if they're going to be out, then it's just a matter of keeping them dry and draft free and their water liquid. Is there anything else I need to consider here?

    I think those are my questions... Probably have more, we'll see.
     
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got Coturnix for meat. The eggs are a fun novelty but I don't eat many of them. I've actually been feeding the excess eggs to my current batch of 1 week old chicks and they go nuts for it.

    The recommendations on space is 1 sq ft per bird. If you can provide more all the better.

    If you want them for meat and need a male, you'll want at least 3 females. It would be better to have a few more. You can keep up to 10 without reducing the fertility rates. I get one egg a day per female. They hardly ever miss a day (but they are all young).

    I feed show bird/game bird feed. I believe it's 26%. For the first 3 weeks they get that and the current batch has also gotten boiled egg. After that I start introducing treats, including fruits and veggies.

    If it is warm enough outside they can go out at 3 weeks. If it's cooler you'll have to wait til 4 weeks. Of course just like other fowl baby you have to acclimate them to cooler temps.

    I've been getting eggs at 6 weeks. Normal range is 6-8. Probably won't have enough day light for eggs this year. But if you want eggs this year you could give supplemental light. Eggs won't really be fertile till around week 12.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  3. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all the info! I think I may have to start a hutch build once I'm done with the fall chores.

    Is there an ideal processing age on Coturnix?
     
  4. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When planning the coop/hutch thing.. how much vertical space should I allow for? I've read conflicting opinions.
     
  5. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All the things I read said 8 weeks is the optimal point for feed consumption versus weight gain. The males on my previous batch were driving me crazy with all the late night crowing so I butchered half at 6 weeks and half at 8 weeks. I weighed them to see the difference. There was a 3.95 gram increase on average weight. That's 0.14 oz. Not much for 2 weeks of feed. I still have all the females from that batch. I'm going to butcher some this week at 10 weeks and the rest at 12 weeks to see the difference. Just looking at them the females always looked a little bigger.
     
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are all about 1.5 feet. I've had two instances of boinking in my grow out pens but none so far in my breeder pen. Both were right at the seem where there is wood frame and not wire. I believe one was due to fighting amongst males and one was freightenrd when high winds damaged a tree.

    I believe it's best to be below 1 foot tall or over 4 feet. That way if they jump up they either don't build up enough speed/momentum to cause damage or the top is high enough they won't hit. You can also negate this my adding something soft to the top, like foam. It's also best to give them places to hide under. They would rather run for cover than jump up.
     
  7. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, yeah I think I saw that thread now that you mention it. So.. That's not terrible, 3-4 weeks indoors, then 4-5 weeks outdoors before processing. Way quicker turn around then my ducks.

    I was planning on 2-3 stacked cages, 4ft wide x 2 ft deep (maxing out at 8 birds per cage.) That should be pretty easy to do if I keep them to 12in tall.

    Thank you all for the info!
     
  8. geniash

    geniash Chillin' With My Peeps

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