coturnix- how to pick the best breeders?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by loves2hatch, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. loves2hatch

    loves2hatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    280
    6
    111
    Apr 6, 2012
    Central Iowa
    I hatched out 11 quail, It looks like I ended up with 5 males. They will be 4 weeks old on Sunday.
    All the eggs hatched early between midnight and 7 am on day 16 1/2, no problems no crooked toes, no health issues. So far no fighting between any of them. I'm planning on keeping two males.

    How do you decide which males to keep for breeding?
    Should I seperate all the males into one cage without any females or should I just leave them all in the same cage until I know/see any of them breeding so I can watch their behaviors and pick the least aggressive?

    Or keep only the heaviest 2 with smoothest feathers at say 6 or 8 weeks and get rid of the others at that time?

    I'm not sure how to go about picking the best stock to keep So please advise

    Thank you
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Great question! I want to know too!
     
  3. Sians quails

    Sians quails Out Of The Brooder

    84
    2
    41
    Jul 11, 2012
    Me too!
     
  4. chiqita

    chiqita Overrun With Chickens

    5,430
    180
    268
    Aug 29, 2011
    San Jose, Ca
    What qualities are you trying to breed into your next generation of quail? Big? Friendly? Specific Colors? Figure out whats the most important to you, and grab the guys that have those traits.

    And keep an extra guy for a while if you want to make sure he is fertile. Some roos are more manly them others.
     
  5. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,195
    40
    178
    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Quails will kill one another. The first thing for me is size and the way he treats his girls. Also watch the girls. They will let you know who their favorite is.
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Great points! Thanks. :)
     
  7. loves2hatch

    loves2hatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    280
    6
    111
    Apr 6, 2012
    Central Iowa
    The ones I have are all the brown jumbos. so I think I can rule out color. I do have one male that's heavier then the others. His breast feathers are more reddish also, So I think he may have matured faster than the others? I guess I'll keep him If he doesn't become aggressive. I'm not sure how to pick the other male The rest kind of look the same. I only have 6 girls so I think one male would be plenty, but I want two just in case. Or should I have 3 and keep them as trios?

    None are aggressive yet. (4 weeks old) When do they usually start to become aggresive with each other that I have to worry about moving them into different cages? Ideally, I would like to move all the males in one cage and all the females in a different cage until I can decide which males to pick. Is this a bad idea? Will the males be aggressive to each other with no female in the same cage? they were all hatched at the same time and have been living together peacefully in the same cage so far.
     
  8. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,305
    39
    174
    Jul 24, 2010
    You will find out in next couple weeks. I would keep the one that large, friendly, quiet, mate often, minimum defect. You soon find some of them just crow too much.
     
  9. loves2hatch

    loves2hatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    280
    6
    111
    Apr 6, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Thanks all. I guess I'll wait and see.
    Here's a pic of my quail taken at 4 weeks: Sorry, I don't know how to rotate this picture. They all loaded sideways in my album here on BYC

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  10. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

    845
    18
    131
    Mar 1, 2011
    Ohio
    Nice birds. With my Coturnix quail I decide by who is the one that seems to be most dominant. Watch them closely and he'll stick out. The other males know he is in charge and may fight him for it when they mature. I'd also look for one that doesn't tear up the hens from mating (some just get way too excited), which should start when they are between 2-3 months old. It is too stressful on the hens to be bald. I often notice, crazy as it sounds, that the hens will often respect the dominant roo and give in rather than try to run from him.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by