Coturnix Quail Newbie ... I have questions, can you answer them?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by cooltindog, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. cooltindog

    cooltindog Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
    Background:
    I bought 10 Coturnix 2.5 weeks ago. They were "around 3 weeks old" when I bought them. They seem pretty healthy. I have them in a 2' x 5' coop. They have a waterer that holds one quart, and a galvanized feeder with a one quart mason jar, and a dirt bath. They are now on 1/2" hardware cloth (originally they were on a solid floor, but I was afraid of them walking on there own fecis). I put a light in on a timer so they will get 14 hours of light a day. I live in the Phoenix area, so it will be HOT this summer. They have shade. Their coop is off the ground because of snakes.

    Questions:
    They seem to waste a LOT of food. They will go through a quart a day, but it looks like 1/3 of it is lost through the hardware cloth. Is there a better way to feed them?
    Is it safe to "recycle" the food that gets through the hardware cloth?
    I never see them pecking each other, but in the last 5 days, many seem to have "ratty" looking feathers on the tops of their heads. Is that normal?
    At what point should I put a "misting system" on them? 90 degrees? 100?
    Can one mulch their feathers with their poop, or do I have to pick them out?

    Are there any members in the Phoenix/Peoria area that raise Coturnix Quail that might like to network?

    Sincere Thanks for All of Your Help, Carl
     
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  3. cooltindog

    cooltindog Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
    Sincere Thanks for your help and experience! Carl
     
  4. cooltindog

    cooltindog Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
    I sexed them today... 6 hens, 4 roosters. seperated into twon coops, 6 hens and one rooster in #1, 3 roosters in #2. We will see how it goes!
     
  5. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They need deep shade in summer. Unless it's going to be over 112 don't use a mister, and then only during the very hottest time of the day for a couple of hours. You want them acclimated to the heat, not dependent on misters that might clog or otherwise quit working when they need it most. I can't stress enough that in the heat of summer here they must have at least two independent sources of water! If something happens to one they will still have another source. If they are without water longer than an hour during the afternoon you will have dead quail, regardless of how much shade they have! They will drink a lot in summer, and will often have crops full of water.

    They greatly enjoy shallow pans of water in summer and will bathe and play in them just like any other bird. It's pretty fun to watch them play. Unglazed terracotta works well for cooling because the surface wicks up water which slowly evaporates thereby cooling the pans.
    [​IMG]

    By mulching I assume you mean composting? Their feathers do break down, though slower than their droppings, it's quicker than large chicken flight feathers. It's not worth picking them out, just throw it all into the compost bins. Their droppings will heat up to very high temperatures which aids in breaking down the feathers, and makes "black gold" quicker than plain yard and kitchen waste. Make sure to "rest" the resulting compost a couple of months before using it. If I can throw a handful of seeds in the finished compost and have them sprout nice and green it's ready to use. If the seedlings turn yellow and burn the compost needs to age more. You can also use seed potatoes for testing your compost.

    I don't mind networking.
     
  6. cooltindog

    cooltindog Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
    So I seperated them as described in 4th post. Today, one of the hens started acting up. She is chasing the roo and pecking at the other hens if they get near the roo. There has been no blood shed, and I have not witnessed any feather pulling, but she seems ? agitated ? Is this most likely determining a new pecking order? Her getting aggressive? Or some mating display? Any input on what I should look for? Thanks.
     
  7. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's hard to tell what set her off. It can be something as simple as moving things outside their cage. Make sure she is not injured from the roo mating with her or from another cause. Placing some items in the cage so they can get away from each other if they want to can help. Just breaking her line of sight from the other birds can calm her. You can use real or fake greenery, potted plants (non toxic), cardboard boxes, etc. Give them something to dust bathe in, clip edible greens like kale in easy reach for them to nibble, think of anything to take her mind off her aggressive behavior. Keep an eye out for injuries to her cage mates and be prepared to separate her if she doesn't eventually calm down. Often removing just the trouble maker will bring lasting peace to the rest of the covey.
     
  8. cooltindog

    cooltindog Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2015
    Thanks for the help. I seperated her when I read your post. The covey is calm and I got my first two eggs yesterday! Yeah! They are HUGE. I also got this crazy cage system off craigslist (it's for chinchila farming) which I am going to convert to quail coops. Iam keeping "Miss Congeniality" seperated for a week, then I am going to try to re-introduce her to the covey.
    Again, Thanks for your help.
     
  9. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So it was you that got that cool set up! I was looking at that thinking how good it would be for breeding quail.
    Often if the eggs are huge they are double yolkers. They usually weigh 19-23 grams. Very common in new layers.
    Yeah for peace and quiet in the covey. I hope it goes well when you re-introduce her.
     

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