Coturnix Quail Questions! for a newbie

Discussion in 'Quail' started by jbarrett, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. jbarrett

    jbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new to quail and just have a few qucik questions, and would really appreciate it for any info! I was just given 30 Coturnix quail (brown and A&M)! I am really excited but need to know a few things! I live in Florida if the climate has anything to do with their breeding! but answer whatever questions you have the answer for!! Thank you, Justin!

    1. People are telling me quail are hard to raise from babies to adult and hard to keep adults alive, is there any truth in that?
    2. I have 200 chicks also just given to me and I have had them before and keep the pen clean and fresh food and water and they are not hard, are quail the same way?
    3. Do they lay eggs year round with extended light in the pens?
    4. Are the eggs fertile all year?
    5. How do hatcheries get quail all year if the eggs are not fertile all year?
    6. ALSO a BIG ONE HERE!! Is there any way to sex the A&M quail by just looking at the bird 5 weeks old? I can sex the brown ones!

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  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do not believe everything you hear.

    Quail chicks are easy to raise and only take about 7-8 weeks to laying age and processing.

    The adults may fight once in a while and kill each other if overcrowded.

    They will mate and be fertile year round with extended lighting.
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're only hard to keep alive if you're not taking appropriate care of them. Give them plenty of room (1 sq foot per bird MINIMUM--more is better), keep the male-female ratio to no more than 1-3 (more females is better), and feed them a game bird diet, and you should be fine.

    Babies are easy to raise, too, but they need a game bird starter, not chick starter. Higher protein.

    White quail (and what you have there are British white, NOT A&M, though the mistake is quite common) are very difficult to sex before they start either crowing or laying eggs. I think you can vent sex them, but that's beyond my expertise.

    They will lay eggs year round with extended lighting. I prefer not to because it also shortens their lives... but if what you're going for is efficient egg production, then you may as well. And yup, they'll be fertile if you've got enough males.

    You may still have minor problems along the way--every animal has its peculiarities--but head over here with your questions and we'll help you sort them out. Once you've got the basics down, quail are easy-peasy. :)

    Good luck!
     
  4. jbarrett

    jbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome these are the thing I was hoping to hear!! I am even more excited now!! Thanks yall
     
  5. jbarrett

    jbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hey the guy sold them to me as A&M what is the difference so I know and here are some new pics I took today...they have brown feathers on them too and I just like these too hard to see their brown feathers!


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  6. i think the a &m are bigger in size, then the british ones, i could be wrong, i only have the british type.
     
  7. steveovergard

    steveovergard Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with most of the above. First of all, Quail are easy CHEESY not easy Peasy. That is a false statement. :)

    The quail are easy to raise and the adults are easy to keep alive with basic care. Food, water, and shelter, A little affection goes a long way. Some folks have trouble with their quail because there is a lot of inbreeding going on in the quail universe. Inbreeding leads to all sorts of problems including health, viability, size, hardiness, and gimpyness.

    James Marie explained to me once about the A&M and British White difference. If I remember what he said, I think the A&M were bred out of the British Whites. What most people sell today as A&M are actually BW's. James Marie - can you jump in and explain for all of us ?

    Quail will lay year round with additional light. However, if they are kept outside, their egg production will go up and down quite a bit and will be generally be down quite a bit in the cold months. I have noticed that if we have bad weather on Monday and Tuesday, the egg production will be off on Wednesday, Thursday and somewhat on Friday. If normal weather returns on Wednesday, the egg production will go back up a few days later. It has been explained to me that it takes several days for a hen to "make" an egg so if the weather turns nasty, there is already eggs in the works. When we had the hurricane, I steadily collected eggs in the worst weather and when it was overwith, boom , almost no eggs for a few days. I keep my quail in an outside aviary and it does have shelter, the birds just wont use the shelter and prefer to stand out in the driving rain sometimes.

    If you are getting eggs and you have the correct male to female ratio, the eggs will be fertile. We have hatched our own eggs all winter. Hundreds and hundreds .

    You can sex a mature male by flipping him upside down. Sqeeze around the vent and if you get a foam ball, then it is a boy. Afterward, the quail may want a cigarete and try to get your phone number for another date. The other way is to watch and listen
     
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  8. jbarrett

    jbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok thanks for the replies....here are a few more questions!

    1. How old do they have to be for foam sexing?
    2. Also I just battled coccidiosis with my chickens, is their something I can give my quail to prevent them them from getting it (vacination) before its too late?
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone else will have to answer the coccidiosis question, but I can help (somewhat) with the A&M question. My understanding is that A&M refers to a specific LINE of birds directly from Texas A&M University, where they were breeding for size and for white meat. Some have said that there was genetic engineering involved, but I have my doubts on that score... maybe someone else has documentation one way or the other on that? At any rate, the birds are reported to have been significantly larger than even jumbo coturnix, and to have had white meat instead of dark. My understanding is that they also would have been quite expensive to purchase, if they were ever available commercially at all. I'm not sure whether there actually are any remaining of that line... again, someone else will have to fill us in.

    The VAST majority of what people pass off as "A&M" are actually British white. I made the same mistake myself originally. And many people who are selling them as "A&M" genuinely believe that is what they have. One immediate tell-tale sign is that the A&Ms supposedly never bore brown spots--they were (are?) pure white. The other is that they would be noticeably larger than other coturnix.

    I have noticed that my white birds do tend to get a bit bigger than standard brown coturnix, which may be partly why whites were chosen for the A&M study. But unless you're buying from a breeder who can show you paper tracing the line directly back to A&M, odds are high that what you have are British white. :)

    Hope that helps! They are beautiful. I really love the brown spots on white birds--I think they're adorable. <3
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Cocci can be averted if quail are kept proper....dry litter, (keeping water and feed elevated, and litter dry around water fonts), good diet and healthy quail to start with. Coccidiosis is a protozoa parasite that is present in all poultry's intestinal tracts. As the chicks poop, and these parasites are allowed to multiply in wet conditions, dirty litter, fouled water and feed, the chicks become overwhelmed with it. So the idea is to give them the least amount of exposure, but enough to become immune, which is what you want...immunity. I prefer to raise all poultry on wire for the first 6 weeks. The poop falls thru the wire, there is minimal contact with poop, but just enough to grow immunity. This is the healthiest way to raise quail, to allow them to gain immunity to disease on their own.

    However, there are vaccinations for cocci, which is given at 1-3 days old. However these vaccines themselves can cause enteritis in the gut and antibiotics would then have to be used to treat this bacteria. You can also feed with medicated feed. Feed with Amprol in it. It does not prevent cocci 100%, but it keeps it at bay and generally the birds are able to handle the cocci. When the chicks reach 6 weeks old, non medicated feed is used.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013

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