'ello all!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Joshaeus, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Joshaeus

    Joshaeus Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a teenager in New England who will be moving out into an apartment in a few years, and am trying to make some plans for when that happens. One such plan is how to keep costs down.

    I am considering owning a small group of egg-laying birds in the apartment, but I know that chickens would not be said birds from what little I have researched it so far. I know this is specifically a chicken forum, but does anyone know of any decent egg-laying birds that can live in apartments?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Many keep quail for egg production. Visit the 'Quail' section of the Other BackYard Poultry forum.
     
  3. TwoCrows

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

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    Hi there, [​IMG] and welcome to BYC!

    Excellent information from Sourland! There are a few people in the quail section that do keep quail in their apartments or condo's for eggs. Coturnix quail are a great starter bird for beginners. They start laying at 8 or 9 weeks of age. You can hatch and get them turned around and laying very quick like. Coturnix are very tolerant to being held and kept in cages. However they also can be quite personable and many of these people keep these birds as pets, letting them run free in the house, snuggle under their shirts and hang out on their shoulders!

    Good luck with your all your adventures in life!!
     
  4. Joshaeus

    Joshaeus Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I think if I let the quail run about, it would only be in one room to prevent mishaps with any roommates - or later, the spouse - who happens to share the house and not appreciate having game birds on their lap. Anyhow, now for a few more questions:

    1: Are Coturnix quail easy to find? If so, where would one find them? I have a tractor supply company in my town that carries chicks during some parts of the year, but I did not check to see if quail was included or could be ordered.

    2: What would one feed these quail? Assuming a group of 7-8 quail were being kept (I'm considering buying/building a 60" by 20" floor cage for them, but failing that I can work with a smaller cage with a correspondingly smaller number of quail), how much would they be fed each day? A cup perhaps, with some spare vegetables from my own diet?

    3: If I buy them as chicks, what would I need to do to take care of them?
     
  5. TwoCrows

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

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    Some Tractor Supplies do carry Coturnix quail. You would have to contact them and see if they have any. You might want to go to your states thread here on BYC and chat with others in your area and see if anyone nearby keeps them...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you

    You can also come to the quail section here on BYC and post this question if anyone in your area has Coturnix.

    You can also check your local craisgslist, however you have to be careful as many times you can get sold sick birds. The best thing to do is hatch them yourself. That way you can bond with them and raise them in a healthy manner. Get yourself a good incubator and get the settings correct, (come to the quail forums and we will guide you thru it), brood them yourself.

    Coturnix are kept 1 male to 4 to 7 females. You can also just keep females if you just want eggs. You can't keep less than 4 females with 1 male as he can mate them to death. These birds need about 2 square feet per bird. The more room the better. Some say 1 square foot is enough, but you will have lots of fighting with this tiny of space.

    You would feed them gamebird food or even turkey food. You can get this at tractor supply. Dumor makes a good quail feed. I feed this to my quail. (I keep Bobwhites). They eat very little compared to chickens. Maybe a 1/2 cup a day would feed 8 birds or so. And yes, they love greens, cut up veggies and fruits, seeds, mealworms, etc...

    Chicks need brooding....heat lamp, brooder box, thermometer, feed and water, etc...
     
  6. Joshaeus

    Joshaeus Out Of The Brooder

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    That was quite a bit less than I was expecting...I guess quail don't eat much?

    Anyhow, I was planning on having a small (4-8) group of only females, although I am not quite sure how to achieve this. I was thinking maybe I could get more chicks than needed, and sell off the excess/male birds as they matured. If I did get a male I could not remove, would he do fine alone in a cage? On another note, if platforms were added to the cage, would these count towards the 2 ft squared per bird (which, incidentally, I've also heard is the minimum for chickens)? Before I go on...is teflon cookware (or, rather, the gas it produces) toxic to quail like it is to parrots?
     
  7. TwoCrows

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

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    They may eat more than this, give or take a 1/2 cup. LOL You will find out. But they don't eat much.

    Yes, you can keep lone birds, as long as you give them enough attention. All birds are highly sociable and do better with others of their kind. But if you take the place of other birds and give this bird enough attention, you can keep them as single birds.

    All females is a good group.

    Quail are mostly ground birds and don't go up. So platforms, and while they will use them occasionally, don't count for square footage of the floor. They will spend nearly all their time on the floor.

    And yes, teflon is highly poisonous to quail. :)
     
  8. Joshaeus

    Joshaeus Out Of The Brooder

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    Even large platforms? OK. I thought (perhaps a little less than logically) that they should be at least a little like pet rodents who appreciate the extra floor space provided by large platforms...if they can reach them.
     
  9. Silver Silkie

    Silver Silkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, and welcome to Backyard Chickens. For apartments, I would say bantams. Quail is easy to keep, but many hatcheries and feed stores require a minimum of at least a hundred (if not more) birds. Chuckar Partridge is another idea.
     
  10. Joshaeus

    Joshaeus Out Of The Brooder

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    So bantam chickens would do well in apartments? I thought I had heard that chickens produce a lot of dust and/or smell bad. Then again, the latter might also apply to the quail...I am intrigued.
     

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