Emergency quail project help requested

Discussion in 'Quail' started by BeardedChick, May 7, 2009.

  1. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    The elementary school hatched bobwhite quail and my aunt is bringing them to me on Sunday to finish brooding. They are 3 weeks old. The idea is to eventually let them loose to join the other quail flocks. They have released them near my house every year for umpteen years. Last year they let them go too early and I found some eaten, so this year I thought I'd brood them and let them get bigger before releasing them. I think there are about 2 doz. quail.

    So what will they need?

    - Are they OK in the house without a light?
    - When can they go outside?
    - Do they need to be on wire or are shavings OK?
    - Can I feed them Flockraiser?
    - What age should they be before I turn them loose?

    What else do I need to know?
  2. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    I can't relaly help ya with bobwhite but be careful about talking about releasing bobwhites on here...it's illegal in almost all states without a permit. [​IMG]

    without a light probably isnt best they need some light for natural development
    bedding is fine (shavings) pine isnt the best though, if you can aspen [​IMG]
    flock raiser im sure is fine

    annd i forget your other questions LOL hopefully someone else can answer these better [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  3. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! Ok, I will definitely not be letting them go. I will just let them free range with the chickens and ducks.

    That's the ticket! [​IMG]
  4. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Quote:LOL you do know that means they'll get away right? Or were you being funny [​IMG]
  5. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    A few things to know;

    It's likely warm enough that they don't need extra heat by heat lamp or brooder.

    Flock raiser will work, not ideal but will work.

    They might be able to go outside now depending on local temps, judge for yourself on how big they are and fully feathered.

    Put them out on a nice day after that they'll be fine.

    Shavings are good, I have mine in the shed on shavings.

    the problem is that being raised domestically they are not afraid as they should be of people, or other animals.

    It will also take weeks to develop full flight abilities. They are not tree birds so a predator can run them down by chasing them as they won't fly far enough.

    What will happen with an open roof is that some will fly out and won't leave as the rest of "their flock" is inside the fence.

    You'll have to let them go as a flock when a bit more mature.
  6. mrsengeseth

    mrsengeseth Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you are near me, I'd take them if you find out you can't release them. [​IMG]
  7. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Great information, thank you very much! I have a chicken tractor I will put in the barn for them. That should be easy enough - and with some hardware cloth along the bottom, it should keep the feral cat from bothering them.

    The neighbor down the road has free range quail ([​IMG]) - she feeds them and doesn't have cats. There is a lot of sage brush for them to take cover in. I will see if she wants them.
  8. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I will certainly not release them if it's illegal. Unfortunately I'm not near you or I'd give them to you.
  9. mrsengeseth

    mrsengeseth Chillin' With My Peeps

    lol, I was just throwin it out there. [​IMG]

    I wonder if you couldn't get a dog kennel (like this: http://www.petco.com/product/12985/PetSafe-The-Box-Chain-Link-Dog-Runs.aspx ), put a rabbit hutch at one end, net the top...and have a quail run so to speak where they can be outside, But not be in danger from say hawks or from flying off. Might have to net the sides to make escape or break-and-entry of predators not as easy.
  10. farmertank

    farmertank Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2007
    Linden TN
    Help them out on finding feed for themselves. even in a cage keep changing were the feed is and I would drop it on the ground so they don't think it always comes in a feeder. I would wait till they are about 6 week old to let them out. I would feed them and run...never talk to them or be around them enough to get use to you. I had Bobwhites and they are naturally wild, they don't tame easy so if you don't let them get use to you they should "free range" quite well

    Oh I would drop crickets in the cage and other worms and bugs. This gets them used to the taste and they learn how to catch them. this way they won't just look for feed when they "free range"

    If you really want to get into this legal like. depending were you are there is government programs where you can join to raise and let them go. Bobwhite in the wild is getting scarce so the government has made these programs to help bring them back. I was in the process of joining one in NY, but we moved and I had to give up my breeding Bobwhites.

    after they are fully feathered take the lamp away. This will get them used to their weather at night and in the day. I would put them out in a tractor or cage right away. I would also feed the gamebird starter crushed to help boost them along. I'm sure the first few weeks of "Free ranging" will be new and scary for them and they will need that boost. Make sure you let them out all at once, they will create their own flock and numbers are better for them.

    I have done this with sucess and so has my Mother In-law. She stills sees many of the ones she "free ranged" 3 years ago.
    I wish you luck please keep us posted.

    ETA: you need to put them on the ground. They will be on the ground in the wild and need to get use to it right from the start.

    Last edited: May 8, 2009

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