Expecting baby king quails!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by lisameow, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. lisameow

    lisameow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2016
    Australia, QLD
    One of my girls has become broody and I candle on of her eggs there are definitely babies inside. I've never hatched any eggs before and I have lots of questions!

    • Do I have to take the babies out when they hatch and put then in a big container with a heat lamp? It's pretty hot where I live btw.
    • If I do keep them with the mother will the father or other female attack them?
    • do they need a special feed and if they do, when do I switch them to the normal feed?
    • When they're older will they start to fight if they're together?

    is there anything else I should know?
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm just about to go through all this as well! My girl is sitting on 7 eggs which are due to hatch on the 14th December. I'll tell you what I've found out.

    Leave them with their mother as then they will know how to sit and raise quail of their own (and it's so much easier than trying to keep them warm enough yourself).

    If the male was raised by his mother then he should be fine, but if not he could kill the babies. I would remove other females too.

    Or you can confine the mother and babies in their own small area as the babies get cold very quickly and can die if they can't find their mother in time. Just make sure your mesh/cage is fine enough that tiny bumblebee sized babies can't escape. And make sure you have a very low sided water dish with marbles in it so they can reach the water without getting wet/drowning.

    I think you have to separate them from their parents at around 8 weeks as otherwise there is conflict as the youngsters start to mature. I give my adults meat bird pellets (20% protein) so I will be grinding some up for the babies as they are so tiny. I'm not sure if they need higher protein - something to look into.

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
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  3. lisameow

    lisameow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, that helps a lot:) I'm not sure about the male because when I bought him I didn't think to ask if he was raised by his mum. Yes I think I'll maybe put a board or something in their hutch to seperate them.
     
  4. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Observer them closely when the chicks hatch - I wouldn't separate them unless necessary. And that goes for the extra female as well. My fist buttons were a group of one male and 3 females. I suspect all were incubator hatched, but I don't know.
    The first time a hen hatched chicks, the cock was sitting next to her the moment the chicks hatched and he was a wonderful dad. If a chick was crying somewhere and mommy was busy with the other chicks, dad would go and get the lost one. And the two other hens? Well, one of them was broody already - she left her own eggs to help care for the chicks. The mother didn't like it at first and tried to chase her away, but eventually she settled when she realized the other hen didn't hurt the chicks.
    The last hen wasn't aggressive to the chicks, but she was very interested in their toes - she probably thought they were worms. So I put her in a cage for 10 days. When I let her out, the chicks chased her around, trying to get under her. She didn't like it, but their peeping got to her - she realized they stopped peeping if she let them get under her. She was still interested in their toes, but the chicks were big enough to just move away by then. The next day she was caring for the chicks just like the 3 other adults.
    Since then, I have had several instances of females that were not broody helping to take care of chicks - and I've never had to separate a female again. Others, however, have experienced both roos and hens - even the mother - attacking and killing chicks. So there is no universal truth: just observe your birds carefully when the chicks hatch.

    With regards to feed - depends in what you feed the parents. 20% protein or more - I use 24% - and a size that's small enough for the chicks to eat. Gamebird or turkey starter is a good choice, and you can keep them on this their entire life.

    Yes, if several males are kept in an enclosure with females, they will most likely start to fight when they are around 8 weeks old. The males can be kept together in a separate enclosure though.
     
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  5. lisameow

    lisameow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2016
    Australia, QLD
    Thanks, I'll take your advice:) I hope they'll all be good together. I feed them game feed but I'm not really sure about the protein percentage because the place where I get it from just packages it. I'm gonna try get some different feed soon though.
     

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