few quick quail questions

cupman

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
1,543
81
171
Portland, OR
I plan on building a quail pen in the Spring for jumbo coturnix and I just had a couple last minute questions and advice from more seasoned quail people.

1) As a first timer, do you think I should buy a bunch of quail or should I buy fertile eggs?

I have a Genesis 1588 incubator with quail rails automatic turner. The quail will be for meat mainly and secondarily eggs.

2) Will I need a secondary pen(s) for breeding or can I just have them all in one big hutch?

I plan on building a quail pen that is around 60-80 square feet, with a goal being 40 quail at once. Do I need to worry about male/female ratio in the large pen?

3) If I do need a breeding pen, what is a good male to female ratio and how many breeding pens would you make if you wanted to set 30-40 eggs at once? (Unsure on how long a laid quail egg will remain fertile)

Thanks in advance.
 

tricid

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 8, 2011
25
1
24
I'm still a beginner but from my experience so far and my reading I think I can help answer most of these.

1) As a first timer, do you think I should buy a bunch of quail or should I buy fertile eggs?

50/50. Buying fertile eggs is definitely cheaper, especially if they're being shipped, but then you have a couple months of waiting to hatch them out and get them to laying age, so you'd get more instant gratification buying laying birds.

2) Will I need a secondary pen(s) for breeding or can I just have them all in one big hutch?

You can have them all in one if you aren't being selective/picky about who breeds.

I plan on building a quail pen that is around 60-80 square feet, with a goal being 40 quail at once. Do I need to worry about male/female ratio in the large pen?

Yes, you still need to aim for about a 4:1 ratio (if you want fertile eggs. If not less roosters is fine, but not more roosters, then the girls will get beat up)

3) If I do need a breeding pen, what is a good male to female ratio and how many breeding pens would you make if you wanted to set 30-40 eggs at once? (Unsure on how long a laid quail egg will remain fertile)

Do you mean 30-40 eggs a day? you'd need enough cages to hold 30-40 hens. They lay one egg a day pretty much like clockwork.

I think a fertile egg is good for about 4-7 days before the chances of it hatching drop super low (from what I've read), so assuming 5 days you could gather 40 eggs from (40/5) 8 laying hens if by "at once" you just mean to hatch at a time. Then you'd need 2 roosters to go with the 8 hens to have a 4:1 ratio. So 10 birds, 10 sq ft worth of cage
 
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Wnunezcruz

Chirping
8 Years
Aug 28, 2011
188
0
89
Tennessee
I had Coturnix before. I read that if you have more than male in a pen they will kill each other. I went to buy some and asked the man if they would kill each other and he said no. I had them about a week and they started stealing aleach other so I had to get rid of all but one male with three females. A lot of breeders buy the rabbit type wire cages and put 1 male to 2-3 females.
 

chrishel

Songster
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
309
11
101
The Windy City
As long as you keep the eggs cool (we were aiming for about 50 degrees), I would say 10 days collection is still good.

In one of the hatch-a-longs, I saved up 43 eggs from 4 hens (my breeders) and had 37 hatch. So if you want to set 40 eggs, you could go with as little as 4 hens.

I have pens with more than one male. I have two pens, one has 3 roos and one has 1 roo. My plan was 2 and 2 but one roo didn't get along with the other so I moved him to the other pen. It really just depends. The size of the pens also make a difference. Overcrowding doesn't help anyone.
 

Fat Daddy

Crowing
9 Years
Dec 11, 2010
2,208
515
286
Ks
I would buy eggs, they are a BLAST to hatch...

I like a nice breeder pen for say 3 to 5 hens and a good calm roo.

Set eggs at 10 days of collection... No older...

If you plan to build that large of a pen, make it two pens of say 1/3 for breeders and 2/3 for grow out. Keep the breeders happy and treat them as pets. The grow-out birds are live stock. Grow them to 8 weeks and eat or sell them.... You don't need to worry about the her/roo ratio in your 8 week grow out pen.... You will get eggs from the grow out pen the last couple weeks. They will be fertile and hatch just fine...
 
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cupman

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
1,543
81
171
Portland, OR
Hey thanks a lot everyone. I probably won't be able to start any projects till March or April and all this reading about it is making me antsy. I've only eaten quail once, when I was a lot younger, I hope I can bring myself to process them come the day. I'm sure I'll be asking a bunch more questions when they arrive.
 
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