Finally Taking The Leap and Questions

optic1

Songster
9 Years
Mar 6, 2010
101
3
111
Tri-Cities WA
Tomorrow I'll be receiving 250 day old Coturnix Quail chicks. As a first timer it might be too many, but that was the minimum. I raced around yesterday to increase my brooder quantity to eight. So; other than feeling like a nervous dad, and my cats probably excited too.
lol.png


For Coturnix;

1. Pine or cedar shavings? I have heard both, I bought cedar according to the supplier, but I'm reading only use pine so that causes major confusion.

2. Any tips for keeping them comfortable for the 1/2 hour trip in their containers until I can get them in their brooders and show them their water?

3. What humidity % should they be at? What is the best way to create humidity or is it natural from their water bowls?

4. Do you put any grit in at this point?

5. Any vitamins for the water or food. If so what kind?

O' God what am I missing.
hmm.png
 

jenjscott

Mosquito Beach Poultry
11 Years
May 24, 2008
3,701
43
256
Southeast Arkansas
Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Now, isn't that better? 1. Due to "toxic fumes generated by aromatic cedar",it is now generally accepted that kiln dried pine is better. 2. just don't dawdle. 3. I never worried about humidity after the hatch. 4. No grit. They won't need that unless you are going to feed them something besides crumble. 5. I haven't used any. 6. Keep in mind that I have hatched all of three times. So if anyone else offers a differing opinion, they may very well be right.
 

peewee

Songster
11 Years
Sep 25, 2008
868
6
141
Orlando, Florida
250 day old babies?
ep.gif
wee.gif
Overload of cuteness!!!

Now as jenjscott said "Take a deep breath."

I would say cedar would be a no-no because of the toxic fumes. Pine is a better choice. Make sure that you are not packing too many babies into one carrier for the ride home. You do not want them stepping all over each other and crushing the ones on the bottom. Again like jenscott said " Just don't dawdle" and you should be just fine for the ride home. No need to worry about the humidity after the hatch. What you need to be more worried about is the temps. To cold and they huddle together and again they may crush the ones on the bottom. To hot and they try to drown themselves in the water. From experience, place your water source on the opposite side of the brooder from your heat source. I have seen this dramatically cut down the many attempts at drowning themselves. As with all my chicks but, especially the quail babies, place some pebbles or glass marbles in the bottom of their water source so they cannot completely get themselves wet. Give them only enough room to get their beaks in the water. As for the vitamins in the water, as long as they are eating a good game bird starter, they should be getting everything that their little bodies need. It would not hurt the chicks for the first day or two after you bring them home to add some baby Polyvisol vitamins (liquid - try to find the one with out the iron added) to the water to help them get over the stress of moving. But after that, there should be no need. You may also want to think about crushing your crumbles to almost a powder for the first little while to make sure that it is easier for the little ones to eat.
That's about all I can think of off the top of my head.

Have fun with all those little ones!!!!!
 

darkfur

Songster
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
154
3
101
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Fun!
big_smile.png
For the ride home just have them in a box with enough room that they aren't sardines, some air holes and keep the temperature of your car slightly on the cool side. If your car is comfy, maybe a little cool, for you, it should be fine. When I first started moving coturnix chicks around I would use a cheap digital thermometer with a probe (an outside/inside type) poked through a hole in the top of the box to see if it was getting too hot/cold. So you can do that if it makes you more relaxed, and you can always repurpose the thermometer for checking your brooders etc if you want afterwards. I keep my "newborns" on Chux cloth - not sure if it is called the same thing in your part of the world? It is that woven disposable kitchen wipe, often blue and white stripes, that you can buy in a big roll at hardware stores. NOT paper, way too slippery. I think its easier for them to learn to eat and walk on Chux. After about 5 days I put them on untreated pine shavings. I am with peewee on having the water source away from the heat source, and having marbles in it. In my experience coturnix chicks are suicide masters and if there is any way that they can kill themselves they will find it. Sounds like you have custom brooders which are generally safe, but make sure there is no way a chick can wedge itself against a heat source or anywhere else for that matter.
Since you are getting day-olds they will have yolk in their tummies. This leads me to two other points. Don't worry if they eat and drink very little in the first day or so, they are still running on yolk. Also, some are inevitably going to die for no fault of your own. We often find the ones that are not quite right die at about day 3 or 4. This is because they were running on yolk, but once they ran out of yolk they couldn't adapt to digesting food because there was something innately wrong with them (often a metabolic disorder). Don't freak out and don't blame yourself when some keel over as babies, it just happens sometimes.
As far as food and drink, if you can get a game bird starter and crush it to almost powder, water should be all you need. If by some chance the babies arrive home very hot, gasping and distressed, some baby electrolytes like pedialyte in the water may be beneficial, but is not necessary. They are surprisingly tough.
Enjoy and take lots of photos and learn lots from your experience, and come here for help from the generous folks who will hold your hand all the way
thumbsup.gif
 

optic1

Songster
9 Years
Mar 6, 2010
101
3
111
Tri-Cities WA
Your right I was busy, I didn't have time to breathe! LOL. So a noob experience gone wild. My pickup day on friday got delayed till saturday due to the owner falling off a horse so I got two day old chicks. they really attacked their food and water.

I had a few questions upon arrival of course, first; their birds are USDA tested and inspected are Pullorum-Typhoid Clean. Accompanied by a VS Form 9-3. Due to their big buildings I asked how many birds do you have? "quarter of a million" I fell out of my truck. I then asked about the Pine or Cedar shaving. People generally use pine, my feed store said pine. They use cedar and always have since 1980's. They do not like pine due to the naturally reoccuring turpentine in the pine sap. They go through 7 Huge bales of cedar each week and the coturnix breed has no problem with it, plus the Northwest has plenty of cedar trees. I had to ask how many chicks can I order and he said how many trucks do you have, I had to laugh at that one.

So I brought them home in 3 -105 quart containers from Walmart. Plenty of room, truck was good and hot I was sweating bullets, "long drive". Never wanted to open a window so bad in my life, but at 75mph on the highyway I thought it would create a bit of a draft, if ya know what I mean.

This morning sunday started day three and I have lost one bird, they said I'd be at one percent so that would be 2.5 so I'm doing good I guess.

I started by sterilizing eight containers from walmart 105qt. and on the bottom I laid some tacky shelf liner and filled with shavings. I'll have 32 quail in each one. Also placed in digital thermometers. Next time I gonna use mercury thermometers. Digital does not mean accurate. Laid all eight on the table they were close but different readings.

50408_containers.jpg



I cut the center sections from the lids and placed 1/2 x 1/2 hardware cloth on top and secured with some bolts I had laying around. " a note on this, I tried to staple it but it kept cracking the plastic lid with a T-25 stapler, also in cutting the lid, run your saw speed slow, if you go to fast the plastic gets too hot and melts itself right back in place from where you cut". I cut some pipe strap "the ones with holes" and bolted to the reflector on my lights, the strap is bendable and you can raise and lower a little by bending. I re-did this with longer straps as you can see the chicks did not get under the 100 watt red flood lights. i think I'm going to run a cable from wall to wall and hang the lights on chains with clips so I can just raise and lower.

50408_containerlid.jpg



Well so far so good, we will see how it goes. The next project will be to decide on whether to raise these outdoors or in our 1200 sq. ft. shop. I have pro's and cons here. Wind; we can get it pretty good here sometimes. Winter and predators; we have coyotes, hawks, eagel's, snakes. Summer heat. Maybe that is another post with those questions.

50408_containerlights.jpg
 
Last edited:

optic1

Songster
9 Years
Mar 6, 2010
101
3
111
Tri-Cities WA
Maybe you can answer this easily. What is the minimum size cage LxWxH do you need for 8 coturnix quail that they will lay eggs in if I were to do an indoor setup?
 

worldling

Chirping
10 Years
Jan 8, 2010
206
1
99
Quote:
8+/- square feet (floor space) by 10-12 inches height. I put 4-5 coturnix into a 4 square foot pen. 12 inches high. 10 to 12 inches of head space is fine.
The total minimum space required is yet to be determined by Me. You can put 8 birds in that floor space but I don't recommend it!
This is a 24x24x12 inch pen I build for my coturnix.
46748_new_pen1.jpg

You could put 8 or more in there if the birds got along, but I usually put 5 or less in there.

On a side note: Great brooder setup! Please put a top on all those totes, because coturnix chicks can scale them in about 4-5 days!
 

peewee

Songster
11 Years
Sep 25, 2008
868
6
141
Orlando, Florida
I agree with Worldling if you are going to keep 8 Coturnix then they need 8+ square feet of floor space. 1 sq ft per bird. This is the one question were you will probably get many different answers but in my opinion the square foot per bird is the minimum.


Nice set up!!!
thumbsup.gif
 
Last edited:

optic1

Songster
9 Years
Mar 6, 2010
101
3
111
Tri-Cities WA
nice cage worldling
smile.png
i want to slope the floor so the eggs roll out. commercial breeders wouldnt use a cage that big would they?
 
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom