Gambel's quail hatch next week! I have some questions! I'm preparing now!

MisfitMarie

Songster
5 Years
Oct 20, 2014
543
96
118
Portland, OR
I started with a few chickens and recently decided to try quail! I adore my coturnix quail and enjoy their tiny eggs! I ended up harvesting the excess males that I hatched out of my incubator, since I learned that you generally want one male with all of the ladies to prevent fighting and over-breeding. This way, I can sustain my little flock of quail.

I have a lovely hutch ready for my Gambel's, complete with vegetation and their own sand bowl. I just have a few more questions:

1. What do they eat? Can I use the same high-protein game bird feed that I give my coturnix quail?

2. How do they tolerate the cold winter weather? Should I move their hutch inside during the colder months?

3. How long will the babies need to be under a heat lamp? I noticed my coturnix seemed to feather out quickly, being ready for the spring weather at four weeks or so.

4. What is the female-to-male ratio for Gambel's when it comes to breeding? I'm thinking I could fit eight females and one male comfortably.

I heard that they can hatch anywhere between 21-25 days... so they should be hatching between the 25th and 29th of May.
 
Last edited:

Ntsees

Songster
8 Years
Jul 27, 2012
510
109
186
...

1. What do they eat? Can I use the same high-protein game bird feed that I give my coturnix quail?

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Usually all hatched chicks require a high-protein diet (~30%). So yes, you can use the feed you give your coturnix. When they get older, start giving them a more vegetarian diet. As adults, except for egg laying hens, they eat more vegetable matter (90%) than they eat protein (10%).


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2. How do they tolerate the cold winter weather? Should I move their hutch inside during the colder months?

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If you're talking about snow and ice, I'm not sure. Although their close relative, the California/valley quail, can deal with those conditions, I can only guess that they can handle it too only if they have been gradually conditioned to it (meaning don't put a house quail outside in snow). But I'm not 100% sure on this considering that gambels quail are found in the desert.

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3. How long will the babies need to be under a heat lamp? I noticed my coturnix seemed to feather out quickly, being ready for the spring weather at four weeks or so.

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To each their own, but I usually stop giving my quail heat once they're half grown and are fully feathered or near it.


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4. What is the female-to-male ratio for Gambel's when it comes to breeding? I'm thinking I could fit eight females and one male comfortably.

....
In aviary conditions, it could be different. But in the wild, it's always a pair. Just my opinion, but if you went with 8 females per 1 male gambel, you are going to have a lot of unfertilized eggs. They are not like coturnix when it comes to breeding.
 

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