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Hekp Me Understand

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Country11525, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Country11525

    Country11525 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, I have my coop built its about 60 to 70 square foot, will be using Cortunix quail for meat and eggs. Ihave my incubator with auto turner built and ready to go. So my queation s I will be starting with 6 hens and one male. After I go hatch my my first set of eggs and feather out the chicks before moving the outside to the coop can you put in the first coop or do I need to build a grow pin. If I have put them in a grow out pin and lets say the first hatch you get 3 hens and 3 males won't that become a problem if so can you put just the males in a grow out pin and the hens back into the main flock? The ones I will be hatching will be the ones meat. What do most of you guys and gals do if you only have one coop?

    I have been on the forum for over a month reading and researching but just can't seem to find the answer to this.I think I have got everything else covered but this. If I have to build a grow out pin I want to do this before bring my first quail home.

    Sorry if this sounds like dumb question but there is some much info on this site sometimes you ned a guide to point you in the right direction.

    Thank youI
     
  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, if you give the 7 breeder quail 70 square feet of space, they will be the happiest quail in the world. In a coop that size you could hold 70 quail. A lot of people do only half a square foot per bird, but i think 1 square foot is better.

    How many birds are you planning to grow out at a time? You could make a little stall to one side to keep your breeders, then grow the others out in the rest of the coop.

    Once they are feathered out, they can be with their parents, but if you want to keep a separate group of breeders, you would have a lot of trouble telling them apart :)

    A few tips: I would get the pharaoh (normal brown) cortunix quail, because you can sex them super easy by their feathers. The Texas A&M's (or any other white cortunix) have to be vent sexed, which is a whole lot harder.

    Also, don't leave lights on past 14 hours if you are trying to keep them laying over the winter. I learned the hard way when i left a light on the other side of the shed all night. They killed each other, stopped laying, and committed suicide. I learned later they are SUPER light sensitive.

    LOL its not a dumb question :) Good luck with your quail. They are very fun, and make a lot of cool noises.
     
  3. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are happy with the quality of birds you get as breeders. Keep them as a breeder group. Adding birds every few weeks to your breeder group is a bad plan in my opinion. Every time you add new birds, you stress the birds and some will stop laying for a time. Use a grow out pen for just that, leave all the birds in it till they are of butcher age.... 7-8 weeks is where I draw the line... earlier if you are roo heavy or have trouble makers. You'll be getting eggs and see'n signs of mating by then. Keep the bator running and a group in a brooder all this time. With two brooders and two grow out pens, you can easily butcher a few dozen a month and have a few eggs for you with your 6 hen breeder group.. Throwing off spring in with any established group of birds is always a problem... The new ones will always take a beating. If you are not happy with your original group. raise the replacement group and then make them your breeders and butcher the older birds..... It's not impossible to add new birds to existing group... But there is usually heavy introduction issues and I try to avoid it... Even in a group brooded together, if one is removed to tend a wound or the like, it will usually take a beating when returned to the group. Id cut the big pen in half and make it two..... Good luck with your birds. Bill
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can't stress enough how correct FatDaddy is about integrating quail into new groups. There is no experience level you'll reach where it becomes an easy, sure thing. You will always have social issue when you switch groups up and it's best to just avoid it all together.

    If youre happy with your current breeders you might want to do what we do when we line breed birds. Keep one group of the original birds and do not add new genetics to the line, as they age replace them from within the original line. This way if you make a mistake line breeding your other groups for specific traits, you can always easily go back to a healthy and thrifty set of birds. It's also valuable if you make an advancement in a line you're creating that you are happy with but need fresh genetics to improve the thrift of. This way your "fresh" genetics are at least somewhat in line with your "project" genetics.

    I run grow out pens for meat specific birds, but I do it two different ways depending on what else I'm doing with my birds right then. If I'm selling a lot of chicks I'll hatch out large straight runs and put them in wire floored grow out pens and separate at about 5-6 weeks by sex. If demand is high I'll sell the hens for premium prices since they're about to starta laying and I butcher all roos usually around 10 weeks so they have some fat on the carcass. Otherwise I'll hatch straight runs and process them all at 6-7 weeks and not ever bother to separate them.

    Birds that go in my grow out pens might get switched around a little but my breeders spend their whole lives in the same cage with the same birds barring any major catastrophe. Moving them around causes more stress than what the additional bird/birds provide in thrift most times.
     
  5. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a very helpful discussion. May I add some questions as this is what I'm going through right now:

    I started out with 25 Cots from JMF eggs in June (Don knows about this). Out of this I selected the 5 largest hens and one largest roo in a separate cage. Let's called this GROUP A. Out of GROUP A I set and hatched several batches. I only set eggs that are at least 15 g. I noticed that many of the chicks from GROUP A grew out bigger and lay bigger eggs earlier than their parents. So I selected from one batch 5 largest hens and 1 largest roo and call this GROUP B. Thankfully I haven't mixed a an off-spring roo in with the parents hens. Thought about doing that, because the youngster was much bigger than his daddy.

    Here're my questions:

    1. Can I set from GROUP A and GROUP B together, meaning I will have a new batch with uncles & aunts with nieces and nephews together, potentially future mating partners? I don't think this will be a big deal.

    2. Still don't understand fully what "in-line breeding" is. About 2-3 months ago I was clearing out a batch of mixed birds I obtained before my JMF birds. I found a hen that's super big, bigger than all my JMF birds So I put her in my GROUP A cage hoping to breed even bigger birds. I put a tie wrap on her ankle and did not observe any fighting so just left her there. Should I remove her now because it's not "in line breeding"?

    I did observe some problems with the latest batch of chicks - 31 hatched but after 1-2 days it's clear 6 of them were weaker and smaller and died after 3-4 days.The remaining 25 are very healthy and strong. I've never had this high mortality rate before. So I'm curious and suspect 1 of 2 possible causes: (1) mixed breeding, that those 6 are off springs of the "out-line" hens; or (2) that those 6 chicks were children of GROUP B who were still too young for breeding (I think they were about 8-9 weeks when I set their eggs). Not exactly sure. I think I did hatch eggs from the "out-line" hen before that turned out healthy. Should have kept better notes!

    If "out-line" breeding is a big issue then I may need to start from scratch again with a new batch of JMF birds next year, since all the off springs (GROUP B) and beyond may have been "contaminated!"

    Too complicated ... lol
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion, your losses were likely coincidental or due to a yet unknown issue. 8 week old parent stock could be the issue but I'v hatched a lot of chicks from grow out pens. The question of Line breeding /in breeding is always a good way to start a debate..... :) IMHO, you have done no harm to your line of birds..... You would be amazed at how long you can do just what you are doing and still have viable chicks with good fertility. Most folks that will throw rocks at you, have never actually tried it.... The biggest thing is the breeders you choose.... Its very easy to "lock in" a bad trait that does not show up till a few later generations..... Brother to sister pairing will do this very fast....... I would avoid this.... If i were in your situation and wanting to breed for meat and eggs. As Don said, I would keep my group "A" as it is now. (actually P1 birds ) Use it as a control group. Use group B as your breeders for now. (actually F1) Use the largest roo, or two, thrown from the "B" group. with no defects in body, feather or color. Continue to hatch chicks from this group of birds holding the P1 birds back. Pick the best, largest hens you hatch, that also lay the best single yolk eggs. Cull older hens once the next group is ready. Cull all roos and breed all the newest hens that "make the grade", F2,F3,F4 ect, back to the F1 roos..... After a few generations, You will need to pay attention to hip issues and hens that prolapse..... Dont breed these..... To do it right, you must track what eggs you are hatching, and the weights of the eggs and birds you are hatching..... Working in small groups will help you here..... I use no bigger than quads, some use smaller to have more control. Your control group, P1 birds, are there incase it goes badly and you need a fresh start..... Never rule out cats, yotes or pissy neighbors to cause you to start over! Iv heard it said that it's "Line breeding" when it works as you expect. Its "In breeding" when things dont turn out right...... Good luck with your birds

    EDIT TO ADD: This hip and prolapse issue I speak of are due to the size increase of the the eggs and birds themselves.... Prolapse due to very large eggs, mostly the double yolkers you dont want to hatch anyway, will be a much bigger issue than any hip problems....
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. Country11525

    Country11525 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for responding to my post, sorry its so late to say but I am currently out of the country. So as I thought I will make a grow out pen for my birds but the one thing I still dont get is if I put all my new hatches in the grow out pen and keep them there untill cull time won't I still have problems with too many young males and a few females in the grow out pin, or is it by the time it becomes a issue it't time to cull them for the dinner table
     
  8. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Fat Daddy for explaining. I want to make sure I understand right:

    1 - My GROUP A (original birds from JMF eggs) are the P1

    2 - My GROUP B (1st children of P1) are called F1

    3 - I'm going to put P1 on the side, just eat their eggs and not set them.

    4 - Choose largest roo from F1, put together with largest hens from F1. Set their eggs and yield the next generation (F2)

    5 - When F2 generation grows up, cull all roos and smaller hens, put the larger F2 hens together with the chosen F1 roo, also cull all F1 hens.

    6.- F1 roo + F2 hens ==> F3 generation

    7 - Do the same selection process, to set apart now F1 roo + F3 hens ==> F4 generation

    8 - ... and so on

    9 - (if something happens, like possum attack, I have P1 group to go back to produce more breeding roos)


    Did I understand correctly?

    I'm surprised to learn that you keep F1 roo to breed with off spring hens. Do you know why this is important? In doing that, aren't we mixing birds from different groups that may cause fighting problems?


    Thanks again!
     
  9. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes you understand where I was going.....The whole idea of line breeding is to isolate the best qualities and eliminate lesser. It actually would be better to go all the back to the P1 roo.... But you stated the F1 roos were clearly bigger. Its to your advantage to go back to old roos to save at least fractional layers of depth to your gene pool. They are all gonna be "Family" anyway. But you put brother over sister for generations, you lock the gene pool pretty quick..... Your, gonna find that a higher percentage of your birds will be bigger with just a few generations. But then it will taper off.... gains will slow and be minimal after that. Same with the egg size..... This is where Ideally you could go back to Robby and get a new batch of eggs from the same line you started with. Then use the very best roos from those over what is now your bigger F4 or F5 hens. Gains will never be as noticeable as the first few generations were thou. When you stop seeing improvement in the birds. By all means stop culling all hens and just maintain the birds you have.... No use in beating the gene pool down any further. While you wont end up with every bird hatched being 350 grams at 8 weeks. You will see a higher percentage of birds hatched "hit the marks" as well hens that lay really good sized eggs....

    I think you will find that when you throw a older roo in the same pen with 3 to 5 younger hens. There is no other roos to compete with for the hens. The older bird will always be dominate. So its really just introductions that need to be made. There is always a bird that simply does not like another..... You wont change this....Sometimes it takes some work. Many breeders will hold really good roos alone, beside the others and just have conjugal visits. This can happen once a week for a very short time and all the hens will be fertile. The draw back is the lone roos will crow more. It drills a small hole in your head right behind your eye after a while......


    @ Country11525.... I think you'll find that by the time your birds start to demand more room. They will be ready to move to the freezer or BBQ anyway. If a few start fighting early, eat the wounded (It will likely look like a scalped head wound) and the aggressors. Allow the rest to live in peace awhile longer! Good luck with your birds.
     
  10. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks again Fat Daddy. It makes sense to me now. BTW I'm fairly happy with the size of my birds now, not necessarily breeding for bigger and bigger size. I just want a steady supply for generations. I read that super big birds may have other problems like legs and hips so I just want healthy birds. Thanks again.
     

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