HELP buying my first quail.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by calcifer, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. calcifer

    calcifer Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    42
    Mar 29, 2015
    Hi its been about 2 years sense I lost all my chickens to a weasel and think its time to start again, I have looked online but seem to be finding very contradictory answers to my question and was hoping you could help me.

    Are quail harder to keep then chickens? if not why are quail eggs so much more expensive($8 per dozen) then chicken eggs?\

    Is the weather in Ohio suitable for quail?

    What kind of housing do they need? I have a 6' x 8' x 6-7' chicken coop and a 11' x 14'x 5' fenced yard.

    The chicken yard is fenced with 1" hex chicken wire will this keep predators out? we have 5 dogs so the only predators that we have had in the past are posies and a weasel(vampire).

    If my chicken coop is ok how many could I keep and can different breeds be housed together? I am trying to decide between California Quail,Coturnix coturnix and mearns quail

    Is valiance a problem with quail?

    Why are mearns quail so expensive? are they harder to breed? how many eggs do they lay per year, they seem so pretty and I assume that with the high price there must be a catch or everyone would breed them.

    Is there anything I should know about quail before I get started?

    thanks
     
  2. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,208
    443
    246
    Dec 11, 2010
    Ks
     
  3. calcifer

    calcifer Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    42
    Mar 29, 2015
    Hi thanks for all of your help, I think ill take your advice and go with coturnix. I know it seems kind of lame but I can't stand to put them in little hutch so I think ill have to go with an aviary, do you know were I can find blue prints? Is there a cheap way to get/alternative to hardware cloth? I will definitely clean out the coop but I am not sure how to bleach the old wood and dirt floor, should I put something on the ground of the aviary? how do I pick out the best juvenile birds and do the pairs need to be separated or can they all stay together in the coop and aviary?(If they need to be separated how big should I make the aviaries?). Sorry for all of the question but do I really appreciate your help.
     
  4. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    362
    38
    93
    Jun 8, 2014
    Tennessee
    Bills respons is good advice, but I would like to detail some ponts to consider.

    To answer your question it is both yes and no. I raise Bob Whites and Ringneck Pheasants here in Tennessee and I have also raised chickens when I was younger. With chickens, you probably know the care and feed routine and depending on your location, let them out to range or pen kept.

    The routines are the same is for quail, but you do not let them out to range else they most likely will not come back. In my experience however, raising quail is not much different than chickens, but they tend to require more feed as they are caged and cannot range to feed on seed and insects. They also require clean water, but that is an easy fix as all species should have clean water and hose pipes are life savers.

    Quail are classified as wild game birds, which classification means little more than a name and maybe a state permit (0r not) but “if so” they are easily obtained in most cases. The rule in TN is they are a native species so no permit is required unless you sell or hatch. I do hatch and sell therefore I have a license otherwise I would not be required to have one.

    Quail/ most all wild game birds require a higher percentage of protein feed 21 – 28% (prtn) by nature. Chickens can survive on low proteins 9-16% (prtn) as most will range and eat a variety of things, but the Quails diet requires more. Again this is not a big deal as most feed stores will stock wild game bird feed or high protein chicken rations. The alternative is Turkey ration as it is also high in proteins. You can mess around if there is a feed mill nearby, but be aware like chickens quail are also carnivorous and REQUIRE a meat like protein which they would get in the wild from worms, hoppers, bugs, etc.

    In short basic feeding of recommended proteins is the biggest focus to raising a healthy stock of quail, with routine care and common preventives coming in 2nd and 3rd. The predator factor is always going to be there so I do not mention that. Shelter is similar but more basic and most times Quail nest and roost on the ground or the ledges no matter how extravagant the housing. Winter issues are about the same but a heat source in heavy to extreme circumstances.
     
  5. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,208
    443
    246
    Dec 11, 2010
    Ks
    Good morning. Many folks feel the same way about the rabbit hutch type pens. But they have been kept that way for 100's of years. I know of no prints for a quail aviary. As far as the bleach or oxine goes. A pump up garden sprayer will mist the area fine. You are just looking to kill any nasties left over over from the chickens.... But if its been two years it's likely not a worry anyway. A lot of folks like sand or pea gravel for the floor of their aviary. If you go with coturnix you dont do "pairs".... You need one cock bird per 3 to 6 hens.....More than one roo even in a area as large as you have in mind, will eventually lead to blood shed. there is a better chance if the roos were brooded together but still likely they will eventually tangle. Here is a link to a thread of Leyla's aviary. She does it well. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/960821/gambel-quails#post_14961819 But you can read the "Show me your quail pens" thread for more ideas.... https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/960821/gambel-quails#post_14961819
     
  6. calcifer

    calcifer Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    42
    Mar 29, 2015
    Could I have 1 male and 12 female and how tall do you think the aviary should be?
     
  7. calcifer

    calcifer Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    42
    Mar 29, 2015
  8. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    362
    38
    93
    Jun 8, 2014
    Tennessee
    How tall depends on your intent. Either way, you want it tall enough to walk into and clean. Flight pens are for birds that will be used for hunting purposes and the skys the limit on height. With Kenmore birds "quail raised for the frying pan" Tall enough to for you to walk into and clean is fine.

    As for 1 to 12 male to female ratio... that is pushing it, it would be better to stick to the common ratios mentioned earlier.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  9. st8yd

    st8yd Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 21, 2014
    My opinion on the best way to keep varmints out is 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth, as this will also prevent larger snakes from getting in. I would just wrap it around what you already have.
     
  10. calcifer

    calcifer Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    42
    Mar 29, 2015
    hmm ok thanks for the help. why do I need males other then to fertilize the eggs? could I just have the 1 male and separate them into a smaller group when I want fertilized hatching eggs?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by