How do you decide which birds to process?

Quail_Cottage

Chirping
9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
71
0
97
SF Peninsula
So I have 25 mixed coturnix in a 35sqft colony pen. They are just over 8 weeks now. 13 browns (some jumbo), 9 whites and 3 tibetans. I have seen all 3 tibs lay an egg, and there are 7 brown hens, I have 11 eggs a day so that's at least 11 hens (right?) but that doesn't make for a good ratio. I have had a few males pecked around their eyes, and have seen some males attack other males when mating. Do you take out the more aggressive males or the weaker ones? They all looked very healthy until they started pulling feathers. Some of the girls have almost bare necks from too much attention. Still not sure which of the whites are hens or roos. Should I wait a little longer to process, I thought I saw somewhere 12 weeks is best.
 

ranit

Songster
9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
344
7
111
Illinois
Once the white ones are breeding it is very easy to vent sex them. The males will have a bump above the vent and if you gently squeeze on it a white foamy substance will come out.

They will be fully mature at 8 weeks so anytime after that would be good to process. We usually keep 2-3 hens per male to keep the fertility high. I have always been told that the "cockier" the male the better the breeder on any birds. If one seems to be so agressive that he injures others though I do get rid of him.
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
144
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
Quote:INCORRECT. THEY CAN BE SEXUALLY MATURE AT 8 WKS(DEPENDING ON THE STRAIN) THEY WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND FILL OUT UP WARDS OF 16 WKS.
 

Quail_Cottage

Chirping
9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
71
0
97
SF Peninsula
so will some more of them turn out to be hens? Right now it seems there is only white laying. But I have only seen/heard 2 whites crowing. They are not giving me many clues
 

jameskchandler

In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
14
0
21
Danville CA 94526
Here is what I would do:

Use a 4-inch cable tie/zip tie to band the right leg of each bird that you see crow. This will identify your males. Do this daily, until all the ones that crow have a band on the right leg. Your Jumbo Browns can be sexed by coloration on the throat/breast. The males are peach/rust, and the females are more tan/beige, with black speckles in the throat/breast area. You may band the females that lay eggs on the left leg, or you could use a different color band for the females.

I would want 1 male, for 5 females, so when you are ready to process, weigh all the males. Process the extra males that weigh the least, have defects, or other characteristics that you don’t care for.

Good luck with the processing, after you do a few it gets easier.

Jim Chandler
 

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