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Discussion in 'Quail' started by ticks, Nov 16, 2008.
Learn me somethin' bout' em'
I have a few...they're in a rabbit cage...with some fake plants...and I feed them finch feed and gamebird crumble...
they haven't bred yet...
I can offer you some white coturnix eggs though...
How much space does one bird need?
ummm I read 1 square foot
really? thats not that much.
Just wondering but how many button quails do you have? I thought you only had two,
I'm sure you aren't just wanting to purchase one right? As these birds really do need to be in a pair (or a trio). Ofcourse 1 male to 1-2 hens. They are mate for life types of birds if they were in the wild so it's best to keep it that way in encosures though some do have them in trios (me), or do mass colonies in large enclosures.
Any type of large avairy would do great for collony breeding. Hidey areas (esp in corners), and good ground space and you've got it all under control.
They barely need any space when you're talking about just caring for a trio or a pair however. 1sq ft would suffice for a pair,though bigger is always better for any animal. I have my trio in a tempoary 10 gallon tank for the winter....though i could easily keep themin this tank for the rest of their lives.
With buttons more than coturnix, you need to worry about the "bonk factor" so the top has to be constructed of something soft, as a hard roof can cause a dead bird. They bonk out of fear and even in play. As if the roof wasnt there they'd be flitting a few feet up into the sky and back down again.
Gamebird feed, bird seed, ground up kitten food (for chicks), ground up cat food (for adults once a week in winter-cold months), chopped up fruit, small meal worms, wax worms, crickets, and you'll have some happy quails. ofcourse also grit, and oyster shell (or scraped up cuttle bone for calcium).
Ground can be small hardware cloth, or solid ground with woodshavings (no cedar ofcourse). I used woodshavings of pine and aspin i now use carefresh on my indoor trio.
They start laying eggs anywhere from 6-9 weeks old NORMALLY. As long as they have 14 hours of light a day. My birds are just now starting to act nesty (not broody) however my hens have started to make a nest impression in the one corner of their tank, and my one hen just layed an egg in it tonight. The other hen hasnt started laying yet but she should very shortly, she's acting nesty as well.
You can get most bq to go broody however no guarrentees. Lots of hiding places, very low stress levels and you may just get them to.
their walls should be either very minimal spaced wire, or solid construction of wood, plastic or glass.
If your male to female ratio is off, or if theres too much stress or cramped conditions, there WILL be feather picking, and even attacks to the death in some cases.
Also button quail are AMAZING JUMPERS and fliers! Even my hen "Kitty" (i have 4 total bqs right now- I had more) whos wings are clipped jumpst 4ft in the air and ended up getting right out of her enclosure and I almost lost her in the woods. Luckily she tried digging under our one barn to escape (after she landed and ran ofcourse) and I was able to grab her. And with wings added just imagine lol.
They come in VARIOUS colors, and since no one seems to keep genetic pedigrees on them, you can breed two colors together that are the same, and end up with completely different colors out of their offspring. Take my summer pair for example, wild colors, produced a cinnamon and a wild color. I plan to keep pedigrees on my birds (even my coturnix) so I can start being able to know the colors behind my future birds before hand.
Males almost always have a bib of white feathers under their lower beak in the throat area however pied hens can also have white under the chin as well as double factor blue faced hens. So bibs aren't always the proof in the puddin. ONLY males however, have bright rusty red rump feathers, BUT not ALL males have the rusty red rump faethers, but if they do IT IS A MALE. The wild colored button quails the hen is very drab almos thas teh markings of a coturnix, the male is brilliant irredesant blue, with red rusty on his lower belly, rump, and his back is dark blue with spots and marks of black, his bib is bold white outlined in black and his head is blue with some specks of black. The male has BRILLIANT orange legs. The hen has more yellow legs.
Some bq owners get the wild male confused with the blue faced colored bq....the blue faced male is solid dark blue from head to near the rump...where he can have some red rusty feathrs, but most dont. Blue faceds also have no bibs....(males) but blue faced hens (double factored) can have what loosk like bibs, but it is just a genetic marker basically stating that they will only produce the color that they are which is pretty neat to know when wanting to breed for that color. Single factor blue faced hens willnot have a white patch. Blue faced hens look similar to a wild bq hen except MUCH darker, almost black looking...no blue on her.
The wild bq male is the MOST gorgeous IMO. However I am facinated by the blue face and hope to breed it or get it soon.
Great sites i reccomend for info is www.zebrafinch.com Garrie has a wealth of info and also has a book out on them!
yahoo group buttonquailsusa has ALL the most famous breeders of BQs all in one place i HIGHLY reccomend it! Jodi of Bracken Ridge Ranch is on there and her website (that i dont know off the top of my head but if you want i suggest searching on google her websites name) she is the one I learned the feeding requirements from before I aquired my first pair and hatching eggs from a local breeder.
In my experience with an LG incubator (still air for now), no matter the # of eggs I get, each batch I only successfully hatch out one chick. Others that have LG still air get 100% hatches..bad lucky on my part? I'm not sure but i have read that BQs are a challenge to hatch...but tell that to these breeders who have sucessfully incubated them into the colors they are today...lol!!!
The care for BQ is very simliar to that of Coturnix quails other than the fact taht most breeders believe that BQ cannot survive and thrive in cold weather like coturnix can...I beg to differ. If winterized just like any other quail they do fine even in below freezing temps. I am prooving that with my 4th BQ thats not indoors right now...she's in a large rabbit hutch keeping warm with her buddies (coturnix quails), she has wire flooring on 75% of her pen, the other 25% is the enclosed wooden housed part with an openening big enough for the coturnix to get into and a tarp covers teh whole enclosure....the coturnix act cold with fluffed feathers while she's still popping me out infertile eggs and walking around proudly. I plan to put these youngsters taht didnt make it to age to be outside before it got cold outdoors for next winter and I have no qualms about it. Their size has nothing to do with keeping warm as long as they have enough bodies to stay warm with with draft free homes ofcourse.
hens lay an egg a day just like coturnix, their feeding requirments are pretty much identical, housing requirements pretty much identical (just on a smaller wire spacing). Big difference between coturnix and button quail isnt the size difference, it's their skiddishness...button quails pretty much act wild....where as coturnix don't.
BQs are wonderful for just watching, and genetics...but that's enough for me.