I'm getting my first quail tomorrow! OMG - am I ready?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by navasima, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. navasima

    navasima Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    I have a sterilized hutch - 4.5' X 2.5' with part wire (very small net) and part wood in the open part 3'X2.5'; pine bedding for the closed part; waterer and feeder used for my chickens when they were tiny. My plan is to have this for their winter quarters and build a pen by Spring. (My guess is that quail math may be a bit like chicken math - so will need a bigger space 6 months from now...) I have read that I need to give them game bird feed - yes? Will pick up proper food tomorrow AM.

    I'm getting 5 girls - Cotournix - for eggs and pets. They are supposed to be around 8 weeks or so - all laying.

    At this age, do they get starter food? Until which age do they need it? Anything else they will need? Do they enjoy the same sorts of treats as chickens?

    Winters aren't typically harsh or long here in NM, but will this space be too big for just 5? Do I need more already? [​IMG]

    Will the girls do any better or worse with a boyfriend?

    Ack! I'm quite sure that all of this beginner stuff is here (BYC) somewhere...anyone have a link for brand newbies?

    Thanks for any help or guidance!!

    Yeah - I'm pretty excited!! [​IMG]

    BTW: Y'all may want to look around for demons wearing ice skates - cause DH actually agreed to getting them with no fussing at all!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Mykee

    Mykee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your pen is huge for 5 coturnix. If they are around 8 weeks, they will not grow much more, so you don't need to make a larger pen. They need game bird crumbles at this age, but not starter. The "chick-age" for coturnix is about 6 weeks. The girls will do fine without a quail cock, although the cocks are hilarious and have an adorabale sounding crow! They fare pretty well in the winter, and I live father north. Just make sure that the pen is draft free and predator safe. A racoon got 3 of my 5 quail this summer when I thought they were perfectly safe, so make sure nothing catches you by surprise. Coturnix are surprisingly hardy little creatures, and enjoy a good dust bath. They are adorable creatures. Have fun raising them!
    I can't figure out how to get the link to work, so here is an adress:

    http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/issues/5/5-2/smooth_quailing.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  3. bfrancis

    bfrancis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    Congrats on getting into the quail realm... [​IMG]

    My wife brought our first "9" home a couple years ago, all in a nice little pen...now we just finished a 12x24 quail house...thinking it would be the enough...already decided its too small...all that to say this, Chicken Math (Squared to the inth)...get more and build bigger [​IMG]
     
  4. navasima

    navasima Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2011
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    This is Kaya. Wolf/Husky mix.
    [​IMG]

    Raccoons? Nah! My pens have to be Kaya proof! [​IMG] The plus side? Nothing will ever wander into the yard and bother my feathered friends - or the bunnies....or us.....

    Thanks for the link!

    Now, not that I'm getting ahead of myself...but, is integrating quail as worrisome as integrating chickens can be? That is, if I were to want to get a male or some more girls down the road...... [​IMG]
     
  5. bfrancis

    bfrancis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    Integrating adult birds can be trying...normally I would do more than one at a time and keep the new ones confined inside a wired cage in with the birds they will be living with...that way they can see and have some interaction with each other...after 3 days I release the new ones at night (less stressful on all that way) there still may be some pecking order issues but will go away quickly, unlike the chickens that take a few days to figure out.
     
  6. navasima

    navasima Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    Thanks again!!
     
  7. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    Yes congrats on getting into quail!

    First off, feeding coturnix quail can start an argument or 4, so I'll just say my piece and move on. [​IMG]

    Game Bird Starter (GBS), is what you want to feed them...no matter how many you have. One feed from hatch to dispatch. Easy...right? [​IMG]

    Treats....I'm not a huge fan of "TREATS". They do nothing to improve any stock, and their only purpose is, to make humans feel good about themselves. Good quality complete nutrition trumps "Treats" every time.
    Also (Quail are not the living garbage disposals) that chickens are.
    Coturnix girls with boys....No you don't need a roo, but some say that they lay more/better with roos, but not really needed. Unless you are a hatch-o-holic.

    Your winter situation should be fine, just shelter them from the cold driving wind.

    When you do get your laying hens, the first thing you will notice is....they will stop laying. Broken law of perpetual sameness! Just feed them the GBS, lay off the "Treats", give them a week or two, and all should be well.

    On a side note: Anything less than 1/2"/19GA. HWC on an outdoor pen, and you are playing with FIRE [​IMG]
    It's not a matter of "IF" a critter breaches your defenses, but when!

    Best of luck to you my friend!
     
  8. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    Quote:1/2"x1" 14ga. welded wire could work for your sides but you definatly don't want any 1" x1" or bigger and keep that 1/2 x1/2 HWC on the floor. Even with 1/2x1/2 I've have critters get ahold of a bird foot.
     
  9. Blob Chicken

    Blob Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I disagree with you. The birds love treats aswell. Thats why they eat them so eagerly even if they have a full dish of pellets right beside them. [​IMG]

    Also they do make a difference. My birds that get fed treats(crickets ,mealworms ,fruits and veggies) have better looking feathers ,are friendlier ,and when young ,they grow better.

    Just adding my two cents [​IMG]
     
  10. navasima

    navasima Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    They're here!!!! [​IMG]

    6 girls and a boy' all 7-9 weeks old. Ya - quail math kicked in fast! [​IMG] Well, there was soooo much room and then I heard him crow and it cracked me up! Only 2 above intended number...so not so bad..... [​IMG]

    I have: 1 all white, 1 white with a couple brown and black spots on her head and back, 1 cinnamon, 1 golden and 3 brown including my boy. (Are quail boys and girls roos and hens?)

    Almost a happy covy.......2 girls have stayed outside on the wire and pick on whoever comes out to join them. Not actually preventing anybody from getting food and water, just being a pain. I'm thinking that if they're still out after dark, I'll put them in with the others - yes? I'm hoping that I understood correctly from my reading that they should get over the newness of everything in a day or two....as long as there are no injuries and everyone gets to eat and drink...I'm leaving it up to them to work it out. I'll put the two girls in the closed part mostly to make sure they're warm.

    My little man has already been "performing his duties" - so that I had to answer the 2 yr old asking..."What are they doing there?" I stuck with "playing" - that'll do for now. [​IMG] Good boy!

    They are enjoying their game bird grower and will be getting broccoli tonight when I take some to the chickens. At worst, I figure it can do no harm. I do feel good when I give treats to any of my critters and even if they don't like it - they can enjoy shredding it - heh!

    Thanks y'all for the welcome to the world of quail and the advice/guidance given!! Looking forward to a great adventure......
     

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