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Introducing the new to the old?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by brewer12345, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a covey of 18 coturnix in the outdoor coop that are 6 weeks old. If My incubation maiden flight went OK, I will have a bunch of new coturnix hatching starting Monday. When the new group get big enough to go outside, what is the best way to mix the two groups without having problems? By the time I mix them I will be culling roosters from the existing flock of 18.
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll need to cage them beside the older birds, or inside their cage but separated by finer wire (just so no one can get their head through to attack another bird) so everyone can get used to each other for a week or so. And the younger females will need to be at least 8 weeks old before mixing the two groups or an older male may take exception to the fact that they won't submit and become aggressive. You may get the odd trouble maker so just keep an eye on them when you do set the younger ones free.
     
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with JaeG about caging them beside each other. If you intend to cull all the older roos you might not need to wait till the new hens are 8 weeks old though. I wouldn't wait that long before culling the roos - if they are 6 weeks old now and still being caged with females, it's a matter of days before you are likely to start seeing trouble - fighting, pecking, over breeding and so on. Most people on here cull them before 8 weeks, but 6 weeks seems to be when the trouble starts.

    With regards to the introduction, people also suggest to distract the quail when the separation between them is finally removed. This could mean giving them a fresh dust bath, throwing in some treats and so on. It might also help to move things around in the enclosure, so the older group doesn't feel too territorial about it.
     
  4. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I am actually planning on just keeping one of the older roos, a really pretty and calm/tame rosetta. I have a second cage that is intended as a breeding cage/quail jail (for misbehaving roosters) that I can put either the new or old birds into and set next to the main cage for a week or so. Is a week long enough? Ideally I will keep one or two roos from the second batch as well, although that will depend on behavior.

    6 weeks is where trouble starts? I have been watching closely for bad behavior and not really seeing any thus far. I notice they have been crowing more and more in the past week, but that is about it. I am the only one in the family who is not squeamish about culling, so if trouble starts I will have to use quail jail for a week until the kids are done with Spring break and I can get it done.

    The distractions are a good idea as well. I pretty much do the same thing with aquarium fish when adding new residents to an existing tank.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  5. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oddly enough, as we were watching the covey today we saw a whole bunch of bad behavior this afternoon. My daughter and I fished out all the roosters except the chosen one and put them in a separate pen. Maybe 3 hours later we noticed that the first of our eggs had just hatched on day 16. Circle of life, I suppose, but fascinating to watch the hatch.
     
  6. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    It's always so exciting! Hope you have lots of little ones running around soon. We just hatched some and our last three hatched yesterday. They are so adorable!
     

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