Just a quick question............

Discussion in 'Quail' started by honeynajar, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. honeynajar

    honeynajar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
    I was given 22 - 10 week old quail and 5- 6 week old mini chickens. I've got them housed for the moment enclosed in the small section of my chicken coop. My DH is outfitting an old rabbit hutch giving them a new enclosed box - 4' long - 3' wide and 2' high and 2 additional open layers with wire as a base. But the hutch opens up to a large run that is probably 15 x 20 x 8' high.. It's sides are chain link with the bottom 24" covered in chicken wire. The top covered in netting. I've looked through all the pics on this site and the majority don't have runs. Do quail not enjoy the freedom of a run or is just that its not necessary for happy quail? I've had them for 2 weeks waiting for the new housing to be finished and not one egg has appeared. I live in South Central PA so it's getting cold and they don't get much light now. I guess I just want to be sure I'm doing what I can to have happy quail - since I've got a gaggle of happy chickens! :) TIA! :p
     
  2. 1 old hen

    1 old hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2013
    If my memory seves me right quail lay in the spring same as wild birds.My advice would be to search quail mating and reproduction. 1 old hen
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Quail are seasonal layers, in other words, lay during the breeding season....spring thru fall. Are these Coturnix quail? I ask this because different breeds mature at different ages, and, different breeds have different male to female ratio for proper health of the birds and laying.

    If these birds Coturnix, they are definitely mature now. However if you wish to see eggs before next spring, you will need to add light and possibly heat. Poultry need 13-14 hours of daylight to keep the hormones flowing and if that doesn't do it, you may need to add heat, especially if it is already getting well below freezing at night.

    So, you can turn on the lights a couple hours before sun up, let natural daylight do it's job during the day and then turn them on again about 2 hours after sunset. Never leave the lights on more than 16 hours a day.

    Also, quail that have been moved to a new home or area will stop laying until they are comfortable in their new digs. So it can take them a few weeks to get back into the groove.

    You might also help them feel comfortable with hidey places and cut branches in the pen to give it a natural feeling of security.

    Make sure they are on a high protein diet of at least 24% and offer up crushed oyster shell for hard shells and passing the eggs.

    Also, make sure to give them plenty of room per bird, (don't crowd them in), keep them in a low traffic area and make sure nothing is scaring them in the night.

    Keep the ratio proper, (and this is if they are indeed Coturnix), one male to 4-7 females.

    With all these suggestions, you should see some eggs throughout the winter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  4. honeynajar

    honeynajar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
    Yes these are Coturnix. I wondered if they weren't seasonal. If I don't provide the extra light and heat will they live longer? I'm thinking I read that someplace. In the main coop, I have provided additional lighting to keep egg production up but unsure if I will continue to do so as we are getting tons of eggs for just the 2 of us right now from our 15 layers.

    I plan on putting some deadfall limbs in their run with some branches to provide them with hidey-holes. I believe the run is quite large for the 22 that I've got.

    I haven't sexed them yet - just learning about that. I have 4 white ones with a brown spot... the rest are either more black or more brown. Hoping to sex them before I move them to see exactly what I've got. Hoping for more girls than boys of course.

    I had read where it was suggested to clip their wings but with the run being so big - and they will have the ability to do a little flying - should I still clip their wings??

    Thanks so much for all of your help! You've been a wealth of information!!!!
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Allowing them to stop laying during the winter will definitely help them live a longer life. Takes a lot of life force to continuously produce eggs.

    It is not necessary to clip wings. Wing trimming won't stop them from getting lift and thus they can still fly short distances or straight up. If their run is large enough, and leaving their wings intact, they can learn to fly in circles and will help strengthen the cardiovascular system..

    Sounds like you are on the right track however. Keep up the good work, the research, and enjoy your quail ventures!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013

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