Just recieved 10 quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ket806, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. ket806

    ket806 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2012
    I just recieved 10 quail. They are maybe 2 months old(?). I was wondering---

    •If at this age would you be able to tell sex?
    •What is the best food to feed in yalls opinion?
    •Should they have a heating lamp(even when older)?
    •Are these bobwhites?
    •Do they look raggedy or do they look healthy?
    •How far from chickens and ducks should they be(if at all)?
    •How hardy are they?

    The birds are inside at the moment due to the freezing weather outside and until their pin is finished.
    Thank y'all for the help:)
  2. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2012
    Wow, they're beautiful. I have no clue as to what type of quail they are though.
    I can't help much because I've had no experience or learnt much about bobwhite quail or any other quail besides chinese and japanese.

    • What is the best food to feed in yalls opinion?
    For generally all quail, you should give them a high protein feed, preferably over 20% protein. This can be given by getting a bag of gamebird starter or finisher which can be found at your local feedstore. You could also try turkey food as well, I heard that's good protein for them. But you can also provide them treats like boiled egg, greens, fruits (besides avocado, never give avocado) and a lot of other things as well if you look it up. Hehe.

    • Should they have a heating lamp(even when older)?
    You really don't need to. At 2 months of age, I'm pretty sure they're used to the outdoor temperatures by now. As long as they're free from drafts and have some warm kind of bedding (like hay or wood shavings [no cedar shavings], then they should be alright. You should only add heat if it gets below freezing. Or well, the temperatures below minus five and lower...

    • How far from chickens and ducks should they be(if at all)?
    Keep them far away from chickens and ducks and other poultry/gamebirds/waterfowl, etc. For all I know, keeping chickens and quail together can lead to some type of disease. I am unsure of what and how but I was just advised to keep them separated. Maybe on the other side of your home or something? Somewhere where they are not capable of coming in contact.


    Yeah... that's all I can answer. Hehe.
    Welcome to the quail club. :]
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  3. MrNappy

    MrNappy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2012
    Ajax, Ontario
    Those look like bob-birds but i could be wrong, i haven't seen one, haha.

    They don't look like either Coturnix or Bobwhite, but a mix. (Maybe, maybe)

    The picture is a little fuzzy, could be bobwhite also, (most of them are hens, could you take one of males?)

    Coturnix Male on right, female on left:


    Bobwhite Male:


    Bobwhite female:

  4. Woofless

    Woofless Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    They look like juvenile Bobwhites to me, I'd estimate them closer to 5 or 6 weeks old but again, hard to be sure from a picture. Here's a pic of 4 week old Bobs for comparison: [​IMG]

    I gotta ask- did the person you got the birds from not know how old they were or what kind? [​IMG] Just curious, lol.....heck I wish I knew a few people who would randomly gift me cages of mystery poultry :)

    Anyway, to answer your other questions, you'll be able to tell their sex by 12 weeks if not a little sooner- see that little light brown stripe on everybody's head, behind the eye? About that age it'll start turning white on the males, females will stay brown.

    Best food is a high protein gamebird feed. If you can find 28% protein feed it would be ideal at least until they are 8-10 weeks. If you have a hard time finding that percentage you can probably get away with a 24 or 22% feed at this stage- especially if you think they are already closer to 8 weeks old. At 14 to 16 weeks I switch to a finisher formula which I believe is 18%, some feed companies market a 15 or 16% food which is also perfectly adequate for adult birds. You can also mix in grains- cracked corn, oats, etc....alfalfa hay is good for greens and gives them something to pick at. And I always make sure to provide grit when I feed grain or anything other than commercial crumbles. At this stage if you stick to commercial food you do not need grit.

    Heat lamp- largely depends how cold it is where you live but the answer is probably YES, especially if they are closer to 5 weeks as I suspect. At least for now. Adult quail do not need heat in the winter, they do fine here down to -40F....they just need a good shelter that blocks the wind. And with a small group like that it is wise to provide plenty of bedding material- straw, hay or pine shavings- something dry and warm to help them retain heat. By NEXT winter your birds should not need heat at all. But right now, I would definitely want to give them some heat- even if it is "mild" where you live, give them heat for the first few days, they will be stressed from handling and could use a little warmth. If it is super cold where you live you may want to give them heat until they are fully mature at least, and wean very slowly away from the heat. The birds do need time to acclimate to outdoor temps.
    Appearance- they look healthy enough from here. I see bright open eyes, I don't see broken feathers or bald spots, no other signs of picking....young birds tend to have a slightly scruffy look since their feathers are still growing so that is normal.

    Hardiness- They can be somewhat susceptible to disease, particularly in wet weather....bacterial and fungal crap can knock out quail before you know what happened. Worms can be a problem, worming is easy to do, reccomended once a year. With just 10 birds if you figure out a good setup for them, it should be super easy for you to keep their enclosure clean, get rid of soiled bedding on floor & put in new, etc. Cleanliness of the flooring/environment will go a LONG way in keeping quail healthy....if you can raise them on an eleveated wire floor it's even better for them. Plus keeping waterers cleaned and freshly filled..... As long as you keep that part under control, we have found quail to be pretty tough little birds. I already mentioned they aren't bothered by -20 to -40 degree chill. I have two quail who each got one foot/leg chewed off by a rat last spring....both birds not only survived but thrived, and hop one-legged around the pen....they now have names and a permanent home. We use quail for dog training and I have seen quail get picked up & retrieved multiple times, by two different dogs even.....and I can still take that quail, put it back in the pen and it'll go on living its life like nothing happened. That's a testament not only to tough quail, but to a nice soft-mouthed bird dog :)

    Ducks & chickens- quail should be COMPLETELY separate from them. Far enough away that a chicken can't even fart in a quail's general direction :). You will find people who claim they've housed chickens with quail and didn't have problems but IMO that is a matter of luck, and personal choice- if you want to take the risk. There IS a disease risk, chickens can carry stuff that will flat out kill your quail but the chickens won't even be sick. I'm not 100% sure about ducks, but again why even take the chance.....keep the quail by themselves. Certain other species of gamebird are OK to house with quail...chukar, for instance are OK with quail...but chickens, turkeys, etc are generally a no-no.

    Hope this helps, enjoy your new box of mystery birds :)
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Yes, those are Bobwhites. They look like they are close to 8-10 weeks old, judging from the masks developing on the faces. I think a couple of the quail down in front are males. You will be able to sex them soon. They look quite healthy and do not need heat at this age. Bobs are a very hardy species. My Bobs have regularly seen temps well below zero and do just fine. The last few nights around here have been in the -5 degree range and the birds act as if it is a nice warm spring night.
  6. ket806

    ket806 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2012
    Thank you do much for your info:) and thanks I am actually very excited about starting in quail:)
  7. ket806

    ket806 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2012
    Thank you thank you for the info:)
  8. ket806

    ket806 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2012
    Thank you for your information!! My friend hatched out about 100+ Different eggs and these were supposed to be chickens bahaha he gave them to me since I am getting my game bird breeder liscence for pheasant and my husband wanted quail! He is guessing they are close to 8 weeks(he's not 100% sure as he has hatches for 1 day to 6 months). I literally LOL to the chicken fart bahahahahahaha(still smiling from it)!!! I have a duck yard then the chicken yard a soon to be geese yard a soon to be pheasant yard and in the process of building the quail I little area amongst our horses(and soon cattle) on our 14 acres. We do have some random chukar that run the property(one showed up now there is like 10 and I have no idea where they came from). Edited to say: I live in Texas so we don't see extreme cold nor do we see rain or snow very often lol(well at least latley) but it does get very hot here(wonderful DRY Beaming heat)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  9. ket806

    ket806 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2012
    Oh awesome tha is for the info:) I will post pics in a few weeks and maybe we can have a better shot at sex:)

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