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Keeping CPQs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by nikirushka, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. nikirushka

    nikirushka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The breeder I got my newbies from is having a clearout so tomorrow, I'm off to pick up his remaining coturnix and all of his CPQs. maybe 6 or 7 of them, if I remember right, but I didn't get a close look. Might be fewer.

    Now I've had CPQs before, but a long time ago. Like 16 years ago. I've forgotten everything!

    So, give me the rundown. Best food, or best food to use until I can get the best food (if that makes sense)? My adult coturnix are on Heygates 2mm thick micropellets, I'm guessing these might be too big for buttons though. I also have turkey starter crumb and regular chick crumb (medicated). I've not got much of the turkey though and as I've got two chicks on it and possibly some more arriving tomorrow I'd prefer not to use it if possible. I can get more of course, but it takes a week to arrive.

    What about space - am I right in thinking 1 square foot per bird as with coturnix or is it less for buttons? Is the preferred decor the same as the cots? I have big branches and tunnels for them, I could easily sort out the same for the teenies.

    Anything else I need to know? He's got them living with the coturnix at the moment but I'll be keeping them separate - my big pen is half my spare room sectioned off, which is fine for the bigger birds but not secure enough for something the size of a CPQ.

    Thanks!
     
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use very small pellets or crumbles for my buttons - the pellets are intended for pheasant chicks up to 1 week of age, I think - they are very small and there is a lot of powder in there, so even the tiniest button chick can eat it. Right now I've had to switch to chicken starter crumbles. They only have 17.3 % protein or something like that, and I would like them to have 20-24%. I intend to mix in some soybean meal to achieve that, but they've eaten it as it is for the last week or so, because I only just got the soy meal. As for medicated feed, however, I've never used it and I've read there is too much medication in there for buttons, but I'm also pretty sure I've read about someone using medicated feed for quail, though those might have been cots.
    Before I realized you could actually get pellets/crumble tiny enough for buttons, I was using various means (mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, blender) to grind larger pellets, so I think that might actually be what I'd opt for in your case - grinding the feed you are using for the cots, if it seems too big for the buttons. Assuming it has between 20 and 30 % protein, that is - I don't know that Heygates stuff. If the turkey starter is suitable for them, you can then switch to that once you get a new bag.


    As for space - yes, the general recommendation is 1 square foot per bird, but the general recommendation is also to keep buttons in pairs - which means the birds would be living in an area of 1x2 ft, and in my world, that's just too **** tiny for a bird. My personal preference is 2 ft deep by 4 ft long for a pair or maybe a trio, if they get along well. That gives you room to enrich their environment with places to hide, dust baths and so on, without taking all their space, and it allows the birds to put some distance between themselves and you, when you are messing in one end of the cage. It also gives them so much space, they don't seem terribly overcrowded even when they hatch 6 chicks, as one of my pairs did a few weeks ago.

    Things you need to know - in general, you shouldn't keep several roos in an enclosure that has females. The dude you get them from might do it, and it might even work for him, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. So you can split them up and have an all female pen and an all male pen, or you can make pairs, trios or similar of one male and whichever number of females you desire, and keep any spare birds in same sex groups. They can die from stress if kept alone, so rather make a trio, a pair and have two males left, than making 3 pairs and ending up with one leftover male - unless you can re-home that male or get a partner for him quickly.
     
  3. nikirushka

    nikirushka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much. I have 6 now, not sure on sexes though - one I believe is male but I'm not sure. Definitely at least one female as I've had an egg today but no idea who laid it! No clue on colours either, apart from the silver tuxedo. Pictures:


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    The Heygates feed is 19.5% protein if I remember rightly, so I'm guessing not high enough from what I've been reading; but, as I've also now got another 4 very young coturnix, I'll be picking up a big bag of the turkey starter crumb very soon so I can keep these guys on that. Huge bags I can get locally, luckily, it's the smaller amounts I have to order online and I've not needed much until now!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  4. Dani xxx

    Dani xxx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Farnham common bucks uk
    heygates do a super starter crumb 27% protein aswell I had to order it in from my local feed retailer they said it is now available all year round as I emailed them asking for a higher protein food
     
  5. nikirushka

    nikirushka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw that. When I found the micro pellets I don't think it was on the website - just seen it on there! My local place will be getting me the pellets now so once I'm through my bag of turkey crumb I'll order those. I may as well do that, otherwise I'll forever have kilos of turkey crumb sat there as I won't be having any more coturnix chicks!
     
  6. nikirushka

    nikirushka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right, I've worked out that I've got a darth vader male, cinnamon blue faced male and two cbf females. Nuts. Plans will be afoot to split them up as soon as I can!

    How can I find out the sex of the two pieds? I can vent sex coturnix, is it similar?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  7. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From the pictures, I think you have at least 4 males.
    1: Possibly red breasted tuxedo female
    2: Definitely blue face male
    3: Silver tuxedo unknown sex
    4: Red breasted male
    5 and 6: Cinnamon blue face males as far as I can tell

    Males have rust red feathers around the vent, unless they are white or tuxedo. It's only the two tuxedo birds I don't think I see rust on. I'm guessing the first one is female, because the not-white part of it looks like a red breasted female, but the silver tuxedo could be either sex. Often you'll be able to find a few rust colored feathers in the part that's not white even on a tuxedo bird, if it's male. Try to look for those. In the silver one, they are probably quite pale if they are there.

    Number 5 has poo balls on his toes - those are easily removed if you have a small cage with a plastic bottom and enough pebbles to cover the bottom. Put the pebbles in the cage, add the bird and then pour in warm water so it just covers the pebbles. Check on the bird every 30 minutes, I've never had to wait more than 2 hours for the poo balls to be dissolved/fall off and it's way easier, safer and less stressful for the bird than you holding its feet in water and trying to scrape the poo balls off.

    Edit: I don't think you can vent sex buttons, no. Perhaps you can put a certain male with a suspected female and see if any eggs come from that enclosure :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  8. nikirushka

    nikirushka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, you're right. Now they're not going quite so frantic, I've been able to get a better look and all the cinnamon blue faces have red vent feathers. <insert sweary words here>

    I have a feeling the silver pied is male too - there are faint hints of colour down there:

    [​IMG]


    Rats! I may attempt to have a pair and a colony of males then. I've not got room to do 5 separate pairs! Apparently they are 4 months old, when does aggression start to kick in? I'm not sure about the age though - I've also been told the coturnix I collected today range from 6 weeks to a year, but at least 4 of them are definitely younger. One is two weeks if it's a day!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  9. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you are right that the silver one is male too. I've had 8-9 week old button chicks peck their father, so the aggression starts pretty early. There are several of yours that look like they've been pecked on the head, so I think they are being rough on each other as well - but once the female is removed, I'd expect that to stop.
     
  10. nikirushka

    nikirushka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nuts. Righto, I'll split them then - one pair and 4 males. Luckily I have a spare tank for the boys! I don't think they're being particularly bad with each other, at least not compared to the ones I had years ago but that may be because they were living in a big group of japs and are now in a new space. I'll get that tank set up ASAP.
     

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