King Quails

How many quails or chickens do you have

  • Chickens

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  • Quails

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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  • Poll closed .

quailbro

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
4
0
7
hi, i am getting two king quail (male and female) and want to breed them, will they breed with just the two of them or do i need more? Can you tame quail when there young? How old do they have to be to be sold? About how many eggs do king quails lay? And last question, can someone send me a photo of what there quail cage looks looks like?





Thankyou to everyone that responds:)



i will vote the best answer to the person that answers all the questions and answers them well.
 

Oyster

Hatching
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
3
0
6
They lay 1 egg a day and will breed with just a male and female. For the cage I just used a tall bird cage, the bigger the better as they like to run around. aDon't know if you can tame them
 

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
These are fun birds to raise. I purchased my original pair from a pet store, having known very little about them. Here is a not-so-brief summary of my experience...

Food
  • Game bird crumbles
  • Finch/canary seed mix
  • Gravel/Grit
  • Oyster Shell - especially important source of calcium for laying hen
  • Live crickets
  • Dried bloodworms, mealworms, bugs found in the basement (mainly spiders here)
  • Wheat grass
  • Fruits (apples, grapes, bananas, raspberries)
  • Veggies (broccoli, lettuce, carrots, peas, corn, cucumber)
  • Sprouts (broccoli, bean, alfalfa, sunflower, oat, wheat)
  • Millet sprigs

Foods NOT to feed
  • Avocado
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley

Cages/Housing
They can easily adapt to most types of commercial bird cages. Yet, there are a few important things to consider when housing them in cages. Keeping in mind that these are strictly ground-dwelling birds that do not perch, it is important to select a cage with no less than 1 square foot of floor space. A longer cage allows them room to roam, while a shorter cage can cause them stress from confinement. Also, make sure that the spacing between the bars is less than 1/2", as buttons can squeeze their necks through anything wider. Because of their small feet and delicate toes, they do not do well in cages with wire floor grids, as their feet can slip through, causing discomfort and possible injury. Therefore, it is important to choose a cage with a built-in solid floor, or one that has a removable grid with a solid floor underneath for them to walk on.

Habitat Bedding
  • Pine shavings
  • Fir wood chips
  • Sand
  • Grass pellets/Newspaper pellets/Alfalfa Pellets
  • Timothy Hay
  • Non-skid kitchen drawer liners

Bedding that either contains toxins or impacts the digestive tract when ingested should NOT be used. These include...
  • Cedar shavings (cedar oil is toxic to quail)
  • Cat litter
  • Ground walnut shells
  • Corn Cob

The Boink Factor
You may read from many sources that these birds rarely fly, but mine do! They will also jump straight up when startled, causing serious head injury if they make impact with the top of the cage. Unless you are housing in a large flight aviary, padding should be added to the top of the cage to cushion the quail’s head should it jump. Some people use bungie-style cords attached to netting, while others use a soft mesh screen for the top. Others have found that keeping them in cages with a height of no more than 12-24 inches keeps them from building enough momentum during flight to cause injury.

Behavior
The male offers food to the female. You will notice this when you offer live food or treats, as the male will hold these in its beak while calling the female over to offer it to her. This helps to create a courtship bond between the two. When my hen lays her egg, she hides under a plant in the corner and digs out a shallow hollow. There have been times when she has sat on her eggs, but only for a couple of hours. My male will usually peck at the egg if it is left there unattended, but I have also seen him pile up wood chips around it and actually sit on it as well. Every once in a while, the male and female will fight with one another, but I've never seen mine actually attack -- it's more like play-fighting, chasing each other around. The male will crow and make a growling sound, while the hen makes a "peup-peup" chirping sound.

Taming
Start young, as soon as the chicks are born. I keep mine in a see-through brooder, so they can see me approach from the sides. Keep hand movements slow and at their eye-level (don't reach in from above with your hands, as they see above movement as threatening to them). Offer them live food out of your hands/fingers, and make them come over to you rather than chasing them around the cage with your hand. Make a vocal sound each time you enter the brooder, so that they recognize who you are before you reach in. Don't pick them up, but rub lightly under their beak and just above their belly -- they will eventually want to climb into your hand on their own. Very cute when they do this, as they will make little peeping noises when you do this, even as adults.

Cage Designs
There are already several links on this board regarding this. You can look here to see what I use. I also use this one pictured below as either a juvenile brooder or as an introduction cage...



Additional Notes
If you notice your hen not laying eggs, it may be due to either diet or lack of sunlight hours. If the male is crowing incessantly, this may be due to stress either from inadequate room temperature (too hot, too cold) or from another pet disturbing its habitat (dog or cat intrusion). If you keep them in a cage, you can also try covering the cage at night to reduce the crowing.

Additional Resources

1. [Book] A Closer Look At Button Quail – The Care and Breeding of Chinese Painted Quail, by Jodi McDonald

2. [Book] The Chinese Painted Quail – “The Button Quail” Their Breeding And Care, by Leland Hayes, PhD
 

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
A couple things I forgot to include:

It would be a good idea for you to get in touch with other breeders in your locality before you begin raising your own. Ideally, if you want to eventually sell any of your hatchlings, you'll want to sell them in pairs. So, there is the likelihood of ending up with a few extra of one sex. In that case, you will already have contacts to either swap or sell with other breeders. Or, check with a local small-chain pet store to see if they may be interested in arranging a selling agreement with you. If your plan is to sell them on Craigslist, you may end up with buyers who want them to feed their giant monitor lizards, pet snakes, or eat them for dinner. I added the last one because one of my buyers, I fear, may have done just that.

Sand/Dust Baths
You'll see several postings on this. These birds love their sand baths. You can place a tub of sand in their habitat and they will roll around frolicking, and it's quite entertaining to watch.
 

Oyster

Hatching
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
3
0
6
Wow, great info, what I've been unable to find in the Internet is in regards to hatching. How long to incubate, what temperature or humidity it has to be. How often do the eggs need to be turned?
 

Zrcalo

Chirping
7 Years
May 13, 2012
110
12
81
I would probably google search "button quail" as "king quail" is not the common term used in the pet trade.

I find it easier to house them in aquariums. Remember to have one square foot of space per bird on the floor.
 

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
Incubation period generally takes between 16-21 days. You turn the eggs (rotate them 180 degrees) each day until the end of day 13. Then, you go into "lock-down," which is when you stop turning the eggs so that the chicks can position themselves for hatching. I only hatch in small batches between 6-12 eggs, so my experience may be quite different from others who hatch in larger batches with larger and more sophisticated incubators. In my case, I've found that the incubation method is still a learning process by trial and error, since every incubator is different. You will find a lot of links to this, and several will recommend temps between 99.4F-100F degrees. When I first started out, I used the cheapest (and lousiest) little plastic Brinsea incubator -- this is the little one with the folded screen that often drops and makes the eggs fall right into the water below. I turned the eggs 4 times a day (three times a day when I could only rush home for lunch). I used this one for two hatches before upgrading to the Brinsea Mini Advance with the auto-turner. On my first two hatches with the first incubator, my temps were at 100F degrees with humidity near 65% throughout the first time and increased to nearly 90% the second time, with poor hatching rates both times (actually, even worse the second time). Kept the same temp the first time with the newer incubator and had a poor hatch (several chicks hatching two days early, others died in the shell nearly fully developed and others probably died somewhere between days 12-14.) On my last two hatches, I've kept temps at 99.4F-99.6F degrees with much better success (I also held humidity levels between 70-75%). Yet, this is just my experience with my own incubator. Your experience may be entirely different with a different incubator, even at the same temp. It takes a few hatches to learn the best temp/humidity settings with your particular incubator. It also depends on whether your incubator is a still-air or forced-air incubator. I looked at several sites regarding incubation prior to starting out, and mainly went by this link as a reference guide (note the different temp settings for still-air versus forced-air.)

Once the chicks hatch, I can at least offer you more specific information. The following are tips and lessons learned both from personal experience and from following the guidance of breeders and folks here in this forum. Once the chicks hatch .....

1. Add a vitamin/mineral supplement to water dish. If your quail eggs were shipped, you may not know the conditions under which the breeding pair were kept. If there is a vitamin/mineral deficiency in the mating pair, any eggs produced will also lack these nutrients to hatch and develop normally. For example, a lack of Riboflavin in a breeding pair can result in chicks with leg/foot deformities. Therefore, supplementing newborn chicks with these nutrients gives them a better chance of surviving if they are lacking a particular vitamin or mineral.

2. Add probiotics to feed or water. I use PB-8, but there are many other probiotics available out there made and marketed specifically for chicks to help rid any overgrowth of bacteria that can cause them illness. Also, watch for droppings that adhere to a chick's backside and collect there into a large mass. This condition is fairly common, and it can cause constipation and illness if left untreated. You can help to eliminate it by giving a chick probiotics (orally) and gently cleaning its bottom with a Q-tip soaked in warm water (this will also help the chick to produce a bowl movement and further rid of any constipation that may be causing it weakness and/or lack of interest in feeding normally.)

3. Watch new chicks closely for signs of overheating. If they appear to be panting, laying flat or on their sides with legs stretched out away from their body for long periods, or scooting off into corners in your brooder, then the heat from your brooder lamp is too intense. On the other hand, if they are piling up on top of one another directly under the lamp, or standing high as though they are lifting their body upwards towards the heat source, then the temperature in your brooder needs to be increased. I really don't go explicitly by temp readings as much as I do how the chicks are behaving.

4. As you may have already noted from other posters, make sure that your starter feed is ground to almost a powder-like consistency. If the pellets are too large, they are unable to eat enough, even if it appears that they are pecking at it. Spread this feed freely all over the brooder so that they can find the food easily by simply pecking at the ground around them, rather than having them search for the food dish. They will eventually be able to recognize the food dish, but it will take them 2-3 days after hatching to do this.

5. More on feeding....you have to show them how to eat. Use your finger to poke around at the bottom of the brooder. In this manner, you are replicating the behavior of a mother hen and teaching the chicks to peck at the ground for their food. Some chicks instinctively know how to forage for feed and peck at the ground right after hatching, but others will literally starve unless you show them how to do this.

6. Observe them to see that they are finding and drinking water while in the brooder. Add bright red marbles or stones to attract them to both the feed and water dishes. If you observe them not drinking enough water - or no water at all - in the brooder, you may need to use a small dropper and dab water on the side of their beak for them to swallow. Again, like the feeding mentioned above, some chicks need to be shown how to eat and drink. It's important to dip a chick's beak into the water dish when you place them into the brooder for the first time -- this insures that the chick gets hydrated, but also teaches them where the water is located.

7. Emergency Fix: Just a warning about this, as some may find this controversial due to the fact that this remedy won't be found in website or book sources. This is information gained from a local friend who has raised pheasants for over 20 years, and I can only offer my experience with this remedy by way of stating that I believe it literally saved two of my own button quail chicks. The following is a remedy for chicks who are weak, star-gazing, walking backwards, and/or near apparent death with convulsions (seizure-like behavior) when all else has been tried....

Mix the following:
- 2 Tablespoons of filtered or distilled room-temperature water
- 2 drops of "Trace Minerals" (labeled as "Concentrace") drops (available from Whole Foods or similar health foods store, sold in a blue bottle)
- A full pinch of granulated sugar
- 2 drops of avian vitamins (or Poly Vi Sol without iron)
Use a dropper to apply to side of bird's beak, and repeat once every 30-45 minutes. I found that my two button quail began to show quick improvement within 45-60 minutes, with this solution providing them with the energy they needed to begin pecking at food and to stand more upright, eventually regaining function to feed on their own with no more visible symptoms within a time period of 2-4 hours..

Sorry so long, but these birds teach you a lot - you will learn quickly in a short period of time - and each hatch teaches you something new.
 
Last edited:

Oyster

Hatching
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
3
0
6
Savagechick, thanks a ton! That's awesome and exactly everything I was looking for and more. So excited about starting our own buttonquail operation.
 

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
Hope it is helpful info for you. Really sorry that I write so much, but I don't want to leave anything out that may be of importance to you. Just wait, when you actually start hatching, you will have so many more questions. The folks here on this board are incredibly helpful. I've really enjoyed these birds, and hopefully you will too. Invest the time and care, and they will reward you beyond your expectations. A few other notes to add is to not give up so quickly on eggs that either begin to pip at the wrong end or have hairline cracks (you can apply nail polish to the cracks and, at least in my case, it will still hatch normally.) The one that pipped on the narrow end of one of my eggs actually turned out to be the strongest and most bubbly - my favorite - out of my last brood (so very glad I did not dispose of him too soon!) Keep us posted, and good luck in your joyful new endeavor!
 

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