new at quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Elakr1, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Elakr1

    Elakr1 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2011
    Have a few questions about Bobwhites.
    And I know some of you are experts, so
    here it goes.

    At what age can Bobwhites be placed in a run?

    At what age do the males start to call?

    When do the hens start laying?

    The run I have for the 22 that I have is 8ft. x 16ft. dirt floor with brush and roosts for them.

    After the questions any suggestions will be very much accepted.

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Welcome to the Bobwhite world! You are in for some real fun as Bobwhites are wonderful quail to keep, however they are quite aggressive during breeding season, May thru September.

    1. 6 weeks old and they can be put out in the run.

    2. Males will start to practice between 3 and 4 months, however won't scream out the "bob white" call till they are in full breeding mode.

    3. Females will start to lay around 22 to 25 weeks of age.

    The run size of 8 x 16 might enough room for 22 Bobs, if raised together they may all get along in the "off breeding" season. Generally during this time, winter months, the bob's will want to gather in coveys and winter together. However come breeding season, you are going to have to separate them in breeding pairs, male and female, as they will NOT get along and the fighting may turn in to killing. You can use breeding cages, kennel cages or what ever you feel is best to allow them enough room to spend the summer, be happy and lay lots of eggs. If you are raising young ones now, you probably won't have to deal with breeding till next spring.

    Cover the top of the run to keep out the moisture. VERY important.

    Bobs won't perch on branches much, but they do like to climb up to see the vantage points, especially the males. So if you can provide places to hop up about 3 feet, they will enjoy that. A brush pile is something they will HUGELY appreciate, it not only gives them a more natural setting, but allows them to hide from things they think are after them and from each other. I would add some sort of litter to the floor of the run for easier cleaning and for sanitary reasons. Grass hay or Alfalfa, even shavings will work.

    Bobs can withstand the coldest of temps, below freezing in fact, however, they will need some sort of shelter from the wind, rain, snow, etc... No open coops, floors or walls. No wind. Do not let the run get wet any time of year if you can help it. Bobs not only do not like to get wet, but mud will clump on their feet and you will have to remove it or they can lose feet, toes, other foot issues, and they HATE to be handled.

    You can really tame them up with treats and they will readily eat out of your hands. They can even learn a few things thru repetition and souds. (I have mine trained to go into their coop with using a dog clicker, while telling them to "get into the coop". They now go into the coop on command without the use of the dog clicker).

    Feed them a good diet of gamebird food. They love greens, mealworms, peas in the pod, and fruit. Offer crushed oyster shell to the girls for calcium during egg laying season.

    There is tons more stuff that I have not mentioned here but you will learn as you go. Good luck with your new venture! [​IMG]
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    One more thing that may be important to the mental health of Bob's in a run. I have found that if the bob's can see out to other places from inside the run, they will pace along the edges of the run for hours, trying to get to where "the grass is greener" and will not feel secure. So you may find that covering the bottom foot or two feet so that they can not see out will help this anxiousness that they may get. Gives them a feeling of their own space and security. I have only one section open to look outside at ground level and have covered the rest of the aviary 2 feet up, then have many posts I have set up along the walls on the inside so they can hop up and look outside. This set up seems to keep their sanity as you may or may not find. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  4. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    I agree. They will pace for what they can see. I see the same with the Valley Quail.

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