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New owner with questions

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Lelu, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Lelu

    Lelu Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Monterey, Ca
    Hi,

    I've been looking to raise quail for a while, but I don't have a ton of space, and I only wanted 4-6 hens. Since eggs tend to come in 50's I kinda gave up for a while. AND THEN! Yesterday an ad was posted on craigslist by a fella looking to downsize his flock. I was so excited I ran out, drove the hour and a half to San Jose and picked up six Cortunix hens.

    Now I' in kind of a pickle. I need to go up North this weekend for a job, and I'll be gone two and a half days. The guy I bought the quail from said he leaves them for days at a time with no troubles. Last night I put a pound of food in a dispenser, this morning at 10am it was all already gone, most of it fallen through the cage wire. ... :-/ Is there a set up for leaving your quail for a weekend? Or do I need to find a quail sitter?

    Next, I have a yard that's 10 feet wide 20 feet long with 6 foot fencing. If I clip the girls wings can I let them free range back there during the day? If I wanted to confined them to a 10 by 10 area how high should I build the fence?

    I am sure I will have a ton more questions, but these are my first.

    Many Thanks!!
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    If you let them free range in an open-topped pen they will get out. If you clip their wings in the same pen, something else will get them. Your best bet is to have a covered pen for them. You can have them on the ground. Coturnix don't roost, so they only need about a foot of head room. But you can make it as high or short as you want.

    As for the feed, they've apparently wasted it. I use the long chick feeders for mine, they don't seem to scratch it out too badly. 2 full feeders (1 long feeder and one short feeder) lasts mine 2 days, but there are 30 birds in the pen. You could put a pan of some sort under the feeder so whatever they scratch out of it goes into the pan.
     
  3. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    Make mash. They don't waste as much of it. Whatever they don't eat right then will just kinda dry into a block that they still eat on but cant scratch out. In a pinch you can use some rabbit waters until you get back.
     
  4. Robo

    Robo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Knoxville,TN
    I would invest in a bigger feeder. I have 13lb. feeders right now. I still can't figure out how to make them mot waste any.
     
  5. Hooligan Farm

    Hooligan Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Burlington County, NJ
    I'm new to this also but after they wasted the first night I modified the feeder and that helped. I use a rabbit feeder but fit a piece of poultry netting in it so they can't scratch at the food so easily.
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Quote:A bigger feeder with a 'hopper' or 'jar' would just give them that much more to scratch out.

    Get or make a feeder that makes them have to stick their heads inside it to eat, then whatever they scratch around with their beaks just goes to a different part of the feeder.
     
  7. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    Quote:A bigger feeder with a 'hopper' or 'jar' would just give them that much more to scratch out.

    Get or make a feeder that makes them have to stick their heads inside it to eat, then whatever they scratch around with their beaks just goes to a different part of the feeder.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Oddly, a change in bedding can affect things too.

    I saw a greatly DECREASED rate of waste when I switched my coturnix babies over to their pine. The feeder was the same exact one they'd had on the disposable paper bedding in their brooder (paper towels...so I could change it four times a day if needed!) Once in the wood chips, they had OTHER stuff to scratch and play in so they did that instead of wanting to just scratch and play in their feed. I think they were scratching so much food out simply because they were bored.
     
  9. Lelu

    Lelu Out Of The Brooder

    42
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    Oct 24, 2010
    Monterey, Ca
    I saw a greatly DECREASED rate of waste when I switched my coturnix babies over to their pine.

    This maybe part of my problem too. I am building a run for them, but in the meantime I decided to put a tray full of sand in there for the girls and they went crazy. Four immediately crammed themselves in there at once. It was like a girls gone wild party. Today I'm going to try feeding them mash as well (just add hot water yes?) and see if that helps even more.

    I'm super glad I didn't let the quail run around in the backyard. I have now been rudely introduced to four of the neighborhood cats. Who knew there where so many cats here? Before the arrival of the hens I'd only ever seen one.

    So far we have four eggs! I think there would be more but they are molting. BTW we get a marine layer that rolls in around 4pm everyday (ahh to live next to the ocean.) Would a strip of LED lights on a Christmas light timer work for extending the daylight hours?

    I'll be taking pics of my set-up tonight and posting them :)

    Many Many Thanks!​
     
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    It should work. It doesn't take much light. Kullas is someone else on this form that uses Christmas lights.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010

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