New to having quails

Discussion in 'Quail' started by JuliaWesterbeek, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. JuliaWesterbeek

    JuliaWesterbeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Everyone,

    Yesterday I bought 2 quails (roo and hen) from a guy who did not really have enough space and time to take really good care of the quails. The quails are 8 months old now, and __ g (are they button or Coturnix?). They were one a crushed corn diet, which I changed to crushed corn, chicken feed, and extra protein. Their cage had just paper as their bedding, but I added wood pellets that are safe for chickens and some dried grass. Also, the hen has some feathers missing on her back which is probably because the male is mating with her. Should I separate them? In addition, they were ALWAYS in their cage because the previous owner did not have enough space and I let them outside on the grass. Is that okay? Finally, the male is not tame and the previous owner told me that was necessary to ensure that the male keeps mating...

    Sorry for all the questions!

    Please give me tips and tricks on what I should do.

    Thanks,

    Julia
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lets start with determining the species - if they are button quail, one female for one male is okay - if they are coturnix, you should have 4-7 females for a male. Button quail are small - weigh about 40 gram. Coturnix quite a bit bigger, perhaps 200 gram but some have been bred to be twice that or even more.
    A wild colored button male has black and white markings on his chin - coturnix don't. If in doubt, post pics of your birds.
     
  3. JuliaWesterbeek

    JuliaWesterbeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My quails are Coturnix since they are 232 and 242 grams. So, I guess I will need to buy more hens... I separate them sometimes because I notice the female gets a bit stressed with the male in her enclosure (female enclosure: Length = 1.5 feet, Width = 1 foot, and Height = 1 foot and male enclosure: Length = 1.7 feet, Width = 1 foot, and Height = 1 foot), they will be moved to a much larger cage when it has arrived (Lenght = 2.5 feet, Width = 1.5 feet, and Height = 3 feet and therefore I will probably be able to keep a lot more). During the day I let them roam together on a patch of grass...
     
  4. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with DK that since they are Coturnix you will need to get some more hens. As you already know, a lone female can get very stressed from too much attention from the male. When you get more quail make sure you put them in a place where they can all see each other but not get to one another for about two weeks. Like putting the cages right next to each other. This lets them get used to each other safely. Quail are territorial and will attack or even kill new quail.

    I would be careful with free ranging and never leave them alone. Quail scare easily and they may run for cover too quickly for you to catch. Most folks don't free range their quail because of the risks. If you have an open or wire bottom cage you can put them in while on the grass it would be much safer for them.

    With the height of your new cage there is a risk of boinking because it isn't short enough to stop them before they gain momentum but also not tall enough to be out of their reach. When they get scared they may fly straight up into the top of the cage and hurt themselves. They prefer to run for cover so I suggest some branches or boxes to give them places to run to when they are scared. Some folks also line the top of their cages with foam or something soft to cushion it.
     
  5. JuliaWesterbeek

    JuliaWesterbeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank You for you replies :).

    I don't let my quail's free range but I put them in a puppy play pen when they go out on the grass (3 feet squared). I do notice that my free ranging chickens seem very interested in the quails and try to fly over the pen or pick at them through the wires. The quails get very stressed out when the chickens (2 cockerels) are doing this but since I don't have an enormous patch of grass they need to share...


    My cage has two platforms with ladders attached to them so that quails can easily jump or climb up and down (it looks a bit like a cat cage).

    I have one more question regarding my quails: they have watery runny poop. I read that this is because they are overheated, but they have been in the same weather conditions as from the person I got them from. Any advice is appreciated!
     
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quails are ground dwelling birds and don't use ladders. Some folks can train them to use ramps but generally speaking they like to stay on the ground.

    Runny poop can also be a sign of stress. They can be stressed by a lot of different things. You might want to leave them in their cages with some hiding places for a few days straight and see how they do.
     
  7. JuliaWesterbeek

    JuliaWesterbeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are probably stressed out by the move and the new surroundings. I will keep them isolated!
     

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