New to quail keeping

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Rokashan, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Rokashan

    Rokashan Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2014
    Hi there! My fiance and I recently bought 2 Japanese quail as pets (was her birthday gift) and we have fallen in love with these adorable birds. We were planning on just having the 2, but have decided to start breeding them as well so we now also have a male, and we want to be sure we are doing things right!

    So I have some questions, just to see if we are on the right page here. We have them on a 17% protein chicken layers feed, which is the same as the breeder we got our birds from. For the dust bath I am mixing 8 parts sand with 2 parts dried coffee grounds and 1 part oyster shell (they seem to love it! much more than plain sand) and I also have a small dish of oyster shell in their enclosure as well. The enclosure containing the 3 birds is 2.5' by 1.5' and theres a cage as well attached to the side where we have the food and water and they can come and go as they please through an opening in the side. the cage floor is wire mesh with newspaper underneath, and the floor of the enclosure I've been using hamster bedding (pine shavings) on. I've even built an incubator that maintains exactly 100f and can be from 50% to 70% humidity depending on which size container of water I use (been experimenting). I'm not sure if theres anything else I ought to be doing?
     
  2. HowieNZ

    HowieNZ Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Hi,
    cool that you are loving your quail.
    For optimum health they should be getting 25% plus protein in their feed and they like a few greens thrown in.
    For optimum health especially for the hens, the ratio should be at least 1 Roo to 5 hens to avoid over breeding.
    Your cage setup sounds fine.
    regards HowieNZ
     
  3. Rokashan

    Rokashan Out Of The Brooder

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    One confusing thing is that the male (we named him Rusty, two guesses as to why) exhibits very little interest in the hens. Day 1 and 2 he went after them nearly continusouly but now (day 5) he doesnt go near them in that way. the hens are 7 weeks old and no laying as of yet. They also wont touch greens, tried them on several different things and they wont touch it.
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quail are picky so it's no surprise they didn't jump on the greens. Use a pan when you feed them so it's easier to take leftovers out. Never feed avocado it is poisonous to them.

    Your male is probably breeding them more than you see but at this point he isn't finished maturing, he is just sexually mature. I wouldn't worry about this.

    Most important thing is what Howie said, feed 24-25% gamebird food or turkey starter.
     
  5. Rokashan

    Rokashan Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2014
    the male is actually 2 months old, versus the hens only being 7 weeks. could that make a difference? We also just picked up a full spectrum light today, I was using just a regular 13watt cfl before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not really, it's no concern at any rate. He only needs to cover each hen once a week and even though you aren't seeing it I bet he is covering them once a day. Fertility in quail lasts for 7 days after being covered (can last as much as 14 days)
     
  7. Rokashan

    Rokashan Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so upon some suggestions here we have just got 2 more females. These are 3-4 weeks old. is introducing them to the same enclosure as the current hens (7 weeks) and roo a good idea, or is it best to wait till the new hens reach 6-7 weeks?
     
  8. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wait until 8 weeks or until they are all the same weight/size. When you add birds you need to put them all together in a new cage or the birds in the cage you put them in will attack them, thinking they are invading their territory. After they all get a long you can move them back.

    If you dont' have an extra cage keep the new birds in the cage for a couple weeks but keep them under a overturned crate or wire basket so they can see each other but not hurt each other. Game birds are extremely aggressive and will kill each other very quickly if they feel threatened.
     
  9. Rokashan

    Rokashan Out Of The Brooder

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    right now we have the 2 new hens in a seperate cage siting right next to the other one, so ill just leave it be. they have allready had what my fiance calls "chirping wars", but they seem to be ok with each other thus far.

    I did notice on the 2 younger hens that they dont seem to have all their feathers on their backs yet, between the wings... is this normal?
     
  10. Rokashan

    Rokashan Out Of The Brooder

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    so this morning we had to change things around. the two older hens are showing signs of over breeding. they are both missing feathers from the very tops of their heads. we seperated the roo for an hour and observed them, and they werent going after each other at all, put the roo back in and within seconds he was pecking at both of them. Now we have all 4 hens together in one enclosure and the roo off on his own for the next 4 or 5 weeks. We still want to breed the two mature hens though, so to do that should we put them in with the roo, or take out the younger ones and put the roo in with them?
     

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