New to Quail - Need Important Advice

Verizon

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
4
0
7
Hi, I recently bought 3 speckled bobwhite quail, one male($10) and two females($15 each), and need some advice. I am fairly experienced in taking care of chickens, but quail is not an area I am well versed in yet.

-What is the best overall diet for quail? I can grow my own vegetables easily, what would be a recommended assortment for them?

-My quail have put out 5 eggs only over the past several weeks, how often do they lay eggs typically?

-I am finishing the construction of their quail coop with a PVC watering sytem and lighting. Do quail nest like chickens? I went and head and built some nesting boxes because I can always use the coop for small chickens in the future if necessary as it's fairly big inside and underneath. The coop has two levels(ground and 1st floor) with 12 square feet each. I read they only need 1 square foot, but I don't like to see animals in a prison cell so I will also be adding another extension for more walking area eventually as the flock grows.

-I am planning to insulate their coop to keep it cool as the summer is very hot where I live, and advice on keeping them cool when it's around 100F?

-What is the best method in helping quail flock grow?

-These quail I have are easily scared by people, at least not the chickens walking up to their cage, is it normal for them to be skittish; I am worried about them flying off easily so I am very cautious when I give them fresh food and water.

-Are quail territorial like roosters? I actually had some roosters who were like best friends, but I had to get rid of them because of the noise. When I gave them away they were eager to fight the other roosters. I wanted to get more male quails too, but was worried about them fighting.


-Thanks
 
Last edited:

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
331
251
SF Bay Area, California
Hi, I recently bought 3 speckled bobwhite quail, one male($10) and two females($15 each), and need some advice. I am fairly experienced in taking care of chickens, but quail is not an area I am well versed in yet.

-What is the best overall diet for quail? I can grow my own vegetables easily, what would be a recommended assortment for them?
Veggies would be supplemental. Quail require almost twice as much protien as chickens. They should be fed 24-28% game bird food. If you feed them anything besides the water soluble gamebird food, you will also need to add digestive grit. For egg laying females you need to provide oyster shell for calcium.

-My quail have put out 5 eggs only over the past several weeks, how often do they lay eggs typically?
Bobwhites begin laying around this time of year and will lay appx 100 eggs each year. They will be done laying for the year in about 3 months. They will begin again next late April/early May.

-I am finishing the construction of their quail coop with a PVC watering sytem and lighting. Do quail nest like chickens? I went and head and built some nesting boxes because I can always use the coop for small chickens in the future if necessary as it's fairly big inside and underneath. The coop has two levels(ground and 1st floor) with 12 square feet each. I read they only need 1 square foot, but I don't like to see animals in a prison cell so I will also be adding another extension for more walking area eventually as the flock grows.

1 Sq ft applies to coturnix quail, bobwhites and coturnix have nothing in common. Bobwhites should be kept with 4 sq ft to a bird. They should be more than happy in your coop though so no worries.

Bobwhites are best kept in pairs or trios. During the off season they can be kept communally. During breeding season they must be re-paired with their respective mates and kept that way until breeding season is over. If you are raising bobwhites the wrong way you'll know because they'll just kill each other. Bobwhites are not a beginner quail, not to say that you will have a lot of problems but they are about 10 times harder to raise than coturnix.

-I am planning to insulate their coop to keep it cool as the summer is very hot where I live, and advice on keeping them cool when it's around 100F?

Bobwhites are native to the US. They live in many states where it easily reaches a 100F in the summer. Provide shade so they can escape the direct sunlight, if you see them panting excessively home depot sells mister systems you can just hook to your garden hose.

-What is the best method in helping quail flock grow?

If you want to grow your flock, save 7-10 days eggs at a time on the 10th day set them in the incubator. Bobwhites take 22-24 days to hatch, and have special brooding instructions.

-These quail I have are easily scared by people, at least not the chickens walking up to their cage, is it normal for them to be skittish; I am worried about them flying off easily so I am very cautious when I give them fresh food and water.

Bobs will never be tame. They will calm down some as they get used to you. Sing the same song or say the same things each time you approach, to let them know you are coming. If they bang the ceiling too hard when scared they'll end up with brain damage.

-Are quail territorial like roosters? I actually had some roosters who were like best friends, but I had to get rid of them because of the noise. When I gave them away they were eager to fight the other roosters. I wanted to get more male quails too, but was worried about them fighting.

During mating season they are horribly territorial, during the offseason they are covey birds


-Thanks
Hope that helps. I suggest coturnix for quail newbies since they are very like chickens. They lay up to 300 eggs a year without natural light, can be kept in flocks the same as chickens and actually do become tame over time. If you find out bobwhites aren't for you, try coturnix before you get out quail.

Bobwhites are beautiful birds, and to me, much more fun to observe than coturnix (cots are kind of stupid by comparison) So that you are prepared for their potential bad behaviors, I suggest searching through the UC Davis, CAL POLY SLO, and Texas A&M agriculture info online as they contain many good articles on raising bobwhites. Georgia Quail Farm's website also has a small cheap booklet that covers all bases on raising bobwhites. the link in my signature to UC davis also is a decent article on raising gamebirds in general.
 

Verizon

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
4
0
7
That was incredibly helpful information, thank you very much.

I am pretty confident that I won't have any issues with keeping the quail in good health and happy, but I will have to be careful during mating season then as that sounds like it could go sour quickly.

They mostly seem to be scared when I walk by their cage to fast and when I am sitting near them they don't seem to be to upset, just a little cautious(mostly the male).

I will check out those places you recommended for information too.


Once again, thanks!
 

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