New to the forum--and quail

shaneA7

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 18, 2012
6
0
9
Greensboro, NC
Hi all--

The fam and I have some backyard chickens, but I'm hoping to start raising quail this year too. So, I may be bouncing questions off you all as this thing progresses.

First question. Should quail be kept separated into quads, or can they be kept in lager groups, like 9 females and three males?

I'm wanting to do larger meat birds, like A&M, or jumbo coturnix...
 

chrishel

Songster
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
309
13
101
The Windy City
First off

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!!

To answer your question, "Yes."

General rule of thumb is that they should be kept in a quad ratio. You can keep them in larger colonies with the general quad ratio (6 hens, 2 roos, etc.) That being said however, they often make their own rules and the situation may require you to change the ratio.

For example, I was aiming for that ratio and have two cages of 6 hens, 2 roos. In one cage, one roo was being beat up by the other roo, so I moved him to the other cage. Everyone was happy and the girls weren't being beat up or anything. Recently, I moved the roo back to the first cage and now both cages are having issues.

The birds in both cages are broodmates so they are all the same age and the cages are next to each other so they can see each other.
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I would move him back to see if I could get peace back but I've selected the birds in one cage as breeders and he didn't make the cut.

This is only if you want fertile eggs. If you are keeping stock to eventually eat, then it doesn't matter what the ratio is as long as no one is fighting or having issues.
 

shaneA7

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 18, 2012
6
0
9
Greensboro, NC
Thanks!

I was thinking, at first,that I would just build one cage, but now I see I may need two or three... I'll keep you all filled in on the progress.
 

mochicken

Songster
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
1,118
9
151
NW Missouri
Yeah I would just build more cages, you will need plenty of room anyway for jumbo's, they need room to move around. I have some roos that would get along and some that will fight to the death, unfortunately the only way to tell is to keep them together so its best to separate them when you find out who a roo is.

On the other hand alot of people keep them in colonies and just take the trouble makers out and eat them lol, it's your choice.

Good luck with your endeavor and keep us posted
 

bfrancis

Songster
9 Years
Mar 30, 2010
1,235
107
161
Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
welcome-byc.gif


Congratulations on wanting to get into the world of Coturnix, and bless you for asking questions before you get the birds, big mistake a lot have made.

One of the things you didn't mention was housing. Is your intent to keep them in cages or on the ground? That also plays a big factor in the male to female ratio. A male can service up to 6 hens and keep the fertility rate high..with a more "active" roo, you might want to think about that so the hens don't run around completely bald headed and worn out.

Just for a point of reference, when in cages...I do 1:5 and in my colonies, 5:26 to 30

Keep in mind the rule of thumb is 1 square foot per bird.

Good luck on your new endeavor!
 

shaneA7

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 18, 2012
6
0
9
Greensboro, NC
Thanks all, so much, for the welcome and info--I've been lurking on the board a little, but I thought I'd just start asking questions and talking it through.
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Right now, I could potentially go either way: ground/colony vs. wire floor cages. I think I'm leaning toward building cages so that they can be moved for different times of the year; I live in NC and we get the full range of seasons. Also, I'd like to collect droppings in mulch underneath and compost it, so the wire cages may be best. I also like the idea that I could more easily segregate trouble birds and be more intentional about breeding with smaller groups.
 

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