Newb with a few questions so I can setup right

Discussion in 'Quail' started by mattdv, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. mattdv

    mattdv New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Southern Ontario
    I'm going to jump into Coturnix Quail, just need some advice so I can set up right the first time. I am basically new to raising birds altogether(raised day old chickens for meat with a 40% survival rate thanks to a weasel and a feed mistake) and have a couple questions I haven't seem to come across yet.

    1. How do you go about rotating your males and females? I believe I read that the females will lay fertile eggs for 7-10 days after the male has been removed from the cage. How many days would the male have to be with three females to fertilize them all? Or would you just leave the male with the three females all the time?

    2. Will the females keep laying eggs every day even with no male in the same cage?

    3. Do the quail(layers and meat birds) get as much food as they want? Or is it rationed for the layers?

    Regards

    Matt
     
  2. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    Males can be left with females, but it is generally recommended that there are 4-6 females per male because the males can become quite unpleasant so does depend on their temperament. The birds are generally quite territorial so it's not a great idea mixing groups regularly.
    Yes, same as chickens and humans.

    As much as they want.
     
  3. mattdv

    mattdv New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Southern Ontario
    Thanks for the info KittyKat. I'm going to have to adjust my plans a bit
     
  4. cruisermedic

    cruisermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2014
    I did rotate males. I left them with my girls for about a week before I saved the eggs for hatching. I collected for a week. Then the males were removed and kept together until I was ready for a new batch. I tried to only keep the stock that was the biggest to replace what I had breeding.
     
  5. cruisermedic

    cruisermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2014
    And mine did free feed to a point. I only put in what I thought they would eat for 24 hours. I never filled my feeders completely full unless I planned on going away for longer than the 24. This kept them from throwing food out and wasting it.
     
  6. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    cruidsermedic, did you have any issues with mixing the males into the female and male groups? Did you keep the different genders such that they couldn't see each other normally?

    It's possible to sit an upright feeder in a washing or large dog bowl so that anything which is kicked out can be picked up later.
     
  7. cruisermedic

    cruisermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2014
    I had my cages in a rack style setup. The males were on bottom. They could hear the girls buy not see them. I tried different ratios but finally settled on 1:6/7. The males just bred so much I had females with no head feathers and then they started breaking skin. And when it was time to move stuff I just moved them. I didn't have issues. If a male started being rough with other males I just moved them around again and that upset the pecking order and they were fine.

    As far as feed went. I set mine up for ease and less work. Feeders outside the cage so I didn't have to clean poop off stuff. They don't discriminate on what they poop on. The less stuff in the cage the better. Plus getting in each cages for food and water everyday takes more time than just filling a trough outside. It was my first attempt at a feed setup but I think I'll change it to a gravity style feeder and make it harder for them yo get a head in. That should cut down on food loss as well. I just swept it up and gave it to my chickens so it wasn't really a total loss.
     
  8. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    +1 on what Cruisermedic says- I keep mine in multiple pens as well, change the cockbirds out when they get too amorous. I use a gravity style feeder made out of 2" PVC with 1 1/4" holes- very, very little waste from the birds. All the other feeders I tried, the birds poured feed everywhere.

    We have poop boards under the bottoms to collect the droppings which go into compost for the gardens.
     
  9. cruisermedic

    cruisermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Poop boards are a must. But I would seriously go someplace buy tin or aluminum sheets, cut it, snip the corners and bend it to make a tray. Then spray paint them with a good primer and an enamel paint. Wood trays are heavy and soak up the stink. Can't really clean them well. Plastic is good but it will crack and break eventually.

    My birds were kept inside my pile barn. Cleaning poop got old real fast. Spring comes and my cages will go outside and they will poop to the ground. I'll shovel from there whatever isn't broken down.

    I found that my birds can easily poke their heads through 1"x1" square wire. So the next feeders I do will only be a 1" hole. Smooth the edges so you don't lose eyes.

    Once you start doing things you will find stuff you want to change. Just do stuff cheep on the test runs so its not a huge loss to change. And when doing lots of birds, anything that cuts work or waste is worth it.
     
  10. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Adkins Texas
    I'm glad you posted this mattdv. This past weekend the wife and I ate a few quail that we'd picked up from the store and me lady mentioned that they tasted amazing but was unhappy with the price. I stupidly said "well we could raise our own" and now along with the chickens and ducks we're going to start raising quail. This thread actually answered most of the questions that I had already come up with.

    RichnSteph
     

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