Newbie here

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Welshies, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm building another coop for my chickens, and now I can have a seperate coop full of another species of bird. I'm thinking quail. This coop is 4' tall, and 6' by 8'. With some modification, could I use it for quail? It's on dirt right now, outside. Also, what quail are good for eggs, meat, and brood their own chicks?
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  2. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With a little hardware cloth the coop would work for quail. The soil would need to be cleaned as you had chickens (lime racked in and watered) also the coop could do with a spray of diluted bleach or some other type of sanitizer.

    As for type the courtnix would be the best option as they grow fast compared to bobs and they are less aggressive. As for hatching there own that's probably a bad idea. It can be done but other birds would kill the chicks. There's also a problem with introducing birds to a coop that's already established so incubating in batches works better. Once the chicks get to a good size they can be introduced all at the same time which is a lot less work. add a cage inside the coop for a few days before releasing the new birds by this time no one should be paying any attention to them plus the addition of lots cuts down on them picking on just a few new birds.
     
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For eggs and meat, as gpop said, coturnix are the best. For brooding their own young, as far as I know, buttons are best. But the live weight of a button is around 40 grams and their eggs are tiny - they aren't worth much as a meat and egg supply. Very rarely, a coturnix will brood its own young - you'd probably be better of giving up on the idea of them brooding their own young and just purchase an incubator and make a brooder if you want quail.
    Keep in mind when modifying the coop, that quail have a tendency to boink straight into the roof of their enclosure when scared - and they can do this with enough force to kill or seriously injure themselves. To avoid this, you could for instance pad the roof of the hutch part with foam rubber and apply bird netting or similar soft mesh a couple of inches below the top wire in the outside part. Quail are also pretty bad at seeking shelter from rain though, so you might want to put a roof on the outside part a well.
    And, as gpop pointed out, chicken can carry diseases that quail are very susceptible to, so clean it well. And even the smallest predator poses a threat to quail, so hardware cloth all over the place will help you keep them safe.
     
  4. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about having a bantam duck or bantam chicken, would they brood the eggs and be able to live with the quail alright if raised together from hatching?
     
  5. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    You can use tiny bantams to hatch them under but quail chicks need a lot more cuddling in that first week than a chicken is willing to give so it's best to remove them from the broody and raise them yourself. Otherwise chicks can easily become chilled or get stepped on and squashed. Disease is a concern though as chickens can carry Coryza and Mareks, as well as other diseases which badly affect game birds. I'm very lucky to live in a country with very few poultry diseases (though it means no new breeds/species of birds can ever be imported). It's up to you whether you take that chance but I have three bachelor quail happily living with my bantams.
     
  6. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm. I'm thinking they may be too fragile to raise in the first place. Maybe I'll consider bantam chickens instead to go along with my full sized flock. Simply because out at those coops we don't have electricity and our winters can be extremely cold. I really appreciate your help, though.
     
  7. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wiat. What if I got a couple broody bantam hens, and then placed quail eggs in with her own (if she'd accept them)?
     
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    She would accept the eggs but it's the chicks that pose the problem. For the first week they eat and snuggle up to their mother, no scratching about like a chicken chick. In contrast, by 3 weeks old they only need to cuddle with their mother at night (though that was indoors). They grow so fast! So you'd still have to be prepared to brood the chicks yourself.

    I've had one hen, an Old English Game bantam, raise two chicks successfully. She hatched one egg and seemed to know one egg was still viable. So she sat for a week waiting for the second one to hatch. That gave the first chick long enough to grow up a bit and cope with keeping out from underfoot of an enthusiastically scratching mother hen. The other chick we had to grab every time the hen got up to scratch, otherwise he would've got squished. It nearly drove me nuts and I actually set up a brooder and put them in it but the older chick peeped sadly for his Mum, so I put them back with her. She felt superfluous by week 4 - they just didn't need her anymore, so I put her back out in the coop.

    I've used two other hens but neither has been willing to stay in the nest long enough for the chicks to grow up a bit. So I've brooded the babies.

    You can integrate them later, putting them in a smaller cage within the run for a week. But quail hens tend to lay their eggs wherever they feel like it, not usually in a nest. So egg collection is more difficult in a larger cage.
     

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