Duckstruck

Songster
Mar 12, 2016
169
95
116
East Tennessee
Hello! :frow
My grandfather has been raising quail and pheasants for a long time now, and he's been hatching HUNDREDS of chicks in the past few months. He showed me the multiple brooders full of various chicks. Knowing his intentions to hunt them when they're grown, I can't help but feel the need to "pardon" a few of them, and I have just the room on my mini-farm to harbor them. We have a small structure inside of our chicken coop suitable for a brooder yet spacious enough for older fledglings that they can develop in. We also have a large connecting run shared with ducks, rabbits (at times), and chickens. Currently, the chicken coop is occupied by ten pullets of various ages and they seem accepting of new elements (adult ducks, new young chicks, and rabbits at times). I think integrating them when I get them will be a breeze.

My grandfather has Bobwhite quail, Georgia Giant quail, and Ringneck pheasant chicks available. The birds would not be for meat or eggs, but would be for pets mostly. I understand these species are more wild than tame, but I'm hoping to make the best of the offer and handpick the nicest chicks! Of the species listed, what would be the best for interacting with chickens and ducks and being reasonably comfortable with my presence? Which would imprint at hatch, if I were there for it? They'd also need to be relatively quiet, since we have neighbors. Also, please tell me if it is not a good idea at all.
:fl

Thanks for tuning in!
 

JRNash

Crowing
May 16, 2015
5,762
1,658
316
Mauriceville,Texas
Once again an opinion, both breeds are normally very nervous and flighty and they are also known for their aggression which gets worse in close confinement or overcrowding.
 

JRNash

Crowing
May 16, 2015
5,762
1,658
316
Mauriceville,Texas
I actually have some butlers in the bator now. Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule. What you proposed may work. You never know until you try. In any case I wish you good luck. :)
 

Duckstruck

Songster
Mar 12, 2016
169
95
116
East Tennessee
Thank you for the advice!
I think I've heard about pheasants living with chickens before, so possible just a couple of ringneck females with my other hens? I ruled out quail, since they're too small to fit in at my barn (and merely RATS could eat them!).
 

Duckstruck

Songster
Mar 12, 2016
169
95
116
East Tennessee
I'm also wondering, how loud is a male pheasant? They are just so beautiful, I'd love to have one unless they were too loud, too aggressive to be around other species, or would over mate and harm the females. I've heard a ratio of 1 male for 2 females...
 

JRNash

Crowing
May 16, 2015
5,762
1,658
316
Mauriceville,Texas
You know,there is NO REPLACEMENT FOR EXPERIENCE. I'd suggest talking with your Grandfather. If he is anything like me He would love to share his passion for raising the birds.
We rarely find people who have more than a passing interest. :)
 

JRNash

Crowing
May 16, 2015
5,762
1,658
316
Mauriceville,Texas
On the quail, there is a breeder not far from me who has quail, coturnix and buttons running around with all his chickens. He has an extensive aviary that has a multitude of breeding pens for many different types of fowl. He says the quail help keep all the spilled feed from going to the mice.
 

Duckstruck

Songster
Mar 12, 2016
169
95
116
East Tennessee
That's definitely good, thank you for the information. Now I'm more indecisive!
Here's a little chart I made in comparing the pluses and minuses to the different birds...

Quail + Easy to house, less feed, clean up feed, low maintenance, more video evidence of friendliness, can live with chickens
Quail - Fall prey to more predators, can be flighty, height disadvantage, short life

Pheasant + As large as a chicken, prettier, less predators, novelty, can live with chickens
Pheasant - Can be flighty, more evidence of more fearful behavior

This is the information I have so far. I still have a few questions that could tip the scales.
-Are pheasant males loud or aggressive when mating? (We had a drake overmate and kill a duck, even with five other hens!)
-Will these breeds introduce crazy diseases into my flocks?
-Will pheasant males mate with other species
-Could quail be trampled or bullied by chickens?
 

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