Quail coop planing

Discussion in 'Quail' started by McDuff N Stuff, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. McDuff N Stuff

    McDuff N Stuff New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2014
    Central Ohio
    Hello all! I am new to the forums and also new to raising poultry. I am trying to plan how I'm going to set up coop and how any quail in should start with so I figured I would ask the opinion of the experts!

    I live in super suburbia and can't get away with a huge aviary quail habitat.
    -So what do you guys suggest I build/use?
    -Also how many would you recommend a complete begginer start with?
    -Should I try my hand at hatching from eggs or purchasing adults?

    Also any other useful info you have for a young begginer is much appreciated!
     
  2. SterlingRanch

    SterlingRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What type of quail are you wanting? Buttons can be raised indoors.
     
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am also new to quail but have had chickens for a few months now... Just when I think I've got a handle on it, something happens. :p We've got Coturnix quail.

    At any rate, I would suggest a "rabbit hutch"-style thing. We are currently assembling one from scrap wood used on the chicken coop... It's 3' x 12', sits 4' off the ground, and is 2' from the floor to the top. There are two housing units in the center with a dividing wall and a run for each side. One side is for "extra" males, and the larger side is for breeding/eggs. You can build or buy one. Make sure they have access to a "run" and a place to get out of the elements - this is where you will keep their bedding. I would recommend building it off the ground to minimize predation.

    Start with however many you feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that, if you order hatching eggs, you will lose a few... Some don't hatch, and some chicks just don't make it no matter what you do. :( I had 16 eggs, incubated them, and wound up with 11 chicks, two of which died within the first three days (RIP Eloise and Hercules!).... So now I've got 9. You just give them heat, food, and water and watch them grow. :)

    Eggs vs adults is a matter of personal preference. I've heard quail make awful parents, so if you want to continue your covey, you'll need to incubate eggs eventually anyway. Depends which way you want to go. With adults, you can skip the incubator and brooder, which minimizes the issue of housing (indoors? outdoors? garage?), and you get to skip to the good part - EGGS! With babies, you get the "experience" of raising your own quail chicks, have control over their feed from Day 1 (if that's a big thing for you), and it can be very educational if you have kids.

    Just some stuff for you to chew on! Hope that helps. :)

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  4. McDuff N Stuff

    McDuff N Stuff New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2014
    Central Ohio

    Awesome! Thank you for the good suggestions! I was thinking a rabbit hutch might be a good option to start and my grandmother has 4 of them she would be willing g to give me! I am a little short on money so I can't go crazy buying the biggest and best quail raising supplies. :p

    I am 20 and just recently bought a house in the suburbs of Central ohio. I'm not sure about raising quail under those circumstances since most that I have seen where on larger and more "country" type places. I'm probably going to go the incubator and eggs route! That way it can be more of a learning experience for me.
    How many eggs/chicks/adults can you keep per square foot in the incubator/brooder/coop?

    Also are the eggs tasty? Lol I have never had quail eggs before! I'm doing this more as a project/hobby/lifestyle move instead of a fully living off my own land kind of thing so the eggs are just extra!

    And lastly what are all things that I can feed quail to keep food costs low? I'm assuming feeder insects, table scraps, any organic material/greens? Will they eat fresh or dried grass clippings?

    Sorry for so many questions! I have read about most of questions other places but I greatly appreciate the info I get from a first party source!
     
  5. McDuff N Stuff

    McDuff N Stuff New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2014
    Central Ohio

    I am looking to raising Coturnix Quail hopefully mostly outdoor
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No worries! I had a billion questions... and STILL do!

    Modifying the rabbit hutch will be your most cost-effective option, sounds like. I would recommend taking a look at some articles on here on ways to predator-proof your hutch. Quarter-inch hardware cloth goes a LONG way... chicken wire will not stop a hungry raccoon, and raccoons and cats alike WILL reach into your coop/hutch and grab at your birds. Your protection is their best chance for survival.

    Quail can be kept very happily in a suburban setting. You don't need a lot of space for quail. Just house them adequately and they will be fine. :) Quail are a great alternative for people who have HOAs that won't allow chickens. Keep in mind, though, that the males do "crow" around 2-3 weeks. You can Google it. It's absolutely charming, but your neighbors may not think so... Perhaps letting them know ahead of time and plying them with a few eggs will soften their hearts, if they find issue with it!

    I think it's 6" sq per chick, and 11" sq per adult bird. It's ALWAYS better to build bigger or have more housing available if you suspect you will get more birds. For my brooder, I have two large cardboard boxes. I cut a little "door" between them, so the babies have PLENTY of room to run and stretch and jump and eat and play without being crowded, which encourages pecking. Give them enough room to get away from each other, basically. I've also got a nest made out of a washcloth, some sticks and small branches, so they can practice perching, and their food, dirt, and water, of course! I will add some of those little cat toys with the bells inside as they get older. My brooder is inside my home in a spare guest room that is completely covered by painter's plastic sheets... You'd be amazed at how dusty birds can be! Also, prepare to construct some kind of "lid" for your brooder... Quail can fly as early as nine days, I've heard, but usually around 1.5 - 3 weeks will start "escaping." (More than you wanted to know, I'm sure!)

    I've always liked quail eggs, but I've only ever had them boiled. To me, they taste like they are already deviled. :) Very yummy!

    Quail need a MUCH higher protein percentage in their feed than chickens do. Quail need 25-29% protein, chickens can make do with 17-19%. Honestly, I'd suck it up, use the money you saved when you got the hutches from your grandmother, and buy some good-quality game bird/turkey feed... Right now, I'm feeding my quail chicks a turkey feed. Keep in mind that quail chicks have teeny tiny mouths, so you'll have to sift through the larger pieces or grind them up to make them edible. Keep in mind also, that if you are feeding anything besides "chick starter," you MUST offer free-choice grit to your chicks. I use a small mason jar lid that I've filled with dirt from the backyard... This allows them to eat sand and tiny pebbles to help grind their food. Chick starter is water soluble and can be digested with (you guessed it) water alone... But turkey/game bird feed isn't water soluble, so your babies will need a little help. :)

    Meal worms, kitchen greens/scraps, and boiled eggs make excellent snacks for birds. Be careful, though... If you supplement their feed with treats too much, you can have fat quail, and that's dangerous to their health. I know obese chickens have a hard time of it, too. For this reason, I would advise AGAINST mixing your own feed or feeding only insects and scraps... Their protein need is too high. The occasional treat will be appreciated, but don't force your quail to live on meal worms, strawberry tops, and wilted lettuce ... not that you are suggesting that - I'm just saying. :)

    I love questions! Keep 'em coming! :) It's the best way to learn. After all, you don't know what you don't know.

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  7. funsized72

    funsized72 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can keep 1 adult coturnix per square foot. For eggs it doesn't really matter how much space they have as long as the temp and humidity is constant. Plus some air circulation. Chick like to be near each other so a large tote bin is good. You can use a light bulb to give them heat but I don't like it because it is too bright so I use a electric heating pad underneath a couple layers of newspaper and paper towels. The eggs are super tasty and cute but a chore to peel/ crack. You can buy a quail egg cutter but that's a while later. Adult quails only eat the food they are used to and it's hard to introduce new things to so using chicks is the way to avoid this. As long as you give them the variety of food you want them to eat as chicks then it's fine. You should give them the veggies and treats at 3-4 weeks. You can see how they grow week to week on one of my threads. Mealworms make great treats too and they are fairly easy to raise and inexpensive.
     
  8. McDuff N Stuff

    McDuff N Stuff New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2014
    Central Ohio



    Thank you guys both for all the useful info! I'm super excited to raise the quail! I think I have a good handle on most of the basics except for what to feed them.. What do you guys feed them on a regular basis? What kind/brand? Also is there no cost effective way to make your own food?
     
  9. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You *can* make your own food, but you must take into consideration the protein content. I have no idea how to do the calculations for that, but there is a way... I've yet to find a formula online, but I imagine someone around here (especially in the chicken section) can tell you how to do it if you ask.

    I feed mine a plain turkey feed that's 27% protein, I believe (I'll look when I get home). I got it down the road at Livengoods, but Tractor Supply or any other feed store will have what you want. They didn't have game bird, so I got turkey feed. I sift mine in a flour sifter to let the smaller pieces fall through. I load that into a gravity feeder (the ones where you can screw a mason jar on top), and refill it as it gets low. They also have the same set up for their gravity chick water thing. I don't know the brand off the top of my head. It looks to be your typical feed, though. Nothing special about it.

    Brand is less important than quality. I try to avoid anything by Layena or the more "commercial" feeds... I've read that the fat in the feed comes from left over oil from human food production (think the hopper grease from KFC). It's REALLY bad for your birds, and is the equivalent of you eating McDonalds day in and day out. *shudder* Sure, you'll live... But will you THRIVE?

    If you want to make your own feed, the best way to do it is take your calculations with you and find your local MILL! You can call ahead and let them know what's up. Also, SOME feed stores will mix a custom order for you (may depends on bulk purchases), so do your homework and call around. Your local mill may have "extra" grains they are happy to sell/give away. It's worth a call if you want to go that route.

    Good luck! The only way to get started is to JUST DO IT! [​IMG]

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  10. McDuff N Stuff

    McDuff N Stuff New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2014
    Central Ohio

    Okay, I'll get to researching! Thanks for the food type recommendations! I am just going to do chick starter that's 24 percent protein and just treat them with veggie scraps and mealworms each week to supplement their diet. I'm also deffinatly going to go to some local Mills and ask about grain! I never even thought about doing that!
     

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