Quail Questions From A Newbie

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Sunshine0235, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Sunshine0235

    Sunshine0235 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,043
    58
    163
    Jun 2, 2011
    Lebanon Ohio
    I've done a few searches of the forum, but not quite finding some of the answers I am looking for.

    I have button quails eggs in the incubator. It will be one week tomorrow. I was sent 18 in the mail, and 13 are developing, which is a decent percent of them. I've done plenty of hatches with chicken eggs, and this is the very first dabble in something not chickens. I know some of the basics, like 16 day incubation, raise humidity at lockdown, which Im gonna lockdown in the middle of day 13 just to be on the safe side.
    I've read to take them out after about 8 hours since they cant last as long as chickens in the incubator, or as soon as they are dry. Which I have no problem doing, since i do that with chicks already. I do have shelving liner that will prevent them from falling through the wire.

    I have their food already, a 24% gamebird crumble, one question I have is, will I need to crush this smaller for the baby buttons, it says small enough for baby quail, but I dont know if that includes buttons, I would like to have that ready as they start hatching.

    I am going tomorrow to get marbles to put in their water so they dont drown, so no questions there.

    I've read the you should'nt use wood chips right away since they can injure chicks, is this true? If so would something like care fresh bedding for small pets at a petstore be safe for them? Or would using paper towels or shelving liner be safer? Or what would be the best to use? I want them to have the best chance at survival.

    I already have a heat lamp for them, so that is no problem. One concern though is that chickens can have diseases that are fatal to quail, so should I get a new brooder for them (just a plastic tote)? I have chicken eggs in the incubator also, will something pass between the chicks and the chicken eggs? Is it safe to have them near each other in the incubator? Just a note, I did have a full grown silkie with 4 babies in it about 4 weeks ago, i dont know if that will affect your answers.

    How long does it take for them to be fully feathered? (Just so I have a timeline to build their housing)

    How soon will I need foam on the top of the brooder so they dont hurt themselves? I am planning on making a 2 foot wide, 4 foot long, and 2 foot high wood habitat for them. I am planning one one male and about three females. I was thinking of different bedding options in there, I was wanting it to look as natural as possible, would something like the coconut coir fiber, that they typically use for reptiles (i use it for my tortoises) be ok to use? I would mix with sand to give it some texture. Or would just doing half the floor with wood chips and the other half with sand for dust bathing be ok? What is the ideal bedding? I plan on doing spot cleaning daily, and complete changes ones a week. I also plan on lots of little hiding spots, will over turned flowers pots and half log tunnels(typically for reptiles) be Ok? I will probably have some silk plants in they also, are there any types I should avoid? I was planning on painting the wood, so are there any proven safe paints to use, or is there anything I should avoid?

    For the females, I would need crushed oyster shells for calcium right? Could these be used straight from the bag, or will they most like need to be broken into small chunks? What would be the best thing to use to crush them smaller if this needs done?

    I feel like thats all, but is there anything important I am missing? Any tips with them? Anything I should watch for, I really dont want them to suffer since I've never had them before. I will probably ask more questions as I think of them.

    Thanks so much for the help. I am kind of nervous of completely screwing this up.

    (sorry in advance for any typos)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  2. funsized72

    funsized72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    156
    10
    71
    Jul 19, 2014
    SF bay area CA
  3. Sunshine0235

    Sunshine0235 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,043
    58
    163
    Jun 2, 2011
    Lebanon Ohio
    Yes I have already read through some of that, but haven't seen some of the answers yet.
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  5. Sunshine0235

    Sunshine0235 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,043
    58
    163
    Jun 2, 2011
    Lebanon Ohio
    OK so pairs only, didn't realize that. Guess I will need more habitats for them then, probably go with two pairs then. Thanks for the info, I've not seen the pairs only thing otherwise females will get aggressive with each other.


    Should I separate them when they get to moving out of the brooder age? Or when would be best?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's not only female agression. Stress level stays lower. Plus it's better for the breed. People breeding them improperly breaks down the genetics of the species. Wild coturnix mate in pairs but domestic coturnix will kill just one hen by over breeding her and these days they need 3-4 hens minimum. I'd not want to see button quail end up the way coturnix are (fat and kind of stupid).

    Even 20-30 gallon aquariums work for housing a pair, they don't need much.

    You have till about 8-10 weeks to separate before they start fighting too much.

    All of these briefly discuss the monogamous habits of button quail.

    http://brackenridgeranch.com/site/Housing-and-Feed/
    http://www.featheredobsessions.com/Button_Quail_Care.html
    http://www.featheredobsessions.com/Housing.html
     
  7. Sunshine0235

    Sunshine0235 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,043
    58
    163
    Jun 2, 2011
    Lebanon Ohio
    OK another question, I have an old C&C guinea pig cage, I've seen where someone used one of these. Mine is 2ft by 5 feet. If I divide this into 3 section, will that be acceptable housing? (each will have 3.3 square feet)

    How small of holes can they fit through? The holes on my cage are 1in by 1 inch, just to be safe I will probably use hardwire clothe to line it, but is the 1in by 1 in enough for adults?

    In between the pairs will I need a solid wall so they cant see each other or will just the hard wire cloth be enough?
     
  8. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by