Quail supplys?

Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

Fluffy Feather Farm
9 Years
Jan 26, 2010
15,968
116
366
Texas, Panhandle
I'm going to get some baby buttons from someone on BYC, and I need to know everything that I need to get started.
What kind of feed do I feed baby buttons? And adults? Treats?
What do I use for waterers?
Feeders?
Nesting boxes?
What do I house them in?
Heat? I know babies need heat, do the females need light 24/7 so they can lay their eggs?
Can buttons eat scratch? What about chick starter?
Do they need grit?
Bedding??? Can I use hay straw? Or do I need to use shavings?
When do buttons mature?
How old until they start laying?
When do they molt?
Are button quail hens very broody?
How long for incubation?
Are baby buttons very hard to rear?
Thanks!!!
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Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
5
119
Mrs. Fluffy Puffy :

I'm going to get some baby buttons from someone on BYC, and I need to know everything that I need to get started.
What kind of feed do I feed baby buttons? And adults? Treats?

Buttons should have a gamebird starter feed, as high a percentage of protein as you can get. They love millet (spray or seeds) and meal worms, though I'd feed neither until they are at least a few weeks old.
What do I use for waterers?

I use parakeet waterers I bought at the pet store, but you can use the quail chick water bases. Just be sure if you do use those that you put marbles and/or pebbles in it, they can and will get into the waterer.
Feeders?

Just sprinkle the food on the floor for the first few days, then use a shallow dish. I use some small margarine bowls that I cut down to about 1" high for my adults and babies
Nesting boxes?

Anything really, just something so the girls can feel hidden.
What do I house them in?

I have some of mine in a clear plastic tote, the others are in a rat manor cage. Many people use the totes for them, just cut some holes in the top and put wire over them.
Heat? I know babies need heat, do the females need light 24/7 so they can lay their eggs?

You need to keep the brooder at close to 100* the first week, but they don't need heat after about week 4. So you can drop off the heat pretty quickly. The females don't need light 24/7, they need at least 12 hours of light a day.
Can buttons eat scratch? What about chick starter?

Typical scratch grains are probably too big for them, but you can get some millet sprays or just plain parakeet seed to give them as a treat. Just make sure you offer them grit.
Do they need grit?

lol, yes
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Tractor Supply Company carries grit made for chicks under 10 weeks old, that is small enough for buttons

Bedding??? Can I use hay straw? Or do I need to use shavings?

At first, just keep them on paper towels. This will allow them to find their feed. You don't want to use just hay or straw, it doesn't absorb anything and would really make things a mess. I use just shavings, others use shavings for absorbency, hay for snuggling
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When do buttons mature?

They are full-size about 4-5 weeks, but not full-grown until about 8 weeks.
How old until they start laying?

Females usually start around 8-12 weeks.
When do they molt?

They molt twice a year, but you shouldn't notice it. If you see feathers or bald spots, that's usually due to picking.
Are button quail hens very broody?

It depends, some are and some aren't. I have 2 hens that try to go broody all the time, then I have another 5 or 6 that have never bothered.
How long for incubation?

About 15-16 days, depending on your incubator
Are baby buttons very hard to rear?

Not really, just make sure they can't drown themselves, they are warm enough, and that their feed is small enough that they can eat it. And that you cover their brooder so they can't fly out, they can fly pretty young
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Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

Fluffy Feather Farm
9 Years
Jan 26, 2010
15,968
116
366
Texas, Panhandle
Thank you SO MUCH!
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Could I use chick starter? Where can I buy millet? How much does grit cost? What kind of shavings do I use? Cedar shavings or something different? How much is Parakeet food?Should it just be a treat? Can I feed them grass? Bugs etc? Thanks again.
 

Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
5
119
Mrs. Fluffy Puffy :

Thank you SO MUCH!
hugs.gif
Could I use chick starter? Where can I buy millet? How much does grit cost? What kind of shavings do I use? Cedar shavings or something different? How much is Parakeet food?Should it just be a treat? Can I feed them grass? Bugs etc? Thanks again.

You can use plain chick starter, but you need to get the highest protein you can find.

Millet spray or seeds can be found at any pet store and most retail stores that sell pet supplies. Millet seeds are just parakeet seed
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At my wal-mart millet sprays are about $3, while a 3 or 5 lb. bag of parakeet (millet) seeds are the same price, so I just give them the seed.

You should never use cedar shavings with most animals, especially birds. It can make them sick. I use pine, others use aspen.

The grit I got at TSC was either $5 or $10, but it's a good-sized bag, lasts forever.

You should feed seeds or bugs as treats only, like once or twice a week. They love meal worms, crickets, pretty much any bug you would feed to a bird. They are omnivores after all
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They would eat grass as well, I got some wheat grass seeds to have seedlings to give mine as a treat. You can also give them various fruits and vegetables, just look on here for the chicken treats chart; you can feed anything to the quail that you can to a chicken. They also like boiled eggs.

Once the females get old enough to lay, you need to give them some source of calcium. I use cuttle bones made for parakeets with my buttons.​
 

Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

Fluffy Feather Farm
9 Years
Jan 26, 2010
15,968
116
366
Texas, Panhandle
Thanks guys, Do I need to have sandbox in their pen 24/7 or could I just put it in there every now and then? So for treats bugs parakeet food or millet. What kind of millet? Red or white? Scratch has red millet. Could I use just straw for bedding? Or is it too big for buttons?
For housing could I use a plastic box with wire on the top? Or do I need to try and find a fish tank to put them in? Do buttons have to have plants in their pen? Is boiled egg a good source of calcium for the hens? Could I also feed mash? It's just layer pellets with water added to them, and it makes the pellets soggy. Oh, I know for chickens you can give them cayenne pepper to help them lay more eggs, but is it also good for buttons? Or is cayenne pepper not good for buttons? What about the boink factor? What do I do to prevent it? Thanks,
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Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
5
119
You can use a plastic tote box, I have some of mine in one. Just be careful opening it, cause when they get scared they fly up. Straw is okay, but it's not very absorbent. Some people use shavings with straw for snuggling in. But whichever you decide is fine. I don't think the type of millet matters, I give mine parakeet seed and it has both white and red. I think the cayenne pepper for chickens is used for worming, I haven't heard anything about increases in egg production. Boiled eggs are a good source of protein, if you give them the shells as well, then they would get calcium. Personally, I don't like feeding layer feed to males and females, and if you gave them layer mash, the males and females would both eat it. I give mine flock raiser crumbles and each pen has a cuttle bone for calcium. You can buy cuttlebone in bulk on ebay, and it's fairly inexpensive, or you can get them in singles or doubles packs at the feed/pet/retail store. My cages each have 3 or 4 hens, and 1 cuttlebone lasts at least 3-4 weeks. You could also give them oyster shells, but you'd have to sift it to get the really big pieces out, otherwise they'd waste a lot of it. Buttons calm down a lot when they are older, just make sure that they always know when you're there (don't sneak up on them), and that they are in a fairly quiet room. But even if they are in a busy room, they do eventually get used to it.
 

Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

Fluffy Feather Farm
9 Years
Jan 26, 2010
15,968
116
366
Texas, Panhandle
Would a fish tank be better, than a plastic box? Can I buy Aspen shavings at wal-mart, or TSC or some place like that?
On the boiled egg thing, do I boil button eggs or chicken eggs? Or does it matter?
If I had the buttons in my room, would that be too noisy? Could I feed parakeet food as the main diet? Does TSC carry gamebird food? If so how much is it? Thanks:D
 

Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
5
119
Mrs. Fluffy Puffy :

Would a fish tank be better, than a plastic box? Can I buy Aspen shavings at wal-mart, or TSC or some place like that?
On the boiled egg thing, do I boil button eggs or chicken eggs? Or does it matter?
If I had the buttons in my room, would that be too noisy? Could I feed parakeet food as the main diet? Does TSC carry gamebird food? If so how much is it? Thanks:D

Either one would work, a fish tank wouldn't have as much air circulation as a tote, since you can put extra holes in the tote. But either/or, doesn't really matter. I'm not sure if walmart carries aspen, but they do carry pine, you could use that also. But pine shavings are most likely cheaper at a feed store, I know the pine from my feed store is $3 or $4 dollars less than walmart's price. For the eggs, it doesn't matter, either is fine. The buttons aren't usually very noisy, so keeping them in your room shouldn't be a problem. You can't feed parakeet feed as their main diet, there isn't enough protein, and buttons are not strictly herbivores. They need the higher protein levels found in feed made especially for them. From what I've heard, TSC doesn't carry gamebird feed, but they do carry chick starters that have liek 24% protein, those would work. Unfortunately they probably come in 50# bags, so you would have a lot! But you could always package it in 5# or 10# packs and sell it on ebay, I've seen others do that
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The chick starter should be about $15 for a 50# bag, they might have 20 or 25# bags but I'm not sure. Closest TSC is 30+ miles away, I just go to the local feed store.​
 

Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

Fluffy Feather Farm
9 Years
Jan 26, 2010
15,968
116
366
Texas, Panhandle
So if I can find gamebird feed at TSC then I use that, and if they don't have it, then chick starter. So is parakeet food a MUST of do you just get it for a treat? Do you know if TSC has millet? So pine shavings are a good bedding. So when I feed the buttons boiled egg, I just mush the shell and all and give it to them? Thank you SO MUCH Friend2Fowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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