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Quail vs. Chickens

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Crisses, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Crisses

    Crisses Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2012
    Hi,

    Not looking for a war about quail and chickens. I want facts about the differences between them.

    For example I just saw that quail hatch in 17 days instead of 21. And they start laying in a single digit number of weeks (7-9?). Wow. Also apparently the chicks are more frail (more info, please?)

    Types of information I'm looking for:

    Are quails omnivores? Insectivores? Vegetarians? Garbage disposals? Lawn mowers?

    Do quail lay all year? About how many eggs do each quail lay a year?

    Are the boys aggressive? Do they make lots of noise?

    Can you free-range quail? Will they still roost in a coop?

    Are they human-friendly or human-shy? i.e. you can cuddle a friendly chicken, and if raised right and handled often they won't run from you -- what about quail?

    If penned, how many square feet per bird is recommended? What size roosts are recommended? What size nesting boxes? Will a "chicken tractor" design work for quail?

    How well do quail fly compared with chickens? (I have banties, who can fly fairly well for chickens)

    Do quail play egg hunt every day like chickens do, or will they consistently lay in nesting boxes? Can't imagine having to hunt down those small speckled eggs every day if I free-range them.

    Do quail prefer shade (deep woods) or sun (fields) -- or a mix (woodland margins) similar to chickens?

    How long does an individual quail live? Average vs possible.... How long do they lay reliably?

    Can quail be trained to come when you call for treats, and eat from your hand or at your feet?

    Are quail any less vulnerable to sky attack? (stay under cover more? better camouflaged? spot predators better? harder for predators to spot due to size?)

    That's about everything I can think of.... I apologize if there's a place this is already laid out in a nifty chart or something because I did a Google search first and didn't find a quail vs. chicken answer. And I don't want a POV on wild quails from Wikipedia -- I want the perspective of farm-raised/backyard-raised quail.

    Thank you! :)
     
  2. tinkatwerp

    tinkatwerp Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2014
    So I'm a serious noob, so you might wait for someone more qualified to answer than me, but I'll take a wack at it.
    Are quails omnivores? Insectivores? Vegetarians? Garbage disposals? Lawn mowers?

    I believe quails are galliformes, just like chickens. The only difference is you need feed with much higher protein (I feed my quail 30% protein their whole lives, but many people drop the protein levels for adults). Most people feed gamebird starter.

    Do quail lay all year? About how many eggs do each quail lay a year?

    you have to give them artificial light if you want them to lay during the winter. 14 hours of light will keep them at max production, which is basically an egg a day. Sometimes a hen will miss a day but generally she'll lay the next.

    Are the boys aggressive? Do they make lots of noise?

    I'd say the males are semi aggressive. They'll fight if there's not enough hens or not enough space, so give every rooster 10 hens or so and you should be good.

    Can you free-range quail? Will they still roost in a coop?
    you can't really free run them in the traditional sense. Coturnix quail are kind of idiots. They'd get lost and eaten. However, I trim my quail's wings and "free range" them in my fenced yard, which they seem to enjoy. They also keep the grasshoppers down, which is nice.

    Are they human-friendly or human-shy?
    I believe they can be pretty personable if you spend lots of time with them. I don't, so they're not very cuddly.

    If penned, how many square feet per bird is recommended? What size roosts are recommended? What size nesting boxes? Will a "chicken tractor" design work for quail?

    the standard is one bird per square foot. I do one bird per 4 square feet.

    I've kinda run out of time for writing, but hopefully someone more experienced will help ya out.
     
  3. montanaquail

    montanaquail Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2014
    I'm at work on my phone, AND a newby, so I can't comment on all your questions. However I will point out that quail are an option for those who can't keep urban chickens....despite going up before city council numerous times, and being surrounded by chicken friendly communities. What, no I haven't been experiencing that AT ALL! ;)

    Now quail may still be illegal, but 1) I am willing to argue they go by my town's definition of a domestic caged bird. Secondly, they are more discreet, especially where quail aren't native. I'm going before city council one more time this fall, and after that I'm giving quail chicks away to anyone who wanted chickens. Muahaha!
     
  4. funsized72

    funsized72 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2014
    SF bay area CA
    I answered for coturnix quails because they lay the most eggs
    Edited cuz I missed a question
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  5. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They actually don't roost for physical reasons. If you look at their feet they lack the rear facing toe that many other birds have.
    ETA: The other posters covered most of this well but I thought I'd toss in a couple more tidbits.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  6. COsteveo

    COsteveo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2014
    Looks like all the questions have been answered, but one more thing to think about is zoning. Where I live, to have chickens you have to have a big enclosure and they have to have a fenced-in area where they can run around during the day, AND it has to be inspected AND you have to get a license.

    With quail I just built a wire pen and put it in the back yard. Easy decision.
     

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