Quails: First Pet Quails

Discussion in 'Quail' started by DaisyMilo, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. DaisyMilo

    DaisyMilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2014
    Hi everyone,
    It's been a while since I've been here because I've been thinking a lot about chickens and just don't have enough room for them so I'm thinking quails. I have a few questions: How much space do they need? Can they live in a raised undercover hutch? Does anyone have any photos/plans for single storey ground/raised coops? Can I keep 2-3 female quails together because a few sites say I have to keep a male with them? Do quails breed easily? Finally, if the quails do breed can I keep the chicks with the mums instead of the brooder boxes and if the chicks can stay with their mums do the other quails need to be separated? Thanks for anyone who can help answer these questions.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You might want to start with Coturnix quail. They are a very easy beginner bird compared to other breeds of quail. You can't cuddle quail like chickens and they can be a bit more aloof than chickens, but they can still come running for treats, eat out of your hand and I have some that have learned their names. They can be clicker trained. Mine are clicker trained to head into their coop on those cold nights.

    You can keep quail in all kinds of things. Rabbit hutches work really well, aviary style or even chicken coops. I used to keep my bird in huge aviaries when I had too many to count! But I am down to a handful now and I now keep them in a small chicken coop with run. They also have access to a rabbit hutch by cutting a hole through the nest box area of the chicken coop and it goes into a rabbit hutch in the green house...

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    They really do appreciate the privacy of some fake foliage or even the real stuff in their area. I had taken it out in the third pic. Make a jungle atmosphere out of it. Quail like to hide and lurk among brush piles. I use branches from fake christmas trees. There is some real stuff in the second pic.

    You do not need a male to get eggs. Males are more trouble than they are worth. So if you aren't interested in incubating your own eggs, (it is rare for quail to incubate their own eggs) then skip the males. The females will be so much more content with a male bothering them.

    2 square foot per bird. You can keep all females together.

    No nest boxes are needed as most quail just lay their eggs where ever they happen to be. But if you provide grass hay as I do, they will make nests out of that and will lay in a nest of hay. They are seasonal layers, laying spring through fall. You can force laying in the winter with lighting, but you are shortening their laying and lives.

    Provide them some sand or dirt of dust bathing. A low tray of some sort will work.

    Feed them gamebird food or something with 24% to 28% protein. Crushed oyster shell on the side.

    They love greens, quartered fruit, all kinds of veggies, cabbage, meal worms, pretty much all the things chickens enjoy.

    They can survive the most brutal of cold temps as long as they have some place to get out of all wind, rain and snow.

    Predators will come for miles when they smell your quail. So make sure to always keep them in predator proof areas.
     
  3. DaisyMilo

    DaisyMilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2014
    Thank you so much;) Do the quails go up and down the ramp, because I thought they were single storey birds?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Most quail prefer to hop or fly everywhere. My quail easily use the ramp because they are "geriatric" quail. [​IMG] Ha! They are all between 5 and 7 years old. No more hopping or flying for this bunch.

    BUT...yours will learn to use a ramp. For years I just stacked bricks and or cinder blocks and they hopped right up into the pop hole. So you can do either.
     
  5. DaisyMilo

    DaisyMilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2014
    Haha! Thanks. Now I have just been exposed to two options: guinea pigs or quails. This won't happen for another 6 months but I'm trying to decide soon so I can start researching the animal I choose.
     
  6. Jacey R

    Jacey R Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
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    @DaisyMilo I have guinea pigs and quail :). Both are great pets. The piggies are much more cuddly and need lots of playtime but the quail are very entertaining and are just tame enough to be fed by hand or occasionally sit on the couch with you, although they spook easily when not in their pen. I'm sure you will be happy with whichever you choose!
     

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