Question about coturnix behavior--what's OK?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by QChickieMama, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oct 1, 2011
    We've had 24 coturnix for about 1 week now. They're 9 wks old today. I'm learning a lot!

    I started out building a small coop for them, but it was clearly too small for 24. Just yesterday we moved them to a 8'x3'x2'H coop. I was thinking being in a larger coop would decrease the amount of head-pecking I've been seeing. Since I'm new at this, tell me: is head-pecking unavoidable and normal? Or unacceptable and a reason to cull? I think at least 2 of them are doing this. Maybe it's normal male behavior? I'm stumped. Two or 3 of them do have bald little heads but no bleeding.

    The base of the coop is 1x1 hardware cloth, and the coop is suspended on blocks. Besides water & feed, what else should/could I put in there to keep them entertained? Or, more specifically, do they need entertainment to reduce the head-pecking? TOday I put a huge pile of grass clippings in there, but they put every bit through the wire onto the ground.

    I'm getting 10 eggs/day already. Exciting. Thanks for any tips you people have to offer!
     
  2. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    change it to 1/2" cloth 1" is waaay to big, snakes and stuff can get thru, 2ndly best thing for them is like evergreen tree limbs, something they can hide under.

    personally i'd find the offenders and take them out, males get killed, females get solitary confinment(they still lay tasty eggs [​IMG])

    i put cuttlefish bone in there for something they can peck at if they need to. make sure you don't have to many males as well, 1:4 male:hen is best, all the extras can be dinner.
     
  3. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oct 1, 2011
    Oh, my mistake. It is .5x.5. They'd nearly fall through otherwise.

    OK. I'll keep a good watch tomorrow and take out the mean ones. I'll be back here to learn how to tell the gender. :) I don't know what the ratio is now. The seller said he *thought* they were 1:3, but he gave us 5 extras just in case. That might mean he had no idea either.
     
  4. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    if they are wild type coturnix(the normal ones) its REALLY easy to tell

    Male is on left, Female is on right

    [​IMG]
    IMAGE VIA www.stellar-gamebirds.com thanks quaillady!

    notice the dark rust color on the left quail, the male, no black spots on the chest

    the female on the right has black spots all over her chest, it might get rust colors as well, but as long as those spots are there, its a female
     
  5. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oct 1, 2011
    That's quite easy to tell! Unfortunately, mine are white. I think the Texas A&M variety. Are the males generally smaller?
     
  6. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    GAH....well they are the hardest to sex unfortunetly. Vent sexing is about the only way. Generally male quail are a tad smaller then females, but you can't trust that

    if you want to knowmore about vent sexing(i would only do that on adult birds) just search it in the forums, its all over.


    you could beer sex them.
     
  7. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

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    BROOKSVILLE FL
    I Doubt Its Head Pecking Per Se'... They're 9 Wks Old, They're All Grown Up And Its Time To Continue The Species... Its Likely Breeding Behavior. And MibotSu Is Right... Time To Grab Some Beer And A Lawn Chair...
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  8. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    Quote:was thinking that as well, if they are getting pecked on the back of the head, it might just be from mating, if its on the front of the head above the beak then you got a pecker probably.
     
  9. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oct 1, 2011
    I found one male tonight who was dashing about poking every passerby in the head or face.....so he's out. Supreme training time with the dog!

    [​IMG]
     

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