questions about bobwhite quails - keeping, mating, covey vs breeding pairs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by lalaland, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I'm really having a hard time finding info on bobwhites. Web searches aren't proving fruitful, so I am turning to byc.

    I have 5 female and 3 male bobwhites approx 3-4 months old. Right now they have a good sized run attached to a coop and they are in a group. I have had them for about 2 weeks, and they were definitely a surprise. I took them in because the people who had them get chicks every spring and release them every fall so they don't have to deal with them over the winter. The survival rate is poor up here in the north because of the deep snow.

    I am thinking of keeping them because I felt sorry for them, they will be more or less as entertainment with the bonus of possible eggs in the summer. I don't care whether they breed or not.

    I thought there wouldnt be any breeding til spring, but today saw a rooster mate or attempt to mate a hen. I've read that once the male bobwhites start mating, that the roosters will fight to the death. So far I haven't observed any agression. I thought that they wouldnt become sexually mature until the spring, and that then I would need to provide a large enough run for there to be individual nest areas, or else separate the roosters out into their own quarters, perhaps with a hen or two for company.

    Quesitons:
    1. Is it safe to leave them in a group over winter? The run is 8'x10' x 3'tall. The coop is 3'x5'. I don't want to be caught in winter with a need to separate out since with deep snow it is not the time to add pens.
    2. Has anyone raised quail in a group long term?
    3. Is it normal for bobwhite to start molting at this age and time of year (it is fall here)

    Any advice or thoughts or resources, would definitely be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  3. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    thank you for the info. Guess I better start setting up some pens for spring.....
     
  4. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2013
    If you want to keep bobwhites, you will need spacious cages. Here is a link to the space requirements and other info. I hope this helps.
    James
     
  5. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    thank you, that link was really helpful.

    Now I just have to figure out how to do quail watering in a severe winters. Chickens are easy....but keeping a chick waterer from freezing seems tricky.
     

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