1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Questions from a new quail man

Discussion in 'Quail' started by scurry, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. scurry

    scurry Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Dec 23, 2014
    After years of wanting to get some, I finally dove into my quest to raise quail. I have done pheasant and chickens in the past. I have 16 adult birds (4 male) and early this fall hatched out my first 4 babies. I hatched them from my incubator and kept them in a brooder until they were well feathered, strong, and about 4 weeks old. I placed them in with the other birds and promptly found that was a mistake as they were quickly dispatched by the others.

    What do I do about introducing them to the rest of the flock or can I even do that? I was hoping to increase my flock to about 50. What did I do wrong? Any advise or recommendations would be helpful. I currently have many eggs in my incubator and will need to get this figured out soon.

    Thanks
     
  2. scurry

    scurry Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Dec 23, 2014
    BTW, these are Pharoah quail if that makes a difference
     
  3. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    245
    208
    Dec 30, 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    Yes it makes a difference, Pharaoh or coturnix quail are best housed with a single rooster and 3-7 hens. Multiple roos don't get along unless they were raised together. And sometimes not even then so expect to house new roos separately with their own hens for everyone to be happy.

    You introduced "intruders" into your existing covey. Don't worry, the covey got rid of the interlopers. Now they are safe!

    New quail must be the same size as the "old" quail. Smaller quail will quickly get killed, as you found out.

    To introduce them cage them next to each other for several weeks so they get used to each other, then put them together in neutral territory, a cage new to all of them so none of them feel they must defend their home and food supply from intruders. Once they are getting along you can put them back into the old caging as it will again be neutral territory. It helps to move cage furnishings and dishes to new locations and have multiple feeding and watering areas so they can all get food.

    You didn't say how your quail are housed, I'm assuming all together? If you are planing on 50 of these birds you are asking for trouble once you get multiple new males and more new hens as each time you add new birds you will have fights unless introduced properly and still the old covey might kill them, especially the roos. Or at least squabble so much that egg production will suffer and the birds will be stressed and feather picked. Best to house new birds in additional enclosures.
     
  4. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,550
    245
    208
    Dec 30, 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    I should have said will kill them. The old roos will not tolerate new roos with "their" hens, they will fight until the new roos are dead. It's just not a good idea to put multiple roosters together.
     
  5. scurry

    scurry Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Dec 23, 2014
    Thanks for that info. Very helpful. Their home is a coop that is 8 ft long, 3 ft wide, 3 ft tall. I know I am at the max with what is in there now and was hoping that adding the few I did would not be an issue. With I hope more on the way, I will have to get busy on another inclosure! I have several large shipping boxes (4x4x3) that I have used as brooders so I can keep several in there to give them some size I think. I have plans to build a run in the spring. Do you have any suggestions on size for that. I have several acres of shaded, wooded area that I had planned on being the home for the run. I am getting eggs at a high rate now. Could the heat lamp at night be spurring this? Seems they have ramped up rather than slow down for the winter!
     
  6. scurry

    scurry Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Dec 23, 2014
    I am assuming that what I have together now is okay since they have been together since they were young. I bought them all at the same time at about 8 weeks old. If I keep the ratio at 1-5 or so and that group is kept together, will it be okay to have more than one roo together or do I need to plan on more and smaller pens?
     
  7. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

    315
    27
    93
    Jul 24, 2014
    Washington, Kitsap County
    Don't know where you are located but heat lamps could cause you issues if you ever lose power. The birds grow down and can survive very low temperature as long as you can keep wind off of them.

    I would just stick to a daylight bulb (full spectrum) for 14 hours a day.. quail need sleep like we do, not as much but they do need some.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by