Raising Bobwhite quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by safarichick101, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    College Station TX
    Hi all! I was thinking about raising a small number of bobwhite quail (10 or so) and was wondering if its a good idea. I've had a few that have wandered into the yard over the years (I do live in texas [​IMG]) and I love the noises they make. I would like to breed them on very small scale. Is their care much different? Can I just build them a rabbit hutch like thing to keep them happy?
  2. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009

    We were raising quail for people who wanted to train dogs/shoot them at a shooting range, and we thought the best would obviously be the Bobwhite because it flys faster than coturnix, and is just all around better.

    The cons were... we bought 100 eggs from Lake Cumberland Gamebirds, and incubated them. About half hatched out well! They were cute little chicks.

    We then proceeded to put them into a brooder. A cage that we used a heat lamp, quail waterer, and chick starter food with paper towels over pine shavings. Chicks would have been happy living in there, but not the bobwhites. Three to four died each day after the third day, and we don't know why. It could have been the eggs being not good stock, or it could have been operator error, but we even supplemented them with electrolytes. (Just to clarifiy, we have raised baby chickens from egg to adult quite a few times, and never had this.)

    Fast forward: We have two bobwhites ( a male and a female) out in the barn right now, from that batch of 100 eggs/50 birds. The brooding can be quite unhealthy.

    Another con is the bobwhites take 22 weeks to mature and lay eggs; this is OUTRAGEOUSLY long for quail, because coturnix will lay in 8 weeks, and be prolific layers.

    *If anyone has any input on what I did wrong, let me know!*

    Now, let's fast forward to COTURNIX quail.

    Coturnix quail:
    Mature for meat in 6 weeks
    Mature for egg laying in 7-8 weeks
    Males have a cool call
    They are calmer than bobwhites
    Nicer than Bobwhites
    Easy to sex
    Easy to breed
    Easy to incubate
    Easy to brood
    Hens lay 1 egg A DAY! If you have 25 hens, you get 25 eggs a day ON SCHEDULE. You KNOW how many eggs you'll get a day because they are like clockwork!

    Just my two cents, after a failed Bobwhite operation and a successful Coturnix one.
  3. kooltex

    kooltex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    NE Tx
    I keep a few bob's. My first I ordered 115 chicks, they didn't ship well, 30 were dead in the box, then many many more dropped like fly's in the brooder. I ended up with 18 that made it to adulthood, they are alomst a year now. Then I ordered 100 eggs, got a 53% hatch rate, I have 46 of them now and they are about 2 months old now. I had better success with the eggs.
    As for brooding them, make sure it is DRAFT FREE, and 100 degrees, but have a cooler side so they can get away from the heat. Don't put them in too large of a brooder area either.

    I like my Bob's, yes they do take longer to grow than the coturnix, but if you are just keeping them for a hobby then that not a factor. Quick meat production, yes coturnix are the way.
  4. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    Well as other people have said, they're a bit more fragile than say coturnix or most other birds. If you want to have 10 eggs or chicks, don't plan on having 10 adults. They really do drop like flies. I've hatched all the ones I've had. If I started with 40 eggs, I usually only ended up with 10 or 15 adults. They just mysteriousl die. Like they begin starving. Some thrive, some don't. Once the're big though, they are pretty hardy. I would just recommended starting with a larger number to reach your goal of keeping a small number.

    I've raised bobwhites twice in last season and both times they ended up getting out of their pen and they definitely don't make it in the wild after they've been pen raised. I'm trying for the 3rd time this year. 3rd time's a charm I hope. I just want to hear them sing since we don't have them around here even though they are supposedly native to the area, or they were until the population was obliterated by hunters.
  5. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    I dont have all the fatality in my bobs you all are refering to
    Maybe heat/food factor ranging in dont know
    I brood mine at 100 and drop temp each week by around 5 degrees or so
    I keep fresh water and chick crumbles fresh for them
    I even grind the crumbles some for first week to make sure they can get plenty to eat
    I dont have a high fatality at all I prefer the meat of bobwhites over all others
    We lose a few but not many
    Hope this helps
  6. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    College Station TX
    Well I want to raise them because they are our native quail. And although I don't at all plan to let them go, I just want to raise them because they are very rare these days. And I think it would help for some to have captive populations.
  7. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Quote:Why not try the California Valley quail? They are natvie to the US, and are the state bird of California
    ShiftyShickens likes this.
  8. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 2, 2009
    Valleys are way more frail as chicks than bobs....
  9. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    College Station TX
    What about scaled quail. has anyone ever raised them?
  10. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    None here luv my bobs though [​IMG]

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