-Raising Bobwhite Quail-

sueiris

Songster
-Raising Bobwhite Quail-
Bobwhites are a popular breed for dog training and hunting. Bobwhites are easy to keep and raise. Bobwhites were my first birds ever, and I never had any problem with aggresion. They are verly fun little birds to have around, the male's call is very nice to hear. Bobwhites provided food for settlers. They were also used for meat, eggs, and hunting. Bobwhite quail are and were famous for their flight action for hunting! The settlers used them for that reason, and the meat.

Hatching and Brooding Bobwhite Quail
-Hatching-

Bobwhite Quail are easy to hatch. I incubate my Bobwhite eggs in a 1266 Sportsman Cabinet incubator. Hovabator, Little Giant, and Brinsea are some more good ones, but I would be careful with LG's (Little Giants), I know a few people who don't have very good luck with them, I have tried it and it wasn't the best. Hovabators are probably your best bet. Bobwhite Quail take 23-26 days to hatch, with 26 days being the longest. Their temperature needs to be at 99.5-100F. When I incubate them I have our incubator at 100F, I keep turning them through their whole hatch time. I don't stop turning them at the 20th day. If the chicks don't hatch on their due date, give them 3 extra days to hatch.

-Brooding-
Bobwhite chicks are tough, although not like their parents. I used to use a plastic rubbermaid tub, but it was boiling hot in there for them. Ours looks like this , but with stands below it. It works really well. I keep the temp at 99 in the brooder for the first five days, then I lower it to 96F in their second week and so on. They are feed a 24% Gamebird Starter, I feed them Manna Pro Gamebird/Showbird Starter feed. It works very well. DO NOT feed them medicated food. Try to keep the food at 22% or higher protein. For my chicks I use a Quail Waterer, to prevent them from drowning. If you cannot get those or you don't want to, you can use a chicken chick waterer, but make sure to but marbles in there so they can't drown. Once they are 7 weeks old I move them outside, in to a pen with no birds in it. If the temperature is under 50F I switch on their heat lamp, inside their house/shelter. I feed them the same way, but I add Manna Pro Poultry Conditioner if I plan on showing them. When they have been kept outside for 2 weeks, I switch them over to Sprout Meat Maker which has 22% protein.


Housing and Breeding Bobwhite Quail

-Housing-
I like to keep my bobs on ground, which means they get a bigger area to run and fly around. Our main Bobwhite pen in 12 x 14' in in length. When our Bobwhites are on ground we have pea rock on they groud, for a natural setting, and they can dig around in the rocks. They don't NEED a shelter in their pen, but I like to put one in each pen for if we have a big storm or to lay their eggs in. Many people keep their birds on wire, but I don't have good luck with that at all. They get bloody feet all the time, and break their necks. I hate keeping birds on wire because of that (maybe its because our wire pen is evil lol). Our wire pen is 3' high and 12' long. We have 1/4 in wire on the bottom, but the wire should be a litte bit bigger so the droppings can fall through, but not too big so raccoons can't get them. During the Winter, birds that are not kept indoors such as a barn, should be grouped together so they can form natural coveys for warmth.

-Breeding-
Breeding is relatively easy with Bobwhites. They should be in a ratio of 1 male to 3 hens, which is what I like to do. I also breed them in pairs and trios occationaly. Colonies consist of 2-3 males with 9-10 hens. I sometimes breed them in colonies but not very often. Don't put to many males together to prevent fighting. Feed them 24-30% protein Gamebird Breeder feed in the breeding season. Bobwhite hens begin laying in mid April and may lay all summer long. The eggs are normally pure white. The female can produce a great amount of eggs! They will lay all year round with light for 14 hours a day.


Thanks for reading!
Do you have photos of your set up? I'm interested in hatching and keeping a few of these.
 

firestomp

Chirping
Jul 28, 2016
231
113
86
Indianapolis
I use a hovabator with auto turning trays, had some trouble at first, learned from a lady to raise the humidity up to 70% the last 3 days. Had a good hatch rate after doing that. Their housing is just off my porch and right by my bedroom window. The males make 5 or six calls and the hens are quite chatty as well. They are so peaceful to watch and hear. I have Coturnix quail as well, They are fun, and have a nice song, but not like the Bobs.They aren't as robust as the bobs either. I have 3 males and 7 hens, sometimes they will start their most famous call, then stop. Build up to it a couple times, then let it out, BOB WHITE, then all 3 will get going. I plan on having these all the time and let my coturnix run their life cycle and not have them anymore. I am making a larger ground dwelling area for a group of 15 or so. No flight pen, I have coopers hawks and red tails, I believe they would spook and fly into the wire if the hawks harassed them. My neighbor caught a coopers red handed pulling baby chicks through the wire. I have heard of them setting on the top of cages and snatching off heads as the quail went crazy to get away from them. Eggs can be purchased from a number of hatcheries, that's how I got my start. I have read they will cross breed and have been wanting to play with that while my coturnix hens are still fairly young. If the do hatch out, I will have CA-BOBS.
 
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creeksidejoe62

Hatching
Mar 31, 2016
4
0
6
Pa
I recently got 66 Bob eggs and hatched 57 of them. This was my first time, I used a little giant still air incubater that I added a computer fan to move the air. I also hatched 4 of my pheasant eggs Wich I found out bobs and pheasants don't mix in brooder, the bobs killed them the first nite. They are two weeks old and doing well, glad I found this thread because I have learnt allot from it
 

firestomp

Chirping
Jul 28, 2016
231
113
86
Indianapolis
I recently got 66 Bob eggs and hatched 57 of them. This was my first time, I used a little giant still air incubater that I added a computer fan to move the air. I also hatched 4 of my pheasant eggs Wich I found out bobs and pheasants don't mix in brooder, the bobs killed them the first nite. They are two weeks old and doing well, glad I found this thread because I have learnt allot from it
I had a 97% hatch rate on my first batch of coturnix quail, I have a hovabator incubator, work great. I figured it was luck for that high rate and it was. I have hatched bobs and chickens in it as well, the hatch rate was no where near that high again. With all that being said, don't get flustered or upset when the hatch rate drops way off. Could be for any number of reasons. I found infertile eggs was a lot of it, weak chicks that didn't make it out of shell, some deformed, I put those down. I figure, everything I hatch out is free, comes from my own stock and is just a bonus. When I need to change the bloodline, I just buy or trade for another male or two. Same thing I have always done with my meat rabbits. I have read that after 6 generations of coturnix quail, things get ugly. This makes sense do to any flawed genes are now deeply imbedded in the stock at this point. I am collecting bob eggs now and will put them in next saturday. Should be a large batch of eggs, we will see in a about 5 weeks how lucky I get. Good luck and just have fun with it.
 

creeksidejoe62

Hatching
Mar 31, 2016
4
0
6
Pa
Need help, I lost four in last couple nights. They are singing one out and pecking raw rite were the beak and forehead meet till they kill it, anyone know what I can do?
 

firestomp

Chirping
Jul 28, 2016
231
113
86
Indianapolis
give them more space, overcrowding causes stress, also put some ground up feed on the floor to give them something to scratch and peck in. Mine were to small to eat standard size feed, so I ran it through a ninja blender to make it smaller. If you are using WHITE light, switch it to blue or yellow I think was the other color. White lighting seems to agitate them I read. Also give them some greens and chick starter to peck on, keeps them occupied. Good luck
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
Oct 27, 2016
1,972
2,966
301
canada
hello, a few bob white questions.

first off can they be raised in cages like other quail or do they need to have runs and more of a coop style house and run. and whats the stocking rate if they can be in cages, (all females, the males would be meat.)

next how good do they lay eggs? about how many a year. (i know it takes like 24 weeks for eggs.)
 

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