Relative merits of quail and chickens

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Oblio13, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone have both?

    Someone recently gave me some Coturnix eggs. I've been doing some research while they incubate. The proponents of quail claim that they have some advantages over chickens - they mature much more quickly, convert feed to eggs more efficiently, require much less space, and perhaps most importantly, they're quiet.

    Does the reality equal the hype?
     
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it does. I'm so smitten with my current quail that I ordered another 200+ eggs that are hatching today/tomorrowish and have another 300 eggs on the way to fill the incubators up a second time.

    Quail are laying fools and the meat is tasty. I've never looked up how efficient raising quail for meat is, but considering how little they eat it can't be too bad if you're willing to butcher a bunch of them.

    Right now I have a line of eight hanging cages for my quail. I'm ordering red worms to see if I can raise quail (or at least the baby quail) and red worms together. That way they get the benefits of dirt baths and solid ground without being on the ground.
     
  3. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    We do
    the quail do mature much more quickly, however you need to refresh your breeding stock much more often as they don't live long. They do make some noise but it's a quick call not like a rooster crowing. They are very good layers however small eggs. A couple weeks ago we made 2 egg sandwiches and it took about 30 eggs. We pickled some of the eggs and they are very good. Once again it takes alot of eggs to fill a quart jar. lol
     
  4. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What's the design of your cages? Are you happy with them? Any changes you'd make? Any pics?

    Thanks -
     
  5. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    We attached ours to the side of the barn, then pen is 2 feet deep and 8 feet long. Used 1/4 inch hardware cloth for the sides and bottom and about 4 feet off the ground. It's 16 inches high at the front and about 20 inches high at the back. We used an old rabbit feeder for food and a 1 gallon plastic waterer. At one end I built an enclosed nest box 2 feet square anf they seem to like that for laying as that is where all the eggs are
     
  6. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I both am and am not happy with hanging cages. These are 30x30 wire cages that were set up for raising rabbits. They have the baby saver wire along the bottom sides so when babies were born outside of the nestbox they wouldn't crawl out onto the ground. That design I really like.

    They hang at stomach/chest level and I redid the doors so instead of swinging in and up they swing out and down, which makes it easier to reach into the cage without something bolting out.

    The cages are absolutely perfect when it comes to getting beneath them for cleaning. You don't have to crouch down, slide anything out or have special tools to rake under. You simply rake it up like dirty leaves and dump it in your wheel barrel.

    The biggest downside to these cages for any poultry I've used them for is feed waste. Quail are as bad as chicks when it comes to making a mess of their feed. Even with quail feeders that only allow their heads into a dish you end up with food on the ground that goes to waste. With how expensive food is I'm always grumpy when I see it wasted.

    The second biggest problem is collecting eggs. While I've been really lucky and rarely have a trampled egg, they still aren't easy to collect. You have to reach in and scatter the quail to gather all of them since they're convinced that nestboxes are lame places to lay. Sometimes I don't think Coturnix realize they're laying eggs - they simply go through the motions of a bowel movement, drop the egg, and go about their merry way.

    I want to set up new pens for the quail that have angled floors and completely made of small wire so I can drop 2-3 week old quail in a cage and leave them there until they are butchered or sold without having to swap from cage to cage. Or make hanging wire cages with a dirt floor to raise worms in. Getting that set up to work would be great [​IMG]
     
  7. PearlD

    PearlD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We bought an old cotton wagon that pulls behind the tractor. Put a solid top on it, and repaired the solid bottom and VOILA!!! Instant aviary for quail! Plenty of flying room and its easy to move out of site from the neighbors! We threw in an old dead tree and they are happy as can be!!!
    The hanging cages we use only to match up pairs and check fertility on a temporary basis. I want them to feel like they are 'in the woods' in their big cage!
     

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