Somewhat New to Quail - some basic questions

Discussion in 'Quail' started by bcontento, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. bcontento

    bcontento New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2016
    I had my first group of quail last fall. We got a new bird dog puppy and needed birds to train her on. The intent then was purely for training which meant no real concern for breeding or egg-laying. I bought adults, trained with them, then butchered them. It's time to continue our quail efforts, but I'd like to take move into egg harvesting (food, not breeding). Since I'm not looking to raise chicks (just no time to dedicate to it to do it well), my plan is to use the males for training the puppy and the females for eggs.

    My coop is about 41" x 16" (4.5 sq'). I've seen space requirement estimates everywhere from .5sq'/ea to 1sq'/ea. That would yield space for between 5-9 birds. Sound about right?

    As I understand it, I don't need males with the females for them to lay. Is that correct? Does having males in the coop help raise egg production? If I have males in the coop, the likelihood of fertilization goes up obviously. Is that a concern then for food-eggs?

    I would like to keep them all in one coop with a solid divider separating males and females (like 3 males on one side and 5-6 females on the other). Will that present a problem (fighting among the males, etc)? My other option would be to build another coop, but it would have to live in the same general space. The birds would still be able to see, smell, hear each other. Another coop would only afford me more space for more birds, not the ability to put more distance between the males and females.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The more space you can give them, the better, so I'd go for 4-5 birds at most in that cage. Not that you can't put more birds in there, but IMO you should give them as much room as reasonably possible, not as little as possible.
    No males needed - in fact, sometimes the males can stress them and cause reduced laying. Eating fertilized eggs is not a problem though. As for separating them but not putting distance between them - sorry, I don't know if that'll cause fighting. Usually people say if they can't see and hear the hens, they won't fight, but I also remember someone having a coop with an enclosure for extra males inside the coop. I don't know if this caused any problems though.
     
  3. bcontento

    bcontento New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2016
    Yeah, as I started thinking more about it, I think I'll expand the coop. I definitely need 3-4 birds to train with and don't want to use females. The training stresses them out pretty heavily I would think...don't want to do that to my egg-layers. Maybe I'll build a bachelor pad and keep just 5 or so females in the coops I have, then all of the males on their own.
     
  4. fishforbrains

    fishforbrains Out Of The Brooder

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    My experience is that if you have more than one male per cage they will fight each other, sometimes to the death, unless you remove them from the sound and sight of the females and keep them in low lighting conditions. The females are definitely happier without the males around.
     
  5. UniqueQuail

    UniqueQuail Just Hatched

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    My males can see and hear the ladies but don't fight they are in a separate encloser. They occasionally try to mate with each other but that's all. Should be fine with a bachelor pad. Just watch them closey at the start and remove any serious aggressive males.
     
  6. bcontento

    bcontento New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2016
    Bachelor pad completed. I build another coop and hung it next to the first one. Big enough for 4 or 5 males. I also Rebuilt my watering system (hanging 5gal bucket, piped into the two coops with drip nipples).

    Now, I just need to find some birds! Seems like the availability has just vanished (south florida). When I got my first group, I had like 10 people locally on craigslist. Now, nada.
     
  7. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are training your dog I would think you want Bobwhites, coturnix won't flush the same way.
     

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