starter questions... help!!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by new2quail, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. new2quail

    new2quail Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2012
    I have finally made the decision to get a few quail. I think they are incredibly adorable and look forward to fresh quail eggs. I will be keeping them outside, I am building a 6x4x4 pen for them right now. I plan on collecting their eggs only, no breeding for me. I have a few starter questions I hope someone can help me with. Oh and I am getting coturnix quail...

    Do I need to use a soft mesh ceiling in case of injury when they fly or can I use metal wire mesh?
    In the coupe is wire mesh or plywood better for the ground?
    What male to female ratio....? I am thinking 3-4 female and one male?
    If I only want eggs do I need to have a male or will they lay eggs without a male present? ( sorry if this questions seems silly)
    fertilized eggs vs. non ( how do I avoid getting fertilized eggs) ?
    How long do the eggs stay good in the fridge?
    How long can the eggs stay in the coupe before they go bad? ( If I miss one or can't check every day)
    What are some foods they love, fruits veg ext.?

    Ok I think I covered the quail basics. Thank you so much....Sorry if some of the questions seem rudimentary, I want all my bases covered so I can provide a good home.
  2. annapablo

    annapablo New Egg

    Sep 10, 2012
    London, UK
    i've had quail for 6 months now, so not as experienced as some, but here goes:

    ceiling - they can only fly 3 foot or so, so a height of 4 foot should be fine without mesh. if you go lower, then yes - mesh to protect them, or a solid top like wood. it's the bars of the wire that hurt the most!

    i don't think the bottom matters as long as predators cant get in - depends on where you're putting it. mine is on concrete but it'll get a bit cold in winter!

    3-5 females per male is right, but they lay regardless of whether there's a male or not. however i have heard that fertilised eggs are lower in cholesterol? you can eat the eggs regardless, fertilised eggs won't be any different unless you actually start the incubation process.

    eggs don't need to go in the fridge although that keeps them a bit longer, and if the coup is room temperature there's no difference so don't worry if you don't collect every day. they do tend to squash them accidentally though! they'll keep at least two weeks in the fridge.

    mine love dandilion leaves, and most greens, but they don't like carrot. i just chuck leftover veg and peelings in there to see.
  3. new2quail

    new2quail Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2012
    Ok cool, thank you, you have been very helpful. I am sure we will be eating them right away. We are excited to make pickled quail eggs in beet juice. I will try the dandelion leaves, I am sure it is just trial and error to figure out what they will like. This is all so exciting! I don't want to get too many males because of the fighting. I have heard they fly straight up when startled that is why I am concerned with injury.
    Thanks again!
  4. my cots will hop but don't really fly straight up... I have 18 " or so of head room...good luck...
  5. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    You do not need to keep males if you are not planning on breeding. I think the females actually fight more than the males do, but if you keep good male to female ratio and get all your quail in one hatch you should not have any problems with fighting at all. You will learn quickly - they are good teachers! :D Very fun and the males can call rather beautifully I kind of enjoy some of the crows but my young males seem to crow all hours of the day and night if they are lonely lol.
  6. new2quail

    new2quail Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2012
    I guess I didn't think about that. Souldn't I get a male from a different clutch? Or does it matter if they are all brother and sister...? I am planning on keeping them in the backyard. Are they really loud? Sounds like males might make more noise than the girls? Thanks again!
  7. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2012
    Mine are still chicks and i've only had them for a few weeks, but they are indeed good teachers!
    I have button quail, not coturnix, but one of my chicks flew five feet straight up! They've had their wings clipped but all can still jump about 24" without breaking a sweat.
    You can use a wire top on your cage, but i'd recommend stretching some soft mesh like window screening about two inches below the top just in case somebody "boinks" particularly hard.

    I've heard that the natural state of quail is to be in male/female pairs housed separately from other pairs. But you can house in groups as long as you have either just one male or more than two (two is a recipe for fights) and all the quail are introduced as chicks.

    Males have a little crow sound, and both genders will flock call when they're lonely. It's loudish but not piercing. Most people find it cute instead of obnoxious, as with chicken crowing. I have one little female whose flock call is louder than my male!
    If you're taking the eggs it doesn't really matter if they're siblings or not. I mean, incest is kinda icky to think about but if there are no babies then there's no harm being done.

    I've found that my quail REALLY like birdseed that's been sprouted in a pie tin. I have six pans that i rotate so when they ruin one there's another all sprouted and ready to go!
  8. bfrancis

    bfrancis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma

    And congrats on deciding to get quail.

    At the top of the quail section there is an area called "stickies" that answers about any first time quail question you could have, from housing, feed, incubating, brooding chicks, etc.

    Here's the link: Quail Notable Archives & Important / Frequently Requested Topics

    Read through those and feel free to ask any other question that you may have.

    Good luck!
  9. new2quail

    new2quail Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2012
    Thank you so much everyone! Everything has been very helpful. Any cooments on noise level. I am going to put them in the backyard like I said earlier....I don't want to attract attention. Any info on this would be great! My cage is almost complete, what a project! it has been fun tho. Has anyone kept there pen on grass for a long period of time... Wondering if it will kill the grass. thanks!
  10. cmtigger

    cmtigger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2011
    I'm new to quail, but I've worked with cavies and rabbits for years. Look up linebreeding, in animals there is no concept of "incest" and with proper breeding it's okay to breed related animals. You have to make sure that there aren't any defects, but it's a very efficient way of improving a line.

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