Starting up Coturnix Quail questions

4x4Runner

Chirping
Jul 20, 2016
101
19
66
El Cajon, CA
We have decided to try raising coturnix quail for meat and eggs I suppose if they start laying them but I have some question I haven't been able to find answers too.

We are building their hutch and we want to get 30 birds. I understand it needs to be no larger than 12" tall but what's recommend length and width? I keep finding 2 answers for square footed per bird.

How many nest areas do we need? What do they prefer? I've seen boxes with straw or pine shavings, boxes with sand and pots on their sides with straw.

Last question is about how many females vs. Males ratio. We will not be breeding them so does it matter? Will I need to add sections?
 

xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
Im brand new @ Quail as well...The guy where i purchased my birds informed me that regardless of what nest box you build, or where you put it is futile. He had several large pens, coops etc and the eggs were scattered everywhere. He said some may nest/sleep in straw filled boxes, but as a whole, they laid and slept where they took a notion..This may not hold true always, but he showed me the eggs scattered, and napping birds throughout the coops, pens etc.. I am thinking of meat birds as well, but i noticed you said "We will not be breeding them"..How will you sustain your birds without breeding?
 

4x4Runner

Chirping
Jul 20, 2016
101
19
66
El Cajon, CA
Well I suppose they would breed until we butcher them but I know some people will incubate new eggs, hatch them and start over. We would just go back to the farm and purchase new ones.
 

DK newbie

Songster
5 Years
Apr 20, 2015
1,772
1,068
241
The usual recommendation for coturnix is 1 sqft per bird. Usually 2 ft deep will allow you to reach the eggs easily from the front of the enclosure and the length will then depend on the number of birds you want to house.
The males tend to start fighting, chasing the girls and so on at around 6 weeks, so from this point on there should be at most 1 male in each enclosure that has females. If you gather all the males in the same enclosure and make sure it has no females, that should work too - they are much less likely to fight when there are no females around.
Some people simply butcher the males at 6 weeks to avoid the trouble and let the girls grow out for a few more weeks.
 

feedman77

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
2,933
2,468
281
If you keep 12 to 15 hens and a couple of males. That will keep you in more than enough fertile eggs.

If they laided daily for the most part 12 eggs a day. You could fill a Styrofoam incubator with quail turners every 10 days. Figuring an 80 percent hatch rate usually higher. After you get 2 trays set you could theoretically hatch 96 quail a week. If you did that for 3 months you could have over 900 quail and the first trays would be starting to breed and lay by the time the last few trays hatched.

It's pretty easy to get over run with lots of quail just off the Initial run of birds.

Pretty easy to self sustain with cots.
 

4x4Runner

Chirping
Jul 20, 2016
101
19
66
El Cajon, CA
Thank you for answering all my questions. We are going to give it a run. We picked up 42 quail that are a week old (some look less than a week) and so far 6 have died... 2 looked like they all of a sudden got wry neck and tried vitamin water which didn't work and the others just seemed lethargic. I'm assuming we will lose more but hopefully not. Sounds like it's sort of common to loose some.
 

xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
2 looked like they all of a sudden got wry neck
Interesting. Heres a link:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/does-my-quail-have-wry-neck-pics.346834/
What would cause this condition? Is it some genetic defect, or does it mean they have not received the proper Nutrients/Vitamins since hatching? As far as having 6 dead already, it sorta scares me as being a total noob. Given the right temp in brooder, good food and fresh water, what else can you do to help insure survival? Thanks.
 

4x4Runner

Chirping
Jul 20, 2016
101
19
66
El Cajon, CA
Interesting. Heres a link:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/does-my-quail-have-wry-neck-pics.346834/
What would cause this condition? Is it some genetic defect, or does it mean they have not received the proper Nutrients/Vitamins since hatching? As far as having 6 dead already, it sorta scares me as being a total noob. Given the right temp in brooder, good food and fresh water, what else can you do to help insure survival? Thanks.

Not sure. Temp is at 95 degrees which it calls for. We use spring water from the store and we crushed up chick starter feed into a powder. The ranch we got them from has a very high reputation. However they had HUNDREDS of baby quail. He said they were a week old and some looked a lot smaller than others and got trampled. I'm new at quail and have heard they can be sensitive but I don't know. Our first time with them. I've been looking for turkey starter in our local feed stores and they did confirm quail can be hard and they why they don't carry them because they have a high death rate due to stress. Not sure but the rest are looking healthy and good.
 

HUGHES555

Chirping
Jul 26, 2016
92
41
71
alabama
The 1st 2 weeks quail will die for no reasons sometimes. But after they get to about 2 weeks old they start to get very hardy. Your Protein level of your chick starter may be to low. You need some kind of starter that is around 24% to 26%. If you cant find anything that high get some meal worms and grind them up and mix in with their food. Dont worry about taking the temp of their brooder just look at the chicks and see what they are doing. If they are all huddled together then they are cold. If they are all running around checking things out the temp is right. If they are all spread out laying down with their wings spread out then the temp is to hot. Once they get their feathers (2 to 3 weeks old) you can start cutting off the heat lamp and getting them use to room temp. In the summer time they can move out of the brooder into outdoor cages at 4 weeks old. in winter depending on the temp you will need to wait until 6 to 8 weeks old. Dont over think the Coturnix Quail they are very hardy birds and very easy to take care of. Just make sure they have food (protein level 24% or higher), water (they can dehydrate very easy make sure they always have water, add apple cider vingar to their water once a month) and shelter (something simple to keep them dry and draft free in the winter min of 1 square foot per bird).
 

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